Monday, July 4, 2011

Festival at Chorégies d'Orange: Aida for the people

One of the temples of traditionalism in opera is the Festival at Chorégies d'Orange. Every year they propose two new productions, each performed twice, with one of them live broadcast on the French national TV, which is why the Festival is so well known in France.

Even though the productions are almost always quite shallow, the singing at Chorégies is steadily great.

This year the festival celebrates its 40th anniversary with two operas by Verdi on the program:

  • July 9 and July 12: Aida [dir- Charles Roubaud, cnd- Tugan Sokhiev (Orchestre National du Capitole de Toulouse), cast: Indra Thomas, Ekaterina Gubanova, Carlo Ventre, Andrzej Dober, Giacomo Prestia, Mikhail Kolelishvili, Julien Dran]
  • July 30 and August 2nd: Rigoletto [dir- Paul-Emile Fourny, cnd- Roberto Rizzi-Brignoli (Orchestre National de France), cast: Patrizia Ciofi, Leo Nucci, Vittorio Grigolo, Mikhail Petrenko, Marie-Ange Todorovitch, Cornelia Oncioiu, Roberto Tagliavini, Stanislas de Barbeyrac]
The site is a beautifully preserved old Roman Theater that can host about 9000 people. If there is no much wind the acoustics is astonishing. 

The opera to be live TV broadcast this time is Aida, with our top-fave Ekaterina Gubanova and --when in form-- excellent Indra Thomas, among others. As you know by now, Aida is not my cup of tea --especially when prepared by Mr. Roubaud-- but Tugan Sokhiev should make it musically more interesting than it actually is (am I being bad for saying this?!)

Ah yes, information is missing: Aida, live from Chorégies d'Orange on France2-TV on Tuesday, July 12th at 21:40 (cet) 

1 comment:

  1. OK...I was there and it is SOMETHING! Imagine a concert hall with 9000 spectators, a lovely summer night outside with a gentle breeze...and NOT A SOUND. No coughs, cell phones, chatter. The Aida was mediocre but the venue is the greatest. They use no amplification and every seat has perfect view and sound. The Romans really understood how to build a theater. With the 'luck of the draw' we got rained out but NOT BEFORE the Procession. They stopped the performance twice but gave up as the orchestra didn't want wet instruments. I heard no negative comments. Well, maybe somebody mentioned a poor value for the $250 seat price.