The world’s oldest opera festival, the Chorégies d’Orange, was created in 1869 and relaunched in 1971 in its current format. Every evening of its summer programme, 8,000 opera and classical music lovers throng the tribunes of Provence’s ancient Roman Theatre in Orange. The setting of this prestigious festival is no accident – acoustics at this venue are outstanding because of its immense backwall, which is the only stage wall to survive among Roman theatres built in Europe.
For this 150th anniversary of the festival, new director Jean-Louis Grinda has devised a programme around uncommon works and acclaimed artistes, with a few surprises thrown in for good measure. Among the many treats in store are the very first performance at a festival of Rossini’s opera William Tell; a production by Davide Livermore of Mozart’s Don Giovanni – returning to the Roman Theatre of Orange after a 40-year absence; Mahler’s Symphony No. 8 – known as the “Symphony of a Thousand” – performed by the Radio France Philharmonic Orchestra, the French National Orchestra, and the Radio France Choir and Maîtrise (choir school); plus a Spanish Night with tenor Placido Domingo and the Monte Carlo Philharmonic Orchestra. Anna Netrebko and Yusif Eyvazov will perform beautiful arias and duets from Italian opera during a gala performance at the Roman Theatre.
Finally, techno pioneer Jeff Mills will bring his distinctive sound to this venerable ancient edifice together with the Avignon Provence Regional Orchestra on 11 July. A programme of epic, eclectic, and joyous music to look forward to.
Contact: Sarah Bouchez
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