Aix-en-Provence stages opera festival

6th July 2004, Comments 0 comments

AIX-EN-PROVENCE, France, July 5 (AFP) - Thousands of opera aficionados are expected to flock to southern France from Monday, when the international lyric arts festival - interrupted last year by protests - opens in Aix-en-Provence.

AIX-EN-PROVENCE, France, July 5 (AFP) - Thousands of opera aficionados are expected to flock to southern France from Monday, when the international lyric arts festival - interrupted last year by protests - opens in Aix-en-Provence.

The prestigious Aix festival was set to begin with a new production of Serge Prokofiev's "The Love for Three Oranges", to be performed five times in Russian through July 13.

Organizers - burned last year when French performing arts workers angry over government plans to revamp their unemployment benefits interrupted the fest - said they were "reasonably optimistic" this year's event would run smoothly.

 In mid-June, festival officials said 77 percent of the 40,000 seats on offer had been sold - a slight drop from previous years, a fact they attributed to hesitation among foreign tourists after last year's disruptions.

The festival - one of the world's most acclaimed opera fests along with Bayreuth, Salzburg and Glyndebourne - will also feature the world premiere of Japanese composer Toshio Hosokawa's work "Hanjo".

The English-language opera, based on a classic Japanese Noh, is the story of a former geisha who loses her mind while waiting for her lover to come back to her.

Also on the calendar in Aix-en-Provence are performances of Verdi's "La Traviata", Handel's "Hercules" and Mozart's "The Abduction from the Seraglio".

The festival runs through July 31.

 

© AFP

 

Subject: French news

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