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The Rake's Progress

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Théâtre de l'Archevêché26 Rue Gaston de Saporta, Aix-en-Provence, Provence-Alpes-Côte d'Azur, 13100, France
2017 July 05, 07, 11, 14, 18 at 22:00
Festival: Festival D'Aix en Provence
Performers
Eivind Gullberg JensenConductor
Simon McBurneyDirector
Michael LevineSet Designer
Christina CunninghamCostume Designer
Julia BullockSopranoAnne Trulove
Paul ApplebyTenorTom Rakewell
Kyle KetelsenBaritoneNick Shadow
Andrew WattsCountertenorBaba the Turk
David PittsingerBassTrulove
Hilary SummersAltoMother Goose
Alan OkeTenorSellem
Gerard McBurneyDramaturgy
Paul AndersonLighting Designer
Will DukeVideo Artist
English Voices
Orchestre de Paris

After settling in the United States after World War II, Igor Stravinsky discovered the series of paintings known as A Rake’s Progress by the English painter, William Hogarth. The paintings retrace the dissolute life of a libertine in eighteenth century England in powerfully realistic, satirical detail. Stravinsky decided to turn it into an opera. The libretto by Auden and Kallman embellishes the story narrated by Hogarth by adding the Mephistophelian figure of Nick Shadow, the damned soul of the reprobate Tom Rakewell. Following a journey that takes him from the brothel to the auction house, the libertine finally ends up in the madhouse. Stravinsky adopts the codes of eighteenth-century opera to score this enlightenment-era narrative. But the musical language, while evoking the memory of Mozart, also tips a nod to Rossini, Verdi and Handel, whose aesthetic he “unfolds” in a musical cubism that has lost none of its acerbity. The major contemporary playwright Simon McBurney repaints this “rake's progress”, while Daniel Harding strips back the multiple layers that Stravinsky has stacked up in his score, somewhere between amused distance and genuine emotion.

Paul Appleby (Tom), Hilary Summers (Mother Goose) and Chorus © Pascal Victor | Artcompress
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