Festival d’Aix en Provence 2013

The warm climate and outdoor dining combined with the
world’s great classical musicians is hard to resist.

Celebrating Verdi’s bicentennial, Rigoletto launches the season
July 4 with ten performances. The London Symphony Orchestra , no less, is in
the pit conducted by Gianandrea Noseda in a new production by Robert Carsen
that will travel to Strasbourg, Brussels, Geneva and Moscow’s Bolshoi. The
title role will be sung by George Gagnidze with Gilda sung by soprano Irina
Lungu and tenors Giuseppe Filianoti and Arturo Chacon Cruz sharing the role of
the Duke.

The following evening Mozart is center stage with a revival of the 2010
Don Giovanni with Marc Minkowski conducting the in-residence London
Symphony Orchestra. In the controversial Dimitri Tcherniakov production, Rod
Gilfry is the Don with Kyle Ketelsen as Leporello. Maria Bengtsson sings Donna
Anna with Sonya Yoncheva as Elvira and tenor Paul Groves as Ottavio. Both
operas will be onstage in the courtyard of the Archbishop’s Palace, the
traditional home of opera at Aix.

A new opera, in English, premiers the following night, The House Taken
by the Portuguese composer Vasco MendonÁa, 35. The opera’s
libretto, by English playwright Sam Holcroft, is based on the book of the same
name by Julio Cort·zar. Cort·zar describes his book as “a nightmare I had.
I got up immediately and wrote it.” It tells the story of an aging brother
and sister living in their parent’s mansion and gradually displaced by unseen
spirits. It will staged at the outdoor theater at Domaine du Grande Saint-Jean
and many will picnic on the lawns before the curtain rises.

Acclaimed director Patrice ChÈreau has been enlisted to stage a new
production of Strauss’s opera, Elektra. His work for the opera stage
is already iconic and this event, alone, will guarantee international
attention. Opening on the 10th, Esa-Pekka Salonen will conduct the Orchestre de
Paris with Evelyn Herlitzius in the title role and Waltraud Meier as
Klytaemnestra. The starry cast also includes Adrianne Pieczonka as Chrysothemis
with Orestes sung by baritone Mikhail Petrenko. After only five performances in
the Aix Grand ThȂtre de Provence, the production will be seen later at La
Scala in Milan, the Metropolitan Opera, the Liceu in Barcelona and Berlin’s

Europe’s continuing exploration of new baroque repertoire shows no sign of
flagging. Elena of Francesco Cavalli will have its first staging in
more than 350 years. This 1659 opera, described as both entertaining and
profound, will be performed in the intimate confines of the ThȂtre du Jeu de
Paume with Leonardo GarcÌa AlarcÛn conducting his Cappella Mediterranea.
Singing will be several former members of the festival’s AcadÈmie
europÈenne de musique which runs concurrently.

As usual there will be concerts with both the London Symphony and Orchestre
de Paris, plus a variety of recitals, seminars, chamber music concerts, etc.
Some performances will be recorded for television broadcast and commercial
recordings could be an eventuality. Specific information and details are at the
festival’s website.

Frank Cadenhead

image_description=Image courtesy of Festival d’Aix en Provence
product_title=Aix-en-Provence Festival 2013
product_by=By Frank Cadenhead
product_id=Above image courtesy of Festival d’Aix en Provence