A superb 2017 season is announced with the Orange Chorégies in the impressive setting of the Théâtre antique, the opera productions of the two absolute masterpieces of Verdi, Rigoletto and Aida, a beautiful Symphony No. 9 by Beethoven, a concert under the stars and plenty of evils incarnated by the priceless Bryn Terfel.
The famous Welsh baritone sings in recital the bad boys of his large repertoire with the Orchestre Philharmonique de Radio France led by the inventive Mikko Franck, offering varied roles as Mephistopheles in Gounod’s Faust, the Mefistofele of Boito, the terrible Scarpia by Tosca or the most surprising Mack the Knife in the Threepenny Opera and Sporting Life in Porgy and Bess. The same orchestra is this time directed by its former musical director, the always cherished Myung Whun Chung. The maestro’s leads Symphony No. 9 by Beethoven at a concert that brings together a quartet of high end soloists. Another great concert takes place under and in the stars. Holst’s The Planets is directed by James Feddeck during which new images from NASA are projected in the majestic decorum of the Roman Theatre. If the sky is clear that night (which surely it will be on August 4), the performance will be epic.
The two opera productions will probably know the same success as the perfect Madama Butterfly and La Traviata in 2016. To embody the hero of Verdi, the Chorégies have again appealed to an exceptional artist, Leo Nucci. Rigoletto is his role and it is recommended to hear or re-hear this first class singer mostly accompanied by the Gilda of reference (Nadine Sierra) together with a cast that measures up to the grandness of the star.
Likewise, Aida (the most frequent played opera in the ancient theater of Orange) is embodied by the largest holder of the role, fantastic Sondra Radvanovsky with her light pitched pianos. Aida, the masterpiece of Verdi, always demands for the greatest voices. What a joy to hear Marcelo Alvarez in Radamès! Mezzo Anita Rachvelishvili and baritone Quinn Kelsey perfectly complement the distribution and are well known to music lovers especially since the great triumph they experienced at the Paris Opera or La Scala in Milan.
An exceptional season 2017 where all performances are wonderful opportunities to (re) discover not only a mythical place with unique acoustic characteristics, but also an incredible atmosphere of a festival that is more alive than ever.