FESTIVAL D'AIX-EN-PROVENCE ANNOUNCES 70th ANNIVERSARY SEASON HIGHLIGHTS
JULY 4 - 24, 2018
Six Major Opera Productions, Including Two World Premieres, Three New Productions, and a Multi-Faceted Opera including a City-Wide Participatory Parade
2018 Edition Also Marks the 20th Anniversary of Académie du Festival d'Aix
New York, NY, December 8, 2017 - The 70th anniversary season of the Festival d'Aix-en-Provence will present six full-scale opera productions and an international roster of exceptional artistry from July 4 through 24, 2018. The anniversary season also marks a milestone, as it celebrates the conclusion of Bernard Foccroulle's eleven-year tenure as general manager of the Festival. His legacy will be demonstrated in the coming season with commissions, new productions, major participatory events, and significant outreach to Arab, Mediterranean, and local audiences. Foccroulle will be succeeded by Park Avenue Armory artistic director and Dutch National Opera director Pierre Audi in September, 2018.
Of special note in 2018 is the world premiere of new wave Czech composer Ondřej Adámek's a capella opera Seven Stones - the composer's first opera and a Festival commission; and the world premiere production of Orfeo & Majnun, an opera sung in English, French, and Arabic by four young soloists with an orchestral and choral ensemble of 150 amateurs, performed outdoors on the Cours Mirabeau. The work will be preceded by a city-wide parade (a new co-commissioned Festival production) that features fantastical creatures and performances created by non-professional artists during the year and presented along the parade route throughout the day.
Other new productions this year are Richard Strauss' Ariadne auf Naxos, directed by the British Festival favorite Katie Mitchell with Dutch National Opera chief conductor Marc Albrecht leading the Orchestre de Paris; Prokofiev's The Fiery Angel, directed by Polish National Opera artistic director Mariusz Treliński with Tokyo Metropolitan Symphony Orchestra music director Kazushi Ono conducting the Orchestra de Paris; and Purcell's Baroque tour de force Dido and Æneas, conducted by Václav Luks with the Ensemble Pygmalion Chorus and Orchestra and directed by Vincent Huguet. An additional highlight is the revival of director Simon McBurney's celebrated staging of Mozart's The Magic Flute, which played to sold-out houses at Festival 2014. The opera will be conducted by Raphaël Pichon with his Ensemble and Choir Pygmalion.
Also in the spotlight this season, The Académie du Festival d'Aix commemorates its 20th anniversary as an extension of the Festival that serves as a center for training, teaching and professional experience. The founding of the Opera in Creation workshop (2007) and the arrival of the Mediterranean Youth Orchestra (2010) has transformed the Académie into a nexus of innovative training for a global collection of young artists. And the addition of the enoa and Medinea networks - to enable emerging European and Mediterranean artists to develop their careers - has further elevated the Académie to its current distinguished position on today's international scene. Highlights of the Académie's 20th anniversary schedule include residencies on Mozart and the Art of the Recital; performances by such former Académie artists as Sabine Devieilhe and Stéphane Degout; workshops on Orfeo & Majnun and Opera in Creation; and sessions for symphonic musicians and intercultural creation.
Complete details of the Festival's 2018 presentations, including concerts of symphonic works, chamber music, recitals, and programs by the Académie du Festival d'Aix will be announced in early 2018.