Dubrovnik’s 61st Summer Festival

Dubrovnik Summer Festival
Dubrovnik Summer Festival

This summer from the 10th of July to the 25th of August Dubrovnik will host its 61st Summer Festival.  Following the tradition and on the occasion of the Festival of St Blaise, the Dubrovnik Festival concluded the previous festival season and announced the new one. Thus, a DVD dedicated to the Festival’s 60th anniversary was presented on 31st of January at Fort Revelin. It was also an opportunity for the presentation of the first Festival TV productions (On the Terrace and Acis and Galatea), which are ready for the media market.

Dora Ruždjak Podolski explains:

“While preparing the theatre programme we followed the key guidelines: the Dubrovnik ambience and the Festival Drama Ensemble gathering, which is a special kind of representation of the Croatian Theatre. The premieres will include Gogol’s play The Government Inspector, directed by the Slovenian theatre director Jernej Lorenci, and the play by the Croatian playwright and novelist Tomislav Zajec The Delivered, directed by the Zagreb theatre director Franka Perković. The Government Inspector by Nikolai Vasilyevich Gogol, the founder of the modern Russian realism, is a satirical play dealing with human nature and negative instances, but it is also a comedy of characters and situations.

“Modernity is actually the main reason for including The Government Inspector in the Festival programme. In spite of the time that passed after the play’s first performance, Gogol remained equally intriguing and actual ever since. He created characters that became the synonyms for human laziness, stupidity, selfishness, light-mindedness and corruption. A member of the Slovenian younger middle generation of theatre directors, Jernej Lorenci will undoubtedly explore the motifs and reasons why Gogol’s characters have become «grotesque monsters» of the modern time. By exposing them, he will again reach the human core, on his deductive way from the outside towards the inside.

“Tomislav Zajec’s play The Delivered (2009) is the last part of the trilogy, which also comprises the plays Dorothy Gale (2007) and The Astronauts (2008). An assistant lecturer at the Zagreb Academy of Theatre Arts, Tomislav Zajec (Zagreb, 1972) has published three collections of poetry and four novels, and has written eight original plays. The Rescued is a story of nine people who initially meet at the moment of a car accident. Precisely a year after that, we see them facing the consequences of the accident, but also of that what they are. The play depicts a profoundly personal struggle of each individual for finding a rescue within the frame of his own life. It reveals the fact of how lonely we have been in this struggle, and of this struggle being nevertheless familiar to all of us, yet painfully the same in is essence. Franka Perković was chosen to stage this play particularly for her ability to give the crude realistic form a poetic expression, along with her well-known «gently cruel» direction style. She has also successfully directed a number of plays by younger Croatian playwrights such as Ivana Sajko and Dubravko Mihanović, and has staged several plays by Miroslav Krleža in a modern and engaged manner.

“One could say that her «specialization» in the Croatian drama is a welcome novelty at the Festival. Still searching for appropriate venues for their plays, both theatre directors will make their debuts at the Dubrovnik Summer Festival and thus enrich its theatre programme.”

The repeat performances will include the last year’s premieres of Shakespeare’s Hamlet, directed by Ivica Kunčević and Vojnović’s one-act play On the Terrace, directed by Joško Juvančić, as well as the best performance in the Year of Marin Držić, The Miser, directed by Ivica Kunčević.

The rich and varied music programme continued the practice of featuring big orchestras both at the beginning and closing of the Festival. The programme will commence with the concert of the Zagreb Philharmonic and the Ivan Goran Kovačić Academic Choir directed by Ivan Repušić.

Maestro Repušić, the current Festival music director says:

“On 11 July, they will perform one of the best -known classical cantatas Carmina Burana in the memory of Maestro Vjekoslav Šutej. Owing to the outstanding interpretation of this piece, Maestro Šutej became renowned worldwide. As the former Festival music programme director, Vjekoslav Šutej – who conducted Carmina Burana at the Dubrovnik Festival as well – wished the piece to become a standard Festival programme item.

The Giuseppe Verdi Symphony Orchestra of Milan, the excellence of which is proved by Maestro Ricardo Chailly’s eight-year artistic directorship, will perform the closing Festival concert on 25 August. Both concerts will take place in front of St Blaise’s Church, the venue which symbolises the opening and closing of the Festival. Other outstanding concerts include two appearances of the corn player Radovan Vlatković with the Wiener Concert-Verein of Vienna, who will perform the works by W. A. Mozart and L. Sorkočević. Among other highlights are the baroque concerts of Händel’s and Vivaldi’s arias with the brilliant Croatian counter-tenor Max Emanuel Cenčić – who will thus make his Dubrovnik debut -, the piano recitals of Nikolai Lugansky and Boris Berezovsky and the lied recital of Zoran Todorovich, who will perform the pieces by Bellini and Puccini. Worth mentioning are the performances of the violinist Gilles Apap with the Zagreb Soloists, an intriguing duo – Stefan Milenkovich and Edin Karamazov, the Cellomania Ensemble with Monika Leskovar and Giovanni Solima, the Zagreb Saxophone Quartet and the returning Festival visitor the Dubrovnik Symphony Orchestra.

Maestro Repušić announced the continuation of the chamber opera tradition at the Festival, with Croatia’s first class performers. The world renowned singer Giorgio Surian, the Orlando Prize winner Valentina Fijačko and the Varaždin Chamber Orchestra will perform Pergolesi’s La Serva padrona and Telemann’s comic cantata Der Schulmeister under the baton of Tomislav Fačini.

In addition to the traditional performances of the folk ensembles Lado of Zagreb and Linđo of Dubrovnik, the Festival has prepared several off programmes.

61st Dubrovnik Summer Festival

10 July to 25 August 2010

www.dubrovnik-festival.hr

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Chopin Museum Renovation in Warsaw, Poland

Chopin
Chopin

Chopin Year 2010 will signal a number of important cultural events in Poland. One of the key events will be the opening of a new museum dedicated to the life and works of Frederic Chopin in Warsaw.  Work on renovating the old building which houses the museum began in 2005. The institution dedicated to collecting Chopin memorabilia, has been located in the historic Ostrogski Palace at 1, Okólnik Street in Warsaw (originally a castle founded at the end of the 17th century by Duke Janusz Ostrogski) for many years, but its redevelopment has completely changed the nature of the former museum. While particular care has been taken to preserve the long tradition of the institution, the museum has gained a new identity which will enable it to meet the different needs of its visitors.

The collection that was first started in 1899 by the Warsaw Music Society is the world’s largest collection Frederic Chopin related items includes musical manuscripts, printed scores, Chopin’s correspondence, personal items (such as cufflinks and diaries), iconography, as well as biographical works about him and critical commentaries on his compositions and his reception as a composer.

About Ostrogski Palace

In the 1680s, the deputy chancellor of the Crown Treasury, Jan Gniński commissioned the leading Dutch architect Tylman van Gameren to design a magnificent palatial residence.  The present palace, built on the site of an earlier fortification, is located in the part of van Gameren’s design where the kitchen buildings were originally planned. Throughout the centuries the palace has served many different functions and was rebuilt several times in the 18th and 19th centuries.

Read more…

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Beethoven Easter Festival, Warsaw, Poland

Beethoven Festival Warsaw PolandThe Polish capital of Warsaw will host the 14th Ludwig van Beethoven Easter Festival later this month.  The ever-popular two-week event gets underway on Sunday 21st March, running until Saturday 3rd April.  Fourteen days will be dedicated to Beethoven and the wealth of classical music in the two centuries since his heyday, as Warsaw welcomes performers and artists from around the world.  Every year the festival is built around a central theme, and this year organisers are celebrating the phenomenon of the piano alongside the genius of Poland’s favourite son, Fryderyk Chopin, and his contemporary Robert Schumann.  The Ludwig van Beethoven Easter Festival has been a part of Warsaw’s cultural calendar since 2004 after starting life in Krakow in 1997.

Tickets for performances are available now and you can find out more at www.beethoven.org.pl/en

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