Grand Opening of the Dubrovnik Summer Festival Tonight in Front of the Church of St. Blaise

The 74th Dubrovnik Summer Festival will be officially opened tonight at 9 p.m. in front of the Church of St. Blaise with the raising of the Libertas flag accompanied by the verses of the Hymn to Freedom. The festival, which will traditionally take place until August 25 at various stages and ambient locations throughout the city of Dubrovnik, will commence with this ceremonial event.

This year’s grand opening, traditionally held in front of the Church of St. Blaise, will be directed by Saša Božić, the assistant artistic director for the drama program, based on a script co-authored by Nataša Dangubić, a renowned actress.

The opening ceremony of the Dubrovnik Summer Festival is rooted in the collective memory of Carnival, a period when traveling actors, troubadours, and other artists could enter the city and entertain the citizens with their performances until Ash Wednesday. The Rector of the Dubrovnik Republic would hand over the keys to the city to the actors, symbolically granting them permission to perform within the city walls. This year’s program returns to its basic setup, focusing on an urban ritual that includes traditional elements of the opening ceremony, exploring the fundamental aspects of Dubrovnik’s urban identity and recent history, with commentary by actress Nataša Dangubić, representing the citizens of Dubrovnik, as emphasized by Božić.

The event will feature performances by the Dubrovnik Symphony Orchestra conducted by Tomislav Fačini, along with the Libertas Choir, Dubrovnik Chamber Choir, Pro musica Mostar Academic Choir, Blasius Choir, fanfare players Slavenko Prizmić, Ivan Kušelj, Antun Puljizević, and Matija Slomović, mandolinists Vicko Dragojević and Marko Šilje, as well as young singers Marijeta Bošković and Andrija Bošković. The grand opening will also involve members of the Festival Drama Ensemble, acting students from the Academy of Dramatic Art in Zagreb and Split, the Lero Student Theater, the Kolarin Theater Company, the Linđo Folk Ensemble, and the Lazareti Dance Studio.