Sir Simon Rattle to conduct the Estonian Philharmonic Chamber Choir

The Estonian Philharmonic Chamber Choir was once again invited to perform at the renowned Aix-en-Provence opera festival in France, this time for Alban Berg’s opera Wozzeck, conducted by Sir Simon Rattle, one of the world’s foremost conductors.

Alban Berg (1885–1935) completed Wozzeck, his opera in three acts in 1925. Festival d’Aix will stage five performances at the Grand Théâtre de Provence in Aix-en-Provence between 7 and 21 July; Simon McBurney, the English director, writer and actor was invited to stage it.

The international cast includes Christian Gerhaher, Malin Byström, Thomas Blondelle, Brindley Sherratt, Peter Hoare and is accompanied by the London Symphony Orchestra. Before the premiere, the Estonian Philharmonic Chamber Choir will have three weeks of rehearsals on site allowing the singers to get to grips with both the music and the stage presence and movements.

The festival values the choir

The Estonian Philharmonic Chamber Choir has previosuly been invited to the festival three times – in 2011, 2013 and 2021. In 2021, it participated in the world premiere of Kaija Saariaho’s opera, Innocence. “The festival values the choir as a noted interpreter of contemporary music and the festival’s director of communications, Jérôme Brunetière, has said the choir has been invited because of the quality performance that it guarantees,” a representative of the choir told Estonian World.

The Estonian Philharmonic Chamber Choir participating in Giuseppe Verdi’s opera “La Traviata” at the Aix-en-Provence festival in France in 2011. Photo by Pascal Victor/ArtComArt.

The Festival d’Aix-en-Provence is an annual international music festival which takes place each summer in Aix-en-Provence, a town of approximately 145,000 people, about 30 kilometres (20 miles) north of Marseille in southern France. Devoted mainly to opera, it also includes concerts of orchestral, chamber, vocal and solo instrumental music. The first festival took place in July 1948.

The British-German conductor, Sir Simon Denis Rattle, rose to international prominence during the 1980s and 1990s, while music director of the City of Birmingham Symphony Orchestra. Rattle was principal conductor of the Berlin Philharmonic from 2002 to 2018 and since 2017, has been the music director of the London Symphony Orchestra. Among the world’s leading conductors, in a 2015 Bachtrack poll, he was ranked by music critics as one of the world’s best living conductors.

Sir Simon Rattle. Photo by Monika Ritterhaus.

The Estonian Philharmonic Chamber Choir was founded by conductor Tõnu Kaljuste in 1981. In 2020, the choir was named by the BBC Music Magazine as one of the ten best choirs in the world.

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