The 67th edition of the prestigious Festival d’Aix-en-Provence opened on July 2 with an explosive production of Handel’s Alcina followed the next night by an explosive production of Mozart’s Die Entf¸hrung aus dem Serail.
Twenty years ago stage director Christopher Alden introduced Rossini’s then forgotten comedy to Southern California audiences in a production that is still remembered. In Aix Alden has revisited this complex work that many critics now consider Rossini’s greatest comedy.
That’s A Winter’s Journey and A Night of Mourning for metteurs-en-scËne William Kentridge (South Africa) and Katie Mitchell (Great Britain), completing the clean sweep of English language stage directors for the Aix Festival productions this year.
In past years the operas of the Aix Festival that took place in the Grand ThÈ‚tre de Provence began at 8 pm. The Magic Flute began at 7 pm, or would have had not the infamous intermittents (seasonal theatrical employees) demanded to speak to the audience.
High drama in Aix. Three scenarios in conflict — those of G.F. Handel, Richard Jones and the intermittents (disgruntled seasonal theatrical employees). Make that four — mother nature.
Don Giovanni — the coup de coeur. Elektra — a masterpiece. Rigoletto — a hit and a miss.
Rare, very rare repertory that is not even opera stole the show at the sixty fourth Aix Festival.
You pay your money, you takes your chances — that is festival life at its best. Sometimes it pays off and sometimes it doesn’t. The fun is in the risk, so the riskier the better.
An appreciation of La traviata plus La clemenza di Tito and Le Nez/The Nose at the Aix-en-Provence Festival.