Festival d’Aix-en-Provence Announces 2014 Opera Season

By Louise Burton on Dec 13, 2013 02:56 PM EST

It's that time of year when summer music festivals begin announcing their upcoming 2014 seasons. As winter settles in across the country, it's fun to look through these summer brochures and daydream about concerts under the stars.

Today, I received an announcement of a festival that sounds particularly appealing: the Festival d'Aix-en-Provence. This summer opera festival will unfold in extraordinary settings and historical venues, many of them open-air, in and around the picturesque ancient Provençal city of Aix.

Highlights of the 2014 season include two world premiere productions of historical operas, Handel's Ariodante and Rossini's Il Turco in Italia (The Turk in Italy). Ariodante is staged by London-born director Richard Jones, whose uncompromising--and sometimes controversial--productions of such operas as Anna Nicole and Queen of Spades have earned him an international reputation. Ariodante will have six performances at the emblematic Théâtre de l'Archevêché, with the Freiburger Barockorchester under the baton of Andrea Marcon.

The Festival's production of Il Turco in Italia will be directed by award-winning New York native Christopher Alden, who has frequently expressed his desire to connect opera stories to the modern sensibility of younger audiences. He is known for his contemporary stagings of such traditional works as his celebrated production of Handel's Partenope for Opera Australia. Il Turco in Italia features French conductor Marc Minkowski leading his ensemble, Les Musiciens du Louvre-Grenoble, for eight performances at the Théâtre de l'Archevêché.

The Festival will also welcome a new production of Mozart's The Magic Flute. Director Simon McBurney's spectacular new staging debuted to critical acclaim at its Nederlandse Opera premiere in 2012 and this fall at the English National Opera. McBurney is the award-winning writer, founder and artistic director of England's Théâtre de Complicité (now Complicite). Pablo Heras-Casado will lead the Freibruger Barockorchester in 10 performances of The Magic Flute, to be given in the Grand Théâtre de Provence.

The Festival d'Aix-en-Provence will run from July 2 to July 23, 2014. More information about the Festival's 2014 season is available at

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TagsFestival d’Aix-en-Provence, Handel, Ariodante, Rossini, Il Turco in Italia, Mozart, The Magic Flute, Richard Jones, Freiburger Barockorchester, Andrea Marcon, Christopher Alden, Simon McBurney

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