Festival d’Aix-en-Provence 2024 Review: Lea Desandre + Thomas Dunford

 (Photo credit: Julien Benhamou) Let’s talk about chemistry. Cher and Sonny had it; so did Joey and Chandler. And, nowadays, the duo with the most chemistry in classical music is French-Italian mezzo-soprano Lea Desandre and French lutenist Thomas Dunford (D+D for the fans). The concert was extremely solar, gleeful, and gay, reflecting their bright partnership. Their youthful joyfulness even brightened {…}

Festival d’Aix-en-Provence 2024 Review: Madama Butterfly

(Photo credit: © Ruth Walz) Puccini in Aix-en-Provence is not an obvious combination, and it was not until 2019 with Christophe Honoré’s “Tosca” production that Lucca’s maestro made his debut in the festival. It was an ultra-revisionist “Tosca”: two primissime donne on the stage, several videoclips, and many other bold choices. It was glorious and thought-provoking. Therefore, expectations for a “Madama {…}