Festival d’Aix-En-Provence Announce 2018 Season

By Francisco Salazar
The Festival d’Aix-en-Provence has announced its 70th anniversary season.
This season the company will present six full-scale opera productions with a number of international artists from July 4 to July 24, 2018.
Among those productions are two new world premieres. The first “Orfeo & Majnun,” which opens on June 24. The opera will be sung in English, French, and Arabic by baritone Yoann Dubruque and soprano Judith Fa and Middle Eastern artists Jean Chahid and Nai Barghouti, both known for performances blending the traditions of east and west. The work co-produced and commissioned by La Monnaie/De Munt (Belgium), Valletta 2018 Foundation (Malta), Konzerthaus (Austria), Rotterdam Opera Days (Netherlands), Krakow International Festival (Poland) and Santa Maria de Feira (Portugal). Airan Berg and Martina Winkel will direct the work.
The second world premiere will be new wave Czech composer Ondřej Adámek’s a capella opera “Seven Stones.” It will mark the composer’s first opera and features four solo vocalists and a twelve-member choir. French baritone Nicolas Simeha stars in the new production, which will be directed by Éric Oberdorff. The work was commissioned by Festival d’Aix-en-Provence and the Académie du Festival. “Seven Stones” makes its world premiere on July 7.
The season will also see a new production of Strauss’ beloved masterpiece “Ariadne auf Naxos” directed by Katie Mitchell. The opera will star Lise Davidsen in the title role as well as beloved coloratura Sabine Devieilhe as Zerbinetta. Eric Cutler rounds out the cast as Bacchus. The new production is a co-production of Théâtre des Champs-Élysées and Les théâtres de la Ville de Luxembourg. 
Prokofiev’s “The Fiery Angel” will also get a new production directed by acclaimed Polish helmer Mariusz Treliński. Lithuanian soprano Ausrine Stundyte and American baritone Scott Hendricks star while Kazushi Ono conducts the Orchestra de Paris. Treliński’s production is a co-production with the Festival d’Aix-en-Provence and the Teatr Wielki-Polish National Opera. The opera opens on July 5. 
The final new production will be Purcell’s “Dido and Aeneas.” Václav Luks conducts the work in a new production by Vincent Huguet. Opening on July 7, the opera stars Kelebogile Pearl Besong as Dido and baritone Tobias Greenhalgh as Aeneas.
The festival will also present a revival of Simon McBurney’s “The Magic Flute.” Conducted by Raphaël Pichon with his Ensemble and Choir Pygmalion, the opera will star Dimitry Ivashchenko as Sarastro, tenor Stanislas de Barbeyrac as Tamino and Kathryn Lewek in her signature role as the Queen of the Night. The opera opens on July 6.