66th Dubrovnik Summer Festival about to open

The 66th Dubrovnik Summer Festival, taking place from 10 July to 25 August, will open on 10 July with raising the Libertas flag on Orlando’s Column. During 47 festival days, more than 2000 artists from all over the world will take part in more than 70 theatrical, musical, operatic, ballet and folklore events in around twenty Dubrovnik site-specific venues, before an audience of 60.000 local and foreign visitors, according to the announcement from the Press Conference held at the Argentina Hotel. The participants included Andro Vlahusic, Mayor of Dubrovnik, Mladen Tarbuk, Artistic Director; Mani Gotovac, Theatre Programme Director; and Martina Rizman Matic, Corporative Communications Manager of the Vipnet, General Sponsor of the Festival.

‘I would like to thank all those who will be supporting us this year too. Although we lost some of the sponsors, we got new ones, and it is precisely owing to the collaboration with all our partners, sponsors and donors, as well as with the artists who are aware of this time difficult for culture, that we managed to meet all the challenges. I extend my gratitude to the Ministry of Culture of the Republic of Croatia and the City of Dubrovnik, and particularly to all renowned business institutions headed by Vipnet, who have supported our artistic endeavours and recognised our creative power and potential. I am convinced that our audience too will be with us during the forthcoming 47 festival days.’ said Mladen Tarbuk, the Festival’s Artistic Director.

‘Alongside the traditional VIP Programme, including four outstanding concerts and granting a 20% discount to entrance tickets purchased at prominent VIP centres, we have for several seasons developed special and free mobile applications that will enhance the experience of national and international lovers of art. The award-winning VIP Script will provide the viewers of the plays Equinox, Romeo and Juliet and Dubrovnik Trilogy with the Croatian and English subtitles on their mobile phones. Other applications include the VIP DLJI with all information on the Festival, and the VIP DSF Guide employing the expanded reality technique and turning the Rector of Dubrovnik into a virtual guide through both Dubrovnik and the Festival.’ explained Martina Rizman Matic, Vipnet Corporative Communications Manager.

The 66th Dubrovnik Summer Festival’s programme of theatrical premieres will be opened by the play The Elementary Particles, based on the novel of the same name by Michel Houellebecq, one of France’s best-known contemporary writers. The play that – after its announcement – has caused considerable controversy both nationally and internationally, is directed by the renowned Croatian and European director Ivica Buljan after the adaptation by Velimir Grgić. The premiere will take place on 20 July at Fort Lovrjenac. This year’s second premiere is Ivo Vojnović’s Dubrovnik Trilogy. Directed by Stasa Zurovac and featuring the finest Croatian actors of all generations, this play in three acts will take place in two venues: at the Rector’s Palace and in front of it. The award-winning play Equinox, directed by Josko Juvancic, performed by the Festival Drama Ensemble and taking place on the Island of Lokrum is part of this year’s programme too, and so is the last year’s hit play Romeo and Juliet by William Shakespeare, directed by Jagos Markovic at the Skocobuha Summer Residence at Boninovo. The successful project The Festival Features Writers, carried out with the Croatian Writers Association, continues this year too, including the staging of Pascal Bruckner‘s novel Bitter Moon, directed by Paolo Tišljarić on a boat sailing towards the open sea. The author of the novel, the renowned French philosopher, will attend the first performance and hold a literary evening. This project is a coproduction with Zagreb’s Museum of Contemporary Art, and the first collaboration of this institution with the Festival within the Rendez-vous – Festival of France in Croatia. Set adaptation of the novel is created by Vlatka Vorkapic. The project also includes repeat performances of Several imaginary scenes inspired by Alessandro Baricco’s novel Ocean Sea taking place on the Šulić Beach, adapted for the stage by Mani Gotovac. The Festival will also present Drazen Katunaric, Croatian essayist and award-winning poet, whose collection of poetry, Kronos, will be staged by the young theatre director Paolo Tisljaric. Other writers will include Rade Serbedzija, who will perform alongside Miroslav Tadic, one of the greatest guitar players in the region. Šerbedžija will begin his authorial evening with the monologue To be, or not to be at Fort Lovrjenac, commemorating his brilliant interpretation of Hamlet from the 1970s in the same venue. Davor Mojaš’s The Betrothed, the most recent project of the Lero Students Theatre – which intrigues, invokes, reveals, questions and recognises another face of the city of its birth – will also be shown within the Theatre Programme.

‘I have conceptualised the Opening Ceremony that will interpret all events of the kind held so far in a new way. For the first time, it will be directed by a television and not a theatre director. I entrusted with this task Ivan Miladinov, who will employ a modern 21st century technology to show a story of the Dubrovnik Summer Festival through its 65-year history. Extracts from the Festival history will be screened on the walls of Sponza Palace and Luža Bell-tower, while the same text will be interpreted by different actors and in a completely different way.’ explained Mani Gotovac commenting her script for the Opening Ceremony.

The ballet repertoire will consist of a repeat performance of last year’s premiere of the neo-baroque ballet Dangerous Liaisons, choreographed and directed by Valentina Turcu and Leo Mujic, at Boskovic Square, a co-production of the Dubrovnik Summer Festival, the Slovenian National Theatre of Maribor and the Ljubljana Festival; and a guest performance of the Slovenian National Theatre of Maribor featuring the ballet diptych Requiem for 2 Chairs & Stabat Mater, choreographed by Edward Clug.

The Dubrovnik Summer Festival’s Music Programme will open one day following the Opening Ceremony with a VIP concert in front of St Blaise’s Church featuring one of Croatia’s finest young tenors Domagoj Dorotic, baritone Leon Kosavic and the Slovenian Philharmonic under the baton the composing legend Uros Lajovic. Numerous chamber and symphonic concerts and recitals will be held in July and August. Maestro Ivo Pogorelich will perform at the Rector’s Palace Atrium with the Chamber Studio of the Zagreb Philharmonic conducted by the renowned Hungarian conductor Zoltán Kocsis; the young Russian pianist Alexander Kutuzov, the first prize winner in the International Tchaikovsky Competition at the age of 16, will give a recital; pianist Itamar Golan, a Festival audience favourite, will perform with violinist Guy Braunstein, who up to recently served as concertmaster of the Berlin Philharmonic; while soprano Lana Kos will leave for a while the world’s greatest stages, where she performs on a regular basis, to give a recital of Russian romances at the Rector’s Palace Atrium early in August. The Festival audience will also have the opportunity to listen to another well-known jazz singer Gregory Porter, last year’s Grammy winner in the Best Vocal Jazz Album Category, who will perform on the Revelin Fort Terrace; the famous Arensky Piano Trio from Sankt Petersburg; the Antiphonus Vocal Ensemble featuring Edin Karamazov on the lute; the Slovenian Vocal Octet; the Cantus Ensemble; the clarinettist Giampiero Sobrino and the pianist Roberto Moretti, the Dubrovnik Symphony Orchestra; the young American pianist Andrew Tyson, the Croatian Radio and Television Symphony Orchestra with the Croatian Baroque Ensemble; and many other outstanding musicians.

The new programme segment, Evening Serenades, is conceptualised as an Off Programme, comprising musical events taking place late in the evening in different venues: Skocibuha Summer Residence, Boskovic Square, Fort Revelin Terrace and the Excelsa Real Estate Amphitheatre on Mount Srđ. The concept was inspired by intrinsic folk idioms from a number of cities, which in the course of time – enhanced by poets, composers and performers – turned into a musical and poetic genre typical of the cultures in the region. Such traditional music characterized by different cities and cultures will be performed by music stars such as Tereza Kesovija who will perform the finest French chansons; the „Bosnian Billie Holiday“ Amira Medunjanin and the Dubrovnik Symphony Orchestra conducted by Maestro Mladen Tarbuk; the Gypsy violin virtuoso Roby Lakatos & Ensemble; the Dubrovnik troubadour Ibrica Jusic; Klapa Kase & the Dubrovnik Symphony Orchestra conducted by Delo Jusic and performing songs of the Dubrovnik Troubadours; and the guests from the Bay of Kotor and their programme entitled The Chords of Boka.

The extensive Off Programme of the 66th Dubrovnik Summer Festival includes exhibitions by the painter Matko Trebotic, the French photographer Marc Riboudnik and the Dubrovnik painter Josip Skerlj; as well as a presentation of the book Handwriting of the Eye by one of Croatia’s most distinguished art historians Igor Zidic, published by Matica Hrvatska. The film programme presented in Dubrovnik’s open-air cinemas comprises cult films theme-wise connected with this year’s programme, as well as a selection of best national and international films from the Pula Film Festival. The Lindo Folklore Ensemble will give a series of performances presenting dances and songs from all parts of Croatia. Public discussions on actual themes between the artists and audiences will also be part of this year’s programme.