Mozart: Idomeneus, King of CreteAix-en-Provence Festival 2022

The prisoner of a promise made to Neptune, King Idomeneus is faced with a cruel dilemma... From the Théâtre de l’Archevêché, the most romantic of Mozart’s operas, directed by Satoshi Miyagi and conducted by Raphaël Pichon, with soprano Sabine Devieilhe, promises to be the operatic event of the 2022 Aix festival season.

The Trojan War has just ended, and the ruler of Crete sets sail to return to his kingdom, where his son Idamante awaits him. There, the Trojan Ilia, daughter of King Priam, whose life Idamante has saved, is being kept prisoner by him. They have both fallen in love, much to the despair of Electra, who dreams of winning the heart of the young prince. Caught in a fierce storm, Idomeneus promises the god Neptune that he will sacrifice the first man he sees on land if he escapes the shipwreck. When he arrives safely, it is Idamante, his own son, who comes forward to welcome him...

An auspicious start
Idomeneus, King of Crete, which is regarded as first of Mozart’s mature operas, came into being in the most auspicious circumstances. For its premiere, in 1781 at the Cuvilliés Theatre in Munich, the Austrian composer had the benefit of a plethora of outstanding performers: the best orchestra in the world, so it was said, but also exceptional singers, ballet dancers and choir. Yet Mozart’s first great operatic success – inspired by the ancient myth of Idomeneus, which had been popularised by a tragedy by Crébillon in 1705 – is far from being the most frequently performed on stages around the world.

On the billing only for the third time at the Aix-en-Provence Festival, it is clearly one of the unmissable highlights of the 2022 season. After Requiem, in 2019, the charismatic Raphaël Pichon will once again conduct the Pygmalion orchestra and choir in the courtyard of the Théâtre de l’Archevêché, which provides an unparalleled setting for a brilliant vocal cast, including tenor Michael Spyres (Idomeneus), soprano Sabine Devieilhe (Ilia), mezzo-soprano Anna Bonitatibus (Idamante) and soprano Siobhan Stagg (Electra). Building on his triumphs at the Avignon Festival (Mahabharata in 2014 and Antigone in 2017), Satoshi Miyagi, here making his European operatic debut, promises to intertwine the romantic echoes of ancient Greece and the visual aesthetics of contemporary Japan, in a production that promises to be unforgettable. 

Recorded on 15 July 2022 at the Théâtre de l’Archevêché in Aix-en-Provence.


François-René Martin


  • Michael Spyres

  • Anna Bonitatibus

  • Sabine Devieilhe

  • Nicole Chevalier

  • Linard Vrielink

  • Krešimir Špicer

  • Alexandros Stavrakakis


Sophie Blet, Idir Chatar, Apolline Di Fazio, Anaïs Michelin, Yumi Osanai


Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart


Satoshi Miyagi

Music director

Raphaël Pichon






Akiko Kitamura


Giambattista Varesco


Junpei Kiz


Kayo Takahashi Deschene


Yukiko Yoshimoto


Saskia de Ville






167 min


From 10/05/2023 to 15/01/2024


Performance Art

In partnership with

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