The 2019 Festival International d’Art Lyrique d’Aix-en-Provence has kicked off in style this month featuring a wonderful variety of favourite works and new productions, with some well-known AH faces making appearances.
Siobhan Stagg makes her festival debut this year singing the soprano role of Mozart’s Requiem alongside Sara Mingardo, Martin Mitterrutzner and Luca Tittoto in a colourful new production conceived by director Romeo Castellucci and conductor Raphaël Pichon. This vibrant, staged interpretation of Mozart’s unfinished final work will feature choreography by Evelin Facchini, with each section being separated by a mixture of Gregorian chant and rare Mozart pieces, performed by Pygmalion. Performances of Requiem run until 19 July and you can check the video below for an insight into this exciting new production (subtitles available in English).
Siobhan will reunite with Pygmalion for two concert performances on 11 and 17 July, again conducted by Raphaël Pichon. Across the two concerts, Siobhan will present three Mozart concert arias, including “Bella mia fiamma, addio!”, “Vado, ma dove?” and “Chi sà, chi sà, qual sia”.
Following a world premiere with the New York Philharmonic last month, Alan Oke returns to Aix to perform the role of Fatty in Kurt Weill’s satirical Rise and Fall of the City of Mahagonny. This is a role which Alan has performed on numerous occasions and will return to with Dutch National Opera next season. Performances of Mahagonny run until 15 July and you can find more details here.
SopranoMiah Persson returns to the role of The Woman in Michel van der Aa’s Blank Out, which receives its French premiere at this year’s festival. First performed in Amsterdam in 2016, this work aims to push back the frontiers of opera; featuring video, 3D effects and passages of prerecorded music. Following the work’s debut, Andrew Clements of The Guardian praised Miah’s performance:
“the live performance is an astonishing tour de force for Persson, meticulous in its detail, and perfectly controlled.”
Dame Sarah Connolly will return this year’s festival on 13 July to appear with the Orchestre de Paris for a performance of Mahler’s seminal Das Lied von der Erde, alongside tenor Andreas Schager and conductor Ingo Metzmacher. The suite, consisting of six symphonic lieder, was inspired by ancient Chinese poems and is a beautiful distillation on the earth, nature, the passing of time, solitude and farewell. Still ahead for Sarah’s 2018/19 season includes recitals at Ryedale Festival and Wigmore Hall, the later accompanied by Malcolm Martineau, and an appearance at the BBC Proms. Sarah will then open her 2019/20 season as Orpheus in Gluck’s Orpheus and Eurydice with English National Opera.
To close her 2018/19 season, Julie Fuchswill be joined by regular accompanist Alphonse Cemin on 16 July for a recital demonstrating her eclectic tastes and unique versatility, performing a range of works from Debussy and Poulenc to Cole Porter and Björk. Julie will then go on to open her 2019/20 season at the Opéra de Paris performing the role of Fatime in a new production of Jean-Philippe Rameau’s Les Indes galantes.
Details of all performances at this year’s festival can be found here.