The spectators who come to take part in the Festival of Aix leave each year with memories of a festival experience that is unique in its own way and during which they attended musical performances of a high quality in the unique context of an open-air festival under the sky of Provence.
Furthermore, each year the international press travels to Aix to attend the festival performances. Thus, journalists from the Financial Times, the New York Times and even Opera Today made the journey to Aix-en-Provence to discover the new productions and creations of the Festival of Aix.
The 2015 Festival welcomed, in particular, Patricia Petibon and Philippe Jarroussky in Handel’s Alcina directed by Katie Mitchell, as well as the London Symphony Orchestra under the baton of Simon Rattle for the creation of a French version of The Monster in the Maze by Jonathan Dove, and Peter Sellars, who directed a production of Iolanthe and Persephone that had great success with both the public and the press, followed in 2016 with the filmmaker Christophe Honoré for the staging of Così fan tutte by Mozart, Stéphane Degout and Barbara Hannigan in the title-roles of Pelléas and Mélisande by Debussy staged by Katie Mitchell and with the Philharmonia Orchestra conducted by Esa-Pekka Salonen for Pelléas and Mélisande and for Œdipus Rex / Symphony of Psalms by Igor Stravinsky in Peter Sellars' staging. In 2017, the Festival welcomed once more Stéphane Degout for the world premiere of Pinocchio by Philippe Boesmans in Joël Pommerat's moving staging, and in 2018, Ausrine Stundyte and Scott Hendricks, two powerful voices under Kazushi Ono's baton for an explosive Fiery Angel staged by Mariusz Trelinski.
Keen to foster contemporary original works as well rehearsing the repertoire, the Festival d'Aix-en-Provence is also a festival that is resolutely turned towards the future. It continually tries to renew itself so as to be able to offer to the public each year creations and new productions that are the opera of tomorrow. The Festival is becoming the laboratory of opera in the twenty-first century where new creations and the existing repertoire feed on each other.
Each year since 2008, the Festival d'Aix-en-Provence has retransmitted its operas on the big screen, either directly from the Festival or later in recorded form.
Google map retransmissions
The Bolshoi Theatre, in Moscow, and the Festival d’Aix-en-Provence have maintained co-production ties since 2010. In addition to various co-productions scheduled for the repertoire at the Bolshoi, less traditional productions feature periodically on tour. This applies to the operas, Written on Skin, Trauernacht and Alcina staged by Katie Mitchell, which have been performed in Russia for the first time.
Over and beyond the major productions, the productions in an intermediate format like Winterreise, Trauernacht, Svadba, Kalîla wa Dimna and Orfeo & Majnun are meeting with real success on tour in France and in the entire world, and are being performed in places that while turned towards contemporary creation are not always suited to take on opera productions.
To achieve this, the Mediterranean Youth Orchestra of the Festival d'Aix offers young instrumentalists of the PACA (Provence-Alpes-Côte d’Azur) region and the Mediterranean basin, selected through auditions in some twenty or so Mediterranean towns, the opportunity to experience the professional life of musicians in an ensemble or orchestra, either in rehearsal or performing in concert in Aix-en-Provence or on tour in the Mediterranean region. Through two training sessions (symphonic orchestra and an ensemble for intercultural creation), they benefit from teaching and training provided by prestigious musicians.
It is made up of players in the musical sector operating in the countries of the Mediterranean basin and establishes a platform for the recruitment of artists, exchanges of ideas (The Medinea Meetings) and the sharing of good practices. It has become an essential resource for the selection of Mediterranean musicians and for the dissemination in the Mediterranean region of the productions of the Festival d'Aix.