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Festival of Aix-en-Provence - Kyle Ketelsen unveils his diabolical side in "The Rake's progress"

Wednesday 5 July 2017

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Kyle Ketelsen a few days ago during a rehearsal of "The" Rake's progress "on the plateau of the Archbishop's Palace. (Photo Pascal Victor)

After 2010 and 2013 where he played Leporello and 2012, where he was Le Figaro des "Noces", Kyle Ketelsen found the Festival d'Aix-en-Provence to be Nick Shadow in the production of "  The Rake's progress  " Stravinsky debuted here in 2014. Relaxed, smiling, the American bass baritone lends itself readily to the game of questions and answers, persevering and putting a point of honor to answer in French. When asked if he does not want to buy a house in Aix-en-Provence, he is bursting with laughter: "  It's too expensive ...  ", he says , before adding: But it's a pleasure to come here because it allows my family to join me for a holiday. My fourteen-year-old daughter can then experience her French in small markets as well as in the restaurant and my wife can taste the rosé wine she loves ... In moderation! I prefer red.  For the second time in his career, Kyle Ketelsen embraced the role of demonic servant Nick Shadow in "  The Rake's Progress  ". The first time was in 2010 at the Covent Garden. "  I have waited for thirteen years of career to take on this role ," he says.This is not a beginner character. In fact, it is like Mephistopheles; and if that of Boito is more dramatic, here there are comic things. But finally it is very serious, it is the soul of a human being who is at stake ...  "This production of"  Rake's progress  "is also marked by the fact that it is the third opera directed by Simon McBurney . "  I know him through his work in the movies ," says Kyle Ketelsen,and it's interesting to find him here as a director. It is very particular in this function and the way it builds the relationships between the characters is very strong. During the first two weeks of work, where others would have alternated readings of text and scenography, he set up a common language to explain the movements and attitudes between us. We played theater without music, worked much on movements and movements, and at each session things were changed, not for the pleasure of modifying, but for advancing the whole, to move forward. When the piano rehearsal took place, it was a real gift, a reward for all the work done. "Festival-goers remember Kyle Ketelsen's performance in Don Giovanni by Dmitri Cherniakov in 2010 and 2013. He also remembers ..."  I am very happy when I work with Dmitri; and even if sometimes it makes me crazy, it makes me evolve in my acting. He's a maniac of detail, a bit like Simon McBurney.  "The American baritone could also have integrated the production of"  Carmen  "at the Grand Théâtre de Provence ..."  But becoming Escamillo for the 151st time interested me less than participating in Rake's.  " The good choice ? Answer in a few hours after the premiere of Stravinsky's opera at the Archbishop's Theater. 
Michel EGEA

"The Rake's Progress" by Igor Stravinski. Music Director: Eivind Gullberg Jensen; director: Simon McBurney; with Julia Bullock, Paul Appleby, Kyle Ketelsen, David Pittsinger, Hilary Summers, Andrew Watts, Alan Oke, Evan Hughes, English Voices and the Orchester de Paris. At the Theater of the Archbishopric on July 5, 7, 11, 14 and 18 at 10 pm. Reservations at the Boutique du Festival, Palais de l'Ancien Archevêché, Tel. 08 20 922 923 (12 cts / min)

<April 2021>


Stravinsky: Pulcinella
Berlioz: Lélio, Op. 14bis
Schumann: Scenes from Goethe's Faust
Haydn: Die Schöpfung, H 21 no 2 (Creation)

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