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.
Famous Bizet’s Carmen staged by Dmitri Tcherniakov, produced at the Festival d’Aix-en-Provence in July 2017 and first opera set 100% eco-designed and 100% recyclable, is meeting with great success on the international stages and carries on its touring in 2022 at the Théâtre de la Monnaie in Brussels, at the Théâtres de la Ville de Luxembourg then at Philadelphia Opera.
Last editions welcomed in particular, in 2019, Romeo Castellucci for the unseen staging of Mozart’s Requiem in coproduction with Adelaide Festival, Palau de les Arts in Valencia, Wiener Festwochen, Théâtre de la Monnaie in Brussels and Theater Basel, American sopranos Angel Blue and Catherine Malfitano, and Christophe Honoré for his staging of Puccini’s Tosca which entered that summer the Festival d’Aix repertoire, the stage director Andrea Breth for an impactful Jakob Lenz interpreted by baritone Georg Nigl, Ivo van Hove’s staging of Rise and Fall of the City of Mahagonny by Kurt Weill in coproduction with Dutch National Opera, Metropolitan Opera, Théâtres de la Ville de Luxembourg and the Opera Ballet Vlaanderen.
En 2021, Festival d’Aix invites the composer Kaija Saariaho for the world premiere of Innocence, last opera staged by Simon Stone and already regarded as a major piece of the contemporary repertoire. It is also the subject of a prestigious collaboration with Royal Opera House-Covent Garden, Finnish National Opera, Dutch National Opera, San Francisco Opera and the Metropolitan Opera. That same year, the Festival welcomes Daniele Rustioni and Barrie Kosky for, respectively, conduct and stage Verdi’s Falstaff coproduced with Opéra de Lyon, Bolshoi Theater and Komische Oper Berlin along with Rimski-Korsakov’s Golden Cockerel coproduced with Adelaide Festival, Opéra de Lyon and Komische Oper Berlin all of which the Festival maintains fruitful collaborations.
2021, is also the year of the world premiere at the Festival d’Aix of Samir Odeh-Tamimi’s Arab Apocalypse on a libretto by Etel Adnan after her homonym poem which has been awarded the 2021 Lichtwark Prize, and in Pierre Audi’s staging. That new opera premiered in LUMA-Arles has been the subject of numerous coproductions: Abou Dhabi Festival and the Fondation Luma.
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.
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.