75th anniversary Published on 23/05/2023
Concert by Ella Fitzgerald, Festival d’Aix-en-Provence 1975 © Henry Ely – Aix
© Henry Ely – Aix

While the Théâtre de l’Archevêché and its open-air theatre have lost none of their charm over the past 75 years, in 1954 the Festival began expanding into other venues in Aix and the surrounding region for performances of its operas and concerts. Here are some photos of these unique spaces!

In 1975, Ella Fitzgerald and the Festival d’Aix offered the people of Aix a memorable jazz concert on the place des Cardeurs, just a short walk from Hôtel de Ville.

In 2006, for the centennial of the death of Paul Cézanne, the Festival d’Aix programmed a large, free concert at the foot of Montagne Sainte-Victoire. Nearly 11,000 people came to enjoy Mahler’s Fifth Symphony, performed by the Berlin Philharmonic conducted by Sir Simon Rattle.

Deep in the Aix countryside lies the Domaine du Grand Saint-Jean, which houses a sixteenth-century building, a large wooded park, a chapel, a farm and a sheepfold. Since 1999, it has also been home to an 800-seat theatre. Through 2013 — the final year of its operation by the Festival — the Grand Saint-Jean hosted several productions, including the premiere of Vasco Mendonça’s The House Taken Over, staged by Katie Mitchell.

The Stadium de Vitrolles, designed by the architect Rudy Ricciotti — well known for his other iconic buildings in the region, such as the Mucem in Marseille and the Pavillon Noir in Aix-en-Provence — was inaugurated in 1994, but would be left abandoned as of 1999. Thanks to the impetus of Pierre Audi, general director of the Festival, the building underwent the first steps towards rehabilitation in 2022, when it hosted performances of Mahler’s Resurrection, staged by Romeo Castellucci. In July 2023, the Stadium will once again welcome festivalgoers and the Orchestre de Paris for BALLETS RUSSES.

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Public au Théâtre de l'Archevêché — Festival d'Aix-en-Provence 2023 © Vincent Beaume


Dear festival-goers, More than 75,000 of you joined us to celebrate the 75th edition of the Festival d'Aix-en-Provence, which ended on Monday 24 July.