Sunday, August 14, 2022

ADF’s Co-production of Resurrection  Opens France’s Popular Festival d’Aix-en-Provence

Co-produced with Festival d’Aix-en-Provence, the spectacular new production inaugurated the international music festival which runs until 23 July.

Abu Dhabi, UAE: As part of its abroad programme, Abu Dhabi Festival 2022 partnered with France’s leading Festival d’Aix-en-Provence to produce Resurrection, a new operatic staging by the visionary Italian director Romeo Castellucci inspired by Gustav Mahler’s celebrated Symphony No. 2. 

The spectacular work opened the popular Festival d’Aix-en-Provence on 4 July at the iconic Stadium de Vitrolles.


Following the success of Castelluci’s Requiem at the Festival in 2019, the director returned for yet another unique operatic production which features a line-up of world-renowned performing artists and musicians led by France’s premier orchestra, Orchestre de Paris, with its 180-member chorus helmed by famed Finnish conductor Esa-Pekka Salonen. 

This will be the second collaboration between Abu Dhabi Festival and the orchestra which performed on two separate occasions at Emirates Palace in 2016 under Grammy Award-winning conductor Paavo Järvi. 

The opening performance of Resurrection also saw the Festival d’Aix-en-Provence debut of soprano Golda Schultz and mezzo-soprano Marianne Crebassa.


Resurrection is a fitting opening to Festival d’Aix-en-Provence, for which the theme this year according to Festival Director Pierre Audi, is Trial and Rebirth— “to undergo an ordeal, overcome it, and rise again”.  The motif runs through the venue as well, with the once-abandoned Stadium de Vitrolles given new life for the astounding production.

Reflecting on the significance of the production as pandemic restrictions ease, H.E. Huda Alkhamis-Kanoo, Founder of the Abu Dhabi Music & Arts Foundation (ADMAF) and Founder and Artistic Director of Abu Dhabi Festival, said: “Abu Dhabi Festival’s co-production of Resurrection with Festival d’Aix-en-Provence, one of the world’s leading international music festivals, reflects our commitment to partnering with the world to expand Abu Dhabi’s contributions on the global stages of the most historic cultural institutions.

Resurrection is a fitting opening to Festival d’Aix-en-Provence, for which the theme this year according to Festival Director Pierre Audi, is Trial and Rebirth— “to undergo an ordeal, overcome it, and rise again”. 

“We are proud to have played a part in presenting the innovative opening work of Festival d’Aix-en-Provence directed by the acclaimed Romeo Castellucci and inspired by Gustav Mahler’s most celebrated symphony, under this year’s theme of Trial and Rebirth. 

“The exceptional new operatic staging comes as the world experiences its very own renewal following the stifling restrictions brought upon by the pandemic. The compelling music of the world-renowned Orchestre de Paris, which has performed before on the stages of Abu Dhabi Festival in 2016, conducted by Esa-Pekka Salonen, is sure to bring audience members together for an unforgettable experience, and will undoubtedly bring new life to the iconic Stadium de Vitrolles”.


Commenting on the partnership with Abu Dhabi Festival, Director Pierre Audi said: “We are pleased to partner with Abu Dhabi Festival to give audiences at Festival d’Aix-en-Provence the chance to experience Romeo Castellucci’s visionary staging of Resurrection 

The production of such an ambitious project is made possible thanks to our vital partnerships, and Abu Dhabi Festival has played a key role in supporting the presentation of the imaginative new work that inaugurates the Festival”.


ADMAF’s Abu Dhabi Festival Abroad Programme is dedicated to contributing to world-class content at venerable institutions around the world through co-commissions and co-productions, advocating for cultural diplomacy and fostering mutual understanding between nations.


H.E. Hend Al Otaiba, Ambassador of the UAE to France, called Abu Dhabi Festival’s co-production of Resurrection, “an exceptional project in the rich history of international partnerships by ADMAF and a thrilling example of the leadership of France and the UAE in cultural diplomacy.”


Among the numerous events of the abroad programme of the 19th edition of Abu Dhabi Festival 2022, held under the theme Crafting the Emirates State of Mind: Creation, Innovation & Joy, was a co-production of the recent world-premiere of De Scheherazade A Yo, Carmen by renowned flamenco dancer María Pagés at the Gran Teatre Del Liceu in Barcelona. 

In October, the world premiere of Giuseppe Verdi’s famed Aida opera, yet another phenomenal production featuring an all-star lineup, will take place at Madrid’s Teatro Real.


Resurrection was performed five times at Festival d’Aix-en-Provence on 4, 7, 10, 11 and 13 July. The international music festival takes place every year in July. This year’s Festival runs until 23 July. More information about the Festival d’Aix-en-Provence 2022 programme can be found on the Festival’s website. For more information about Abu Dhabi Festival and its abroad programme visit



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