Pelléas et Mélisande at the Festival d'Aix-en-Provence

Pelléas et Mélisande festival d'aix en provence tickets
Grand Théatre de Provence

Show ended

French surtitled in English (See the page)


Grand Théatre de Provence
380 avenue Max Juvénal, 13100 Aix-en-Provence
Capacity 1350 seats


3 h 15 min

With intermission



For all audiences

In French with French and English surtitles

Highlights: Pelléas et Mélisande at the Festival d'Aix-en-Provence

In the eternal pursuit of innovation, fresh new ideas, and creativity, the programmes of the annual Festival d’Art Lyrique rarely repeat shows from year to year. It takes a truly poignant piece, rich with poetic vision, to leave such an impact that this legendary festival in Aix-en-Provence should consider showing it for yet another iteration.


Such is the exceptional case of the marvellous 2016 production of Debussy’s Pelléas et Mélisande, directed by the British artist Katie Mitchell, as the Festival d’Art Lyrique d’Aix-en-Provence welcomes this excellent piece back for yet another year! Returning to the stage of the Grand Théâtre de Provence with a largely renewed cast in tow, revisit this lyrical drama as the talented artists pay tribute to Debussy’s exquisite work. British baritone Huw Montague Rendall assumes the titular role of Pelléas with striking ferocity, alongside co-star and American soprano Julia Bullock as Mélisande, Vincent Le Texier as Arkel, Lucile Richardot as Geneviève, Emma Feketee as Yniold, and Thomas Dear.


Susanna Mälkki's subtle musical direction at the helm of the Orchestre de l'Opéra de Lyon is an added bonus to this deeply moving dramatic piece. In five acts and twelve tableaux, delight and marvel at the work of these talented artists!

Story: Pelléas et Mélisande at the Festival d'Aix-en-Provence

Debussy’s Pelléas et Mélisande takes us to a mysterious and fantastical kingdom, in which Mélisande, alone and disoriented in the darkness of a forest, is discovered by Golaud, half-brother to the king. They soon marry, and she is taken to the castle of Allemonde, where inevitable conflict arises…
Struck by Mélisande’s beauty, Pelléas, the king’s son, falls deeply in love with her, and their relationship quickly becomes fraught with mystery and miscommunication. Golaud becomes seized with jealousy with suspicions of their relationship, and tensions rise as the characters are caught in a spiral of repressed feelings and unaddressed desires. Tensions reach boiling point when tragedy strikes when Golaud kills Pelléas in a fit of rage and Mélisande dies shortly afterwards, leaving behind a child.


Debussy's incomparable score underlines the drama with intensity, and creates a unique atmosphere alongside the unfolding events. Ethereal harmonies and melodies reflect the subtle tensions and complex emotions of the characters as they slowly succumb to their vices. Pelléas et Mélisande has been hailed for its strong characterization of human psychology, and superbly combines the richness of Maeterlinck's drama with Debussy's profoundly innovative musical sensibility. If you want to discover (or re-discover) a timeless and emotionally powerful work, then make sure you go to the Grand Théâtre de Provence in July and enjoy this astonishing production.


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Grand Théatre de Provence

380 avenue Max Juvénal, 13100 Aix-en-Provence

History and Fun Facts about the Grand Théâtre de Provence

Lovers of the lyric art form, rejoice — allow us to introduce you to your new favourite venue! Every summer since 2007, operatic fanatics have flocked from across the globe to the Grand Théâtre de Provence to revel in the sumptuous works of composers, both classical and contemporary, and to bear witness to exceptional productions as crafted by the most prominent directors in the opera and theatre scenes.


Ever since its construction at the gateway to the historic city of Aix-en-Provence - the south of France’s cultural pearl — the Grand Théâtre de Provence has stood as a paragon of musical showcasing. Enthusiasts and curious first-timers alike come here to discover (or revisit) the greatest operas in history.


Sprawling 20,000 square metres, the Grand Théâtre de Provence boasts 6,000 terraces, 1,382 seats, 10 rehearsal rooms, and a modular pit that can accommodate up to 105 musicians. This feat of architecture was designed by Italian architect Vittorio Gregotti, and was created with the aim of bringing music to all audiences - and, to this day, this is precisely what it does!


Every year during the world-famous Aix-en-Provence Festival, this historic venue comes alive as it throws its doors open to accommodate the beloved Festival d’Art Lyrique — a celebration of all things operatic, offering a veritable plethora of opera performances with exceptional stagings and magnificent scores.


Hosting around 100 performances a year, the Grand Théâtre de Provence is also a venue for artistic residences year-round, welcoming prestigious orchestras such as the Mahler Chamber Orchestra, the Orchestre National de France, and many others. Renowned artists such as Anne-Sophie Mutter, Hélène Grimaud, and Vadim Repin have also frequented its storied stage. This celebrated roster of visitors is certainly testament to its exceptional acoustics, not to mention its legacy of brilliance in the world of music and theatre.


The streets of Aix-en-Provence are paved with wonder and whimsy. Come summer, you'll love strolling through them, enjoying the cultural and natural sights, and of course paying a visit to the Grand Théâtre de Provence — France’s Mecca of lyric art — to hear the very best in opera!


Fast facts
Capacity: 1350
Handicap Accessible: Yes — please let us know at at the time of booking so that we can inform the theatre and accommodate to your needs the best we can.
Air conditioning: Yes
Heating: Yes
Coat Check: No


How do I get to Grand Théâtre de Provence in Aix-en-Provence?

The Grand Théâtre de Provence is located at 380 Avenue Max Juvénal in the charming town of Aix-en-Provence.
From the SNCF train station in the centre of Aix-en-Provence, you can walk to the Grand Théâtre de Provence in just 10 minutes through the picturesque streets of Aix-en-Provence. The centre of Aix-en-Provence is entirely pedestrianised.
From the TGV station, take the no. 40 bus to the bus station in the centre of town.
If you are coming by car, the Méjanes and Rotonde car parks are a 5-minute walk from the theatre.
In case of difficulty, our hotline can be reached during our business hours. Please see the footer of this page for our contact details.

What do I do when I get to the Grand Théâtre de Provence?

We invite you to arrive 30 minutes before the start of Pelléas et Mélisande, and present your ticket at reception. The staff of the Grand Théâtre de Provence will show you to your seats.
In accordance with the Vigipirate plan, security measures around Festival d'Aix-en-Provence performances have been reinforced. Bags will be searched and screened at the entrance to the Grand Théâtre de Provence.

How long does Pelléas et Mélisande last?

Pelléas et Mélisande lasts approximately 3 hours and 15 minutes, with an intermission.

Can I take photos during the performance of Pelléas et Mélisande?

In order not to disturb the artists on stage, and for the comfort of other guests, you are not permitted to photograph, film, or record the performance for the duration of Pelléas et Mélisande. As long as the performance is not currently in session, feel free to take a snapshot of the Grand Théâtre de Provence to remember your night out!

Is Pelléas et Mélisande accessible for an international audience or French speakers?

Both! The Grand Théâtre de Provence has been welcoming audiences from all over the world for 30 years. This opera Pelléas et Mélisande is sung in its original French version, and surtitles in both French and English are provided for audiences to enjoy in one of France’s most iconic venues.

Where will I be seated, and will I be able to see the surtitles properly?

At Grand Théâtre de Provence, there are a maximum of four categories available, each of which provide a comfortable view of the surtitles. The surtitles are projected centrally above and on either side of the stage.

Subtitles or “surtitles”?

Surtitles (also called supertitles) are the theatre equivalent of subtitles. That’s because in French, “sur” means “above”. At the Grand Théâtre de Provence, the text is projected both on the sides of the auditorium, and centrally directly above the stage.

Is there a dress code at the Grand Théâtre de Provence?

There is no specific dress code at the Grand Théâtre de Provence, but proper attire is appreciated.

Is there a coat check available at the Grand Théâtre de Provence?

At the Grand Théâtre de Provence, please note that you will NOT be able to leave your personal belongings in the cloakroom. In accordance with the Vigipirate plan, security measures around Festival d'Aix-en-Provence performances have been reinforced. Bags will be searched and screened at the entrance to the performance venue. Suitcases, backpacks, and bulky luggage will NOT be accepted inside the venue. All bottles such as sun cream, mosquito repellent, and deodorant will also be prohibited inside the venues.

Is tipping customary at Grand Théâtre de Provence in Paris?

At the Grand Théâtre de Provence, ushers do accept tips, but it's not common.

If I'm late, will I still be allowed into the show?

In the event of a delay, spectators will be allowed entrance to the theatre, but seating in the purchased category is not guaranteed.

I bought tickets for Pelléas et Mélisande and I haven’t received them yet. Is this normal?

Yes, it’s completely normal! Your order will first be created as a pre-booking so that the Festival d'Aix-en-Provence can assign your seat. You may see a pre-payment on your card, but rest assured that we will not charge your card until your reservation has been validated by the theatre. Once the reservation is confirmed, you will receive your ticket by email.
Due to the large number of requests that the Festival d'Aix-en-Provence has to manage, this process usually takes two business days, but can take up to six days maximum. After six days if your order has not been validated, it will be cancelled, the pre-charge will disappear, and you will not be charged.

How do I know if my seats are next to each other?

Tickets of the same category that are booked during the same purchase session in the same booking order on our website are always assigned side by side. To be sure of this, make sure all of your tickets are in the same category and are included in your shopping cart at the time of purchase.