Aix-en-Provence – Festival
Go swifter, cloud,
What song are you bursting into?
Swifter, go swifter cloud!
What are you are taking with you,
Is it a sepulchre or a viol?
Adonis, The Gyrfalcon III, Upwards to the towers of death
WHAT WOULD MOZART HAVE SAID?
What would Mozart have said, had he suddenly returned to visit our world in 2015 ? Shocked by rampant violence, would he have deemed his quartet Dissonances commensurate with the ferocity of the clashes? Would the quest for harmony and balance that underpins his works seem outmoded to him? If he were to have a conversation with a Turkish or Lebanese poet, would he have thought that his opera Die Entführung aus dem Serail presents a sham Orient or that, to contrary, it throws light on the complexities of the cross-cultural relations that characterise our times? Or else, would he simply take to the piano to try and express what is beyond words?
Since its inception in 1948, the Festival d’Aix has been relentlessly interpreting and reinterpreting Mozart’s work. So how and why did we put together the programme of the 2015 edition? With a double-bill performance presenting both Tchaikovsky’s Iolanta and Stravinsky’s Persephone, Peter Sellars and Teodor Currentzis bring together characters all brimming with humanity and visionary power beyond the very contrasted musical traditions of each composer. Desire, with its myriad of human contradictions and reversals, is at the heart of Handel’s Alcina, Britten’s/Shakespeare’s Midsummer Night’s Dream and Ana Sokolović’s opera, Svadba, sung and performed by six women and dramatising the eve before the wedding of one of them.
Jonathan Dove’s creation will enlist hundreds of young participants led by conductor Sir Simon Rattle. Set in the labyrinth constructed by Minos, the King of Crete, the opera gives a new lease of life to Theseus who is gone on a mission to set free the young Athenian prisoners who are facing a death sentence with the Minotaur. Which invites the question: by what perverse mechanism are yesterday’s victors driven to systematically humiliate the vanquished, thus bringing about their own demise?
AIX IN JUNE will offer a prelude to the Festival with about ten events and will culminate on 26 June with a large-scale concert on the Cours Mirabeau conducted by Andrea Marcon and featuring Patricia Petibon, Anna Prohaska and Philippe Jaroussky. The Académie will bring in some 250 young artists of all disciplines recruited around the world. The Freiburger Barockorchester will pursue its residencies focusing on Handel and Mozart. With conductor Teodor Currentzis and his choir MusicAeterna, we will start a new cycle dedicated to Stravinsky, while also welcoming about twenty composers of all ages and origins.
Because our Festival is open to the world, we will have a musical commemoration for the centenary of the Armenian genocide. We will pay tribute to the Baalbeck International Festival, the oldest and most prestigious Festival in the Middle East. We will also conjure up the spirit of Essaouira and its Festival des Andalousies Atlantiques, a unique celebration the Judeo-Arabic musical heritage. With this great diversity of works, the artistic programme of the Festival’s 2015 edition is an invitation to reflect, remember and imagine new utopias.
Aix-en-Provence eller bara Aix (uttalat [ɛks]) är en stad och kommun i departementet Bouches-du-Rhône i regionen Provence-Alpes-Côte d’Azur i södra Frankrike. Kommunen är chef-lieu för kantonerna Aix-en-Provence-Centre, Aix-en-Provence-Sud-Ouest och Aix-en-Provence-Nord-Est och är chef-lieu för arrondissementet Aix-en-Provence. År 2010 hade Aix-en-Provence 141 895 invånare.
1948 grundade Gabriel Dussurget och Roger Bigonnet de årliga operafestspelen, som huvudsakligen försiggår på friluftsscenen på gården till ärkebiskopens palats. Mozarts operor utgör kärnan i repertoaren, men även klassiska franska verk och sällsynta operor uppförs. Dirigenten Hans Rosbauds namn var i flera år knutet till festspelen och senare har en rad berömda sångare lagt grunden till sin världsberömmelse i Aix-en-Provence, bl.a. Teresa Berganza, Grazielle Sciutti, Teresa Stich-Randall och Léopold Simoneau.