In cooperation with world renown conductor Esa-Pekka Salonen, the equally world renown Philharmonia Orchestra, polar prize laureate Peter Sellars and a number of eminent fellow artists, Orphei Drängar (OD) have participated in two sold out concerts of Igor Stravinsky’s Oedipus Rex at the international opera festival of Aix-en-Provence.
“A true milestone in the long history of Orphei Drängar” says Folke Alin, choirmaster for the production and deputy conductor of Orphei Drängar. “Artistically a very big success for the first fully professional theatrical production that OD has ever participated in.”
The atmosphere during the opening night was very special, due to the terrorist attack that took place in Nice the night before. Both concerts began with a minute of silence to honor the victims.
In addition to Oedipus Rex, another work by Stravinsky, the “Symphony of Psalms” also was performed together with the ladies from two Stockholm based choirs – the Gustav Sjökvist’s Chamber Choir and the Sofia Vocal Ensemble. The fact that Stravinsky wrote the Symphony of Psalms in Nice added to the intense atmosphere.
OD has collaborated with maestro Esa-Pekka Salonen on a number of previous occasions, including concert performances of Oedipus Rex. When the world renown conductor presented the choir with the opportunity to also participate in a theatrical production, the answer was obvious.
“To work with Peter Sellars and Esa-Pekka Salonen is something quite unique that everyone should have the opportunity to experience. Some days the wear on your body and your vocal cords has been excessive, but all in all the project has brought nothing but pure joy – all the way from the first rehearsal day in Uppsala in the spring and onwards” says Magnus Sjögren, first tenor and president of Orphei Drängar.
The Opera Festival in Aix-en-Provence is held every year in July since 1948 and is always kept at the highest international standard.
For more info see the festival’s website.
Orphei Drängar participated on stage from the first minute, not leaving it until the final tones had faded out. With almost no exceptions all the choral parts were choreographed by mr Sellars. A recording of the entire production can be viewed