Press The Monster in the Maze

Press Review – The Monster in the Maze– Festival d’Aix en Provence – July 2015

The press is unanimous!

French press acclaimed the two performances of The Monster in the Maze at the Festival d’Aix. Read here some extracts from the main newspaper present on this occasion.

“One had to be ingenious to organize the acting of 300 choristers, and Marie-Eve Signeyrole found her way to it by using video, her first love. (…) This myth that one may have thought old-fashioned, finds here an astonishing topicality in [her] interpretation, which also includes some poetry and humor. As for the choristers, children, teenagers and adults, no doubt they found energy in the performance of the London Symphony Orchestra and the Youth Mediterranean Orchestra, directed by Sir Simon Rattle : to have amateurs and professionals work together, it works! (…) It’s a pity the Festival did only schedule two performances…” La Provence / Nadia Tighidet

“There was great emotion last Wednesday and Tuesday at the Grand Théâtre de Provence. (…) The choruses have dedicated themselves to this project since last fall, with a commitment of every moment for a mind-blowing result. (…) The display is impressive and smart. (…) The show was worth the travel, for the artists’ quality as much as for the emotion provoked.”La Marseillaise / Patrick di Maria

“The good surprise of the Festival may come from this “monster”, invented as a vector synthesizing various lines of  Bernard Foccroulle’s direction in Aix: the balance between a local and educational anchorage, an opening to the Mediterranean, and a requirement of continuous excellency? At the end of the French creation of The Monster in the Maze, an opera by Jonathan Dove, one can say it was a successful gamble. (…) The mass effects are visually superb (…). The sound texture, contemporary, is spectacular, and exposes a language where choristers and professional soloists share polyphony (…). The breath is of an epic kind… and everything focuses on the stick of Sir Simon Rattle, apparently delighted to participate in this unique experience!” Zibeline

“Impulsed by Sir Simon Rattle, whose talent to combine musical excellence and social action is well-known, the project unites prestigious phalanxes of young professional musicians and amateurs. (…) The score by Jonathan Dove obeys the imperatives of the exercise – a modernity curving into often consonant modalities of vocal lines, doubled by the instruments – but succeeds in creating a true musical pattern, dense and regular: from whisper to collective clamor, not to forget the three opera singers and a speaking role. Voice is richly expressive, just as the orchestral language, conjugating explosion and poetry, violence and freedom. (…) With a rigorous relevance, director Marie-Eve Signeyrole actualizes the sacrifice of the Greeks… but very judiciously, in an other direction, more universal: that of the tyrannies crushing the people, of the victims “offered” to a predatory economy, of the forced emigrations which, between flight and amputation, make the Mediterranean a sea cemetery for the defeated people. (…) The public makes no mistake about it, and offers a warm welcome to this production as generous in its meaning as it is powerful in its realization.” L’Avant-Scène Opéra / Chantal Cazaux

“One dreams that numerous operas may find a libretto as captivating, able to reactivate a myth in a clear language and to make it echo with today’s world. (…) In unison with this magnificent production, Simon Rattle sets fire to the music coming out of the pit and reveals himself a perfect guide for the whole of the singers, particularly enthusiastic to applaud. All can be proud of the work done.”