Back in Switzerland and Moutier after 2 years since our Giulio Cesare. Stand'été is a summer festival taking place every other year in the 110 year old shooting stand of this Jura town. It always opens with opera, followed by a wide range of music and styles - this year Dee Dee Bridgewater and Michel Jonasz are invited, amongst Fado singers or rap groups.
The space is really quite magical, with incredible acoustics. And it's nice to be reunited with a large part of the creative team on Cesare, with Facundo Agudin conducting and Leandro Suarez on video creation.
Rehearsal time is concentrated here, which means 3 session days and full commitment from all involved. Lunch and dinner are served on communal tables after rehearsals, and we all get to spend time together socially as well as on stage.
I'm delighted to be reunited with Violetta Valery, my first opera love and a big reason I became obsessed with the artform. I directed Traviata for Iford a couple of years ago but I've gone for a very different approach here - Violetta is a silent movie star at the height of her career just before the advent of talkies. The whole opera takes place in a film studio which works very well in the Stand - pictures to follow.
Delighted also to be getting fantastic feedback from Intermezzo - I do miss the team, and more on that very soon!