Aix-en-Provence & Grand Théâtre

Aix-en-Provence, land of music

The Aix-en-Provence Easter Festival takes place for the most part in the Grand Théâtre de Provence, as well as the Théâtre du Jeu de Paume.

Since 2007 at the entrance to the historical part of Aix-en-Provence there has been a new building entirely dedicated to music: the Grand Théâtre de Provence.

With a floor surface of 20 000 m2 of which 6000 m2 are balconies and terraces, 1382 places, 10 rehearsal rooms including one that is 440 m2, an adaptable pit that can take up to 105 musicians: this exceptional building, designed by the Italian architect Vittorio Gregotti, takes its place as part of the big urban renewal project of the city of Aix-en-Provence: Sextius-Mirabeau. A new cultural forum will be part of this project including the Ballet Preljocaj's Pavillon Noir, the Cité du Livre, the Grand Théâtre de Provence and, in 2013, the new music and dance conservatory.

The Grand Théâtre de Provence puts on an average of 100 performances annually, it hosts artists-in-residence all year long (Orchestre Français des Jeunes, Les Siècles, Café Zimmermann...), and also opens up its studios and concert hall to the Festival d'Art lyrique d'Aix-en-Provence during May, June and July.

 

The raison d'être of the Grand Théâtre de Provence is to offer a location where music of all kinds can come together (symphonies, chamber music, jazz, opera, recitals, world music) and dance, open to the broadest possible public, seasoned music-lovers as well as newcomers, with a real emphasis on education.

 

The world's biggest artists are regularly invited to appear: after an inauguration by Jessye Norman, Anne-Sophie Mutter, Hélène Grimaud, Vadim Repin and many others have received warm applause in this concert hall. Orchestras such as the Mahler Chamber Orchestra, the Orchestre national de France, the Orchestre national de Lyon, the Orchestre de Paris, the Freiburger Barockorchester and the Concerto Köln, are programmed on a regular basis.

Certain huge dance performances have also taken the stage as the immense space is ideal for ballet: the Ballet Preljocaj, the Ballet de l'Opéra de Paris, the Merce Cunningham Dance Company... have all passed through these doors.

As part of the concert season, there are workshops and encounters open to all in order to encourage access to music. Throughout the year, the Grand Théâtre de Provence, with support from the association Assami, organises events to raise awareness of classical music for those in particular circumstances (jails, hospitals etc.). The knowledge base and success in doing so has enabled the Grand Théâtre de Provence to establish useful, long-term links with a number of great French artistic institutions including the Cité de la musique in Paris or Radio France, one of the Grand Théâtre de Provence's partners.