Mozart and Wagner on menu for Aix festival

28th June 2006, Comments 0 comments

PARIS, June 28, 2006 (AFP) - Opera fans will flock to southern France from Sunday for the international lyric arts festival, which this year pays homage to both Mozart and Cezanne as well performing Wagner for the first time.

PARIS, June 28, 2006 (AFP) - Opera fans will flock to southern France from
Sunday for the international lyric arts festival, which this year pays homage
to both Mozart and Cezanne as well performing Wagner for the first time.

The prestigious Aix-en-Provence festival, now in its 58th year, is taking
place as the southern French town marks the 100th centenary of the death of
its most famous son, the painter Paul Cezanne.

Places have already been snapped up for a free concert on Wednesday, July
5, in which British conductor Sir Simon Rattle will lead the Berlin
Philharmonic in Gustav Mahler's 5th Symphony at the foot of Cezanne's beloved
Mount Sainte-Victoire, which featured in more than 80 of his paintings.

'The Magic Flute' by Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart, who was born 250 years ago in
Salzburg, will also be performed by the Mahler Chamber Orchestra, directed by
Britain's Daniel Harding from July 3 to 22, when the festival closes.

But this year's festival, which will also be the last for director Stephane
Lissner, will be particularly noted for its first ever performances of Richard
Wagner's 'Ring Cycle.'

The four operas from the cycle will be performed at the Aix festival over
the next four years, with the first and shortest, 'The Rhinegold,' opening the
programme this year.

Four performances of 'The Rhinegold' will be staged by the Berlin
Philharmonic, conducted by Rattle, and directed by the Frenchman Stephane
Braunschweig at Aix on July 2, 4, 6 and 8. It will also be performed in
Salzburg next year.

"From the beginning of the Ring, we are not in something that represents
the world but in a projection of it. Everything is concentrated on the
characters, the gods, the dwarfs, the giants and in a simplified decor reduced
to three white walls," said Braunschweig.

He said he saw 'The Rhinegold' as "a space within a mind, with fantasies
and contradictions, marked by a difficult relationship with reality. (The god)
Woltan is a person who like a child wants to own everything."

Lissner, who took over as director general of the La Scala theatre in Milan
last year, steps down as the Aix festival director on January 1, 2007 after
being at the helm since 1998. He will be succeeded by the Belgian, Bernard
Foccroulle.

Copyright AFP

Subject: French News

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