France’s #1 opera festival falls to Coronavirus

France’s #1 opera festival falls to Coronavirus


norman lebrecht

April 16, 2020

The Aix-en-Provence Festival has held out to the last minute before cancelling today.

Here’s a message from its director, Pierre Audi:

Dear festival-goers,

The instructions announced by the president of France on April 13 will, unfortunately, not allow the 72nd Festival d’Aix-en-Provence and its pre-festival, Aix en Juin, to proceed as planned from 6 June to 18 July 2020, and compel us to cancel all public performances.
This decision was very difficult for us to take; but above all, it was necessary to guarantee the safety of our audiences, our artists and the Festival team.

We are studying the possibility, if conditions permit, of offering a presence for the Festival and its 2020 productions through online streaming services.
The cancellation of a festival like Aix deprives the public of a unique opportunity to experience live the result of years of creativity by artists from all disciplines working closely with the teams of the festival to provide a celebration of music and theatre like no other.

We must also ensure the continuity of the Festival for future years, as this future is currently at risk. We have therefore created a Support Fund for the Festival d’Aix-en-Provence to this end.