Carmen / Festival d’Aix-en-Provence

Financial Times

“Pablo Heras-Casado whips the Orchestra de Paris, which is in the first of its three years as resident orchestra in Aix, into a frenzy; his attention to detail, and the thrilling level of excellence, mirror what we see on the stage.”

Le Point

“Above all, carried by the sensitive direction of the Andalusian Pablo Heras-Casado, the Orchestra de Paris and the singers – marvelous Stéphanie d’Oustrac, as good an actress as a singer as Carmen, and Elsa Dreisig as Micaëla – take the opera to the summit of musicality.”

{Surtout, porté par la direction subtile de l’Andalou Pablo Heras-Casado, l’Orchestre de Paris et les chanteurs – merveilleuses Stéphanie d’Oustrac, aussi bonne actrice que chanteuse en Carmen, et Elsa Dreisig en Micaëla – emportent l’opéra vers des sommets de musicalité.}

Forum Opéra

“The Orchester de Paris fulfills its obligation perfectly under the baton of Pablo Heras-Casado, whose presence is justified not because he is Spanish but because he is a great conductor, which allows the singers the finesse of detail which helps one lose the tendencies, like this Seguuedille whispered by Stéphanie d’Oustrac, who directs an archi-complete version of the score, without the recitatives of Guiraud, but with all the melodramas and measures that we have too long denied Choudens.”

{L’Orchestre de Paris remplit parfaitement son contrat sous la baguette de Pablo Heras-Casado, dont la présence se justifie non parce qu’il est espagnol mais parce qu’il est un grand chef, qui permet aux chanteurs des finesses de détail dont on avait perdu l’habitude, comme cette séguedille chuchotée par Stéphanie d’Oustrac, et qui dirige une version archi-complète de la partition, sans les récitatifs de Guiraud mais avec tous les mélodrames et toutes les mesures dont nous a trop longtemps privés la version Choudens.}


“All of Seville was in the pit under the watchful eye of Pablo Heras-Casado, the Orchestre de Paris in ebullient form, particularly the ripe bassoons strutting the “Les dragons d’Alcala” entr’acte. Heras-Casado kept the pace flowing … there was plenty of vim in the bustling crowd scenes.”

Opera Today

“Conductor Pablo Heras-Casado gave corpus to the stage. It was orchestrally full-throated, forcing out always intense feeling, i.e. the ultimate emotional elaboration of every melody, and the uncovering of emotional depths by laying bare the inner workings of Bizet’s harmonies and structures (who knew they were so incredibly rich). He took the Seguidilla to impossible hysterical frenzy, rendered the third act idyll as intense uncertainty, promise and frustration. As Tcherniakov laid naked his victims, the maestro flayed their feelings.”


“The Orchestre de Paris brought detail, color, and verve to the score under Pablo Heras-Casado’s alert baton …”

Seen and Heard International

“Choral singing was excellent throughout, as was the incisive, often colourful – yet not unduly touristic – playing of the Orchestre de Paris. Heras-Casado seemed to me to make a great effort as collaborator, not simply as ‘conductor’. (We all play roles, but that does not mean we should not reconsider them.) There was, throughout, a keen sense of engagement with Tcherniakov: not necessarily simply mirroring, for that is certainly not what orchestra or conductor should be doing. Taken as a whole, the musical performances engaged with, enabled, and criticised the production; as it did them; as all did the work. Ladies, gentlemen, however we wish to define and perform ourselves: welcome, whether you like it or not, to musical drama. It comes alive when you least expect it.”

Pablo Heras-Casado is the Principal Guest Conductor of Teatro Real, Madrid, Conductor Laureate of the Orchestra of St. Luke’s and records for Deutsche Grammophon & harmonia mundi, as well as a Global Ambassador of Ayuda en Acción.


Photos: Fernando Sancho