Dubrovnik Summer Festival created rich programme for its anniversary season

30 June 2014

The Dubrovnik Summer Festival in its 65th edition is to be opened on 10 July at 9.00 pm in front of the St Blaise’s Church. The Festival, traditionally taking place from 10 July to 25 August, will play host to some 2000 artists from all over the world. During 47 festival days, more than 70 theatrical, musical, ballet, folklore and other events will take place in nearly twenty open-air venues and settings in Baroque - Renaissance city of Dubrovnik.

The 65th Dubrovnik Summer Festival's theatre programme includes two premieres. The first is Shakespeare's Romeo and Juliet directed by Jagoš Marković, who will debut at the Festival staging one of the most beautiful love stories in the renaissance summer residence Skočibuha at Boninovo. This timeless tragedy was chosen not only on the occasion of marking the 450th anniversary of the birth of Shakespeare, but also because of the beauty of this play, reminding us of the value of love and the sin of hatred.

Krešimir Dolenčić will stage Držić's most famous and frequently performed comedy Uncle Maroje in Držić Square. Performed by the finest actors from five Croatian theatre houses, students and theatre doyens, this year’s Uncle Maroje asks the question about fathers and children; what do we leave to our posterity and in what condition is the City which we leave to our children.

As announced last year, the legendary Vojnović's Equinox – premiered in 2004 on the Island of Lokrum, directed by Joško Juvančić and performed by the Festival Drama Ensemble – has been included in this year's programme, featuring the highlights of Dubrovnik's site-specific theatre.

Fragments from Džemila Bukovica's War Diary, directed by Ante Vlahinić, will be first performed at the Dubrovnik Aquarium on 5 August, Croatia's Victory Day and the Homeland Thanksgiving Day. The piece was written at the time of air raid alerts during the Croatian War of Independence in the aforementioned venue, which then served as a bomb shelter.

Last year's successful authorial project by Mani Gotovac entitled Writers Gathering at Sponza Palace, co-produced with the Croatian Writers' Association, continues this year too. It includes the premiere of the play Ocean Sea - directed by Mani Gotovac, performed by the Croatian National Theatre of Varaždin at the Šulić Beach, and supported by Zagreb’s Italian Institute of Culture - as well as a literary evening of the novel's author, Alessandro Baricco; the premiere of Ivo Brešan's play Without Reflection directed by Vinko Brešan; the presentation of Ivan Vidić’s collection of short stories, The Southern State; and Arsen Dedić's literary-musical evening at the Rector’s Palace entitled Writer of All Genres. The Lero Students Theatre will feature its most recent project, The Obscuration, based on the writings by Ruđer and Anica Bošković, which is the first staging of some of Ruđer Bošković's writings and Anica Bošković's poems at the Croatian theatre ever.

“Dubrovnik has to be protected. The 65 years of the Dubrovnik Festival cannot be compared to Orlando, the knight who protects with a sword his small space in front of St Blaise's Church. Shakespeare and Držić are both warning us louder than ever: «Beware the future!». Obsessed with power, absurd quarrels, money and vanity, the fathers in Romeo and Juliet and in Uncle Maroje are trying to outwit their children, whereas - according to Baricco - we are merely small grains of «sand spreading as far the eye can reach». This year we proudly present the bards Joško Juvančić, Ivo Brešan, Arsen Dedić, Alessandro Baricco and others, aiming to protect Dubrovnik, support it with our silence and respect, and envelop it with love, music, poetry and words out of which the City itself had been made,” said Krešimir Dolenčić, Artistic Director.

At Bošković Square, the choreographer Valentina Turcu and theatre director Leo Mujić will stage the Neo-Baroque ballet Les Liasons Dangereuses (after Pierre Choderlos de Laclos' novel and Heiner Müller's Quartet, to music by George F. Handel, J. S. Bach, Antonio Vivaldi and other Baroque masters), a co-production of the Dubrovnik Summer Festival, the Slovenian National Theatre of Maribor and the Ljubljana Festival. Shortly after its Dubrovnik premiere, the ballet will be performed at the Križanke Outdoor Theatre within the Ljubljana Festival, and become a part of the Slovenian National Theatre of Maribor repertoire.

Bearing in mind the historic and cultural heritage of Dubrovnik and admiring the purity of its architectural style, the Baroque spaces of Dubrovnik’s palaces and churches will resound with Baroque music and its present day reflections. In view of the fact that Baroque was the first national style in Europe, the music programme has been based on three concerts: the German, the Italian and the French one, which at the same time represent the three major national styles.

The Italian Baroque will thus be represented by the Concerto de' Cavalieri ensemble and its artistic director Marcello di Lisa performing the serenade Erminia, Tancredi, Polidoro e Pastore of Alessandro Scarlatti, Italy’s greatest composer in the Middle Baroque period. The German Baroque will be represented by one of the world’s most famous orchestras, the Bachorchestra of the Gewandhaus Leipzig, who will perform all Bach’s Brandenburg Concerti, while the French Baroque will be represented by the famous French vocal and instrumental ensemble Le Concert Spirituel and its artistic director Hervé Niquet, who will perform the French sacral music from the time of Louis XIV, the Sun King, which has rarely been performed in our region. Croatia’s Baroque music representatives will include the Croatian Baroque Ensemble and the Zagreb Soloists who will perform all eight symphonies of Luka Sorkočević in their original version. Baroque music will also be performed by the internationally renowned Italian pianist Andrea Padova, First Prize winner in the Weimar Bach Competition, and Dieter Flury, solo flutist of the Vienna Philharmonic.

In view of the fact that Baroque greatly influenced the present day music, including jazz, the festival will feature the David Gazarov Trio, famous for its improvisations on the themes by J. S. Bach. Other performers will include the Dubrovnik Guitar Trio featuring the mezzo-soprano Renata Pokupić, who will first perform the pieces by Anđelko Klobučar and Zoran Juranić, composed for the occasion; the pianist Bojan Gorišek; the Tuba Quartet XL with trumpet player Eric Aubier and the Tartini Quartet (all of whom will perform at the Rector's Palace); as well as the Dubrovnik Symphony Orchestra with its guest soloists who will appear in two concerts. The star of the programme is the famous American jazz singer Nnenna Freelon, a six-time Grammy Award nominee in the Best Jazz Vocalist category. In collaboration with the City of Zagreb, the 65th Dubrovnik Summer Festival's closing concert in front of St Blaise's Church will feature the Zagreb Philharmonic, Maestro Ivo Lipanović, the world famous baritone Željko Lučić, and soprano Lana Kos.

On the occasion of the Dubrovnik Festival's 65th anniversary, in collaboration with Zagreb's Museum of Arts and Crafts, and supported by the Sponza State Archives, the exhibition entitled Creators of Memory – Photographers and Designers at the Dubrovnik Summer Festival will be put up in two venues: the Sponza Palace and the Visia Multimedia Centre. In the course of 65 Festival years, a large number of photographers – some of whom include Croatia's finest artists in the field of photography such as Tošo Dabac, Vilko Zuber, Marija Braut, Krešimir and Slobodan Tadić and Pavo Urban – have systematically recorded events at the Dubrovnik Summer Festival. At the same time, the renowned artists including Edo Murtić, Fedor Vaić, Branko Kovačević, Tomo and Luka Gusić, Boris Ljubičić and Orsat Franković, have created posters, cover pages and – some of them – the entire visual identity of particular Festival seasons. The exhibition will acknowledge their importance in continuously creating and conceptualising both individual and collective visual memory for 65 years now.

The Festival will also release the Monograph of Neva Rošić, the distinguished theatre actress who will celebrate her 60th anniversary of work next year. In collaboration with the Kinematografi Dubrovnik, the Dubrovnik Summer Festival will also present a film programme featuring the winning films at both national and international film festivals, and the screenings will take place at the open-air cinemas Jadran and Slavica. The folklore programme will traditionally include performances of the Linđo and Lado folklore ensembles on Revelin Fort Terrace.

“In spite the fact that the budgets in the field of culture have been cut for many years now, the Festival managed to create a rich programme for its anniversary season. Thanks to our previous artistic and business successes, the Festival is still being sponsored by the most prestigious corporations as well as by the City of Dubrovnik, the Dubrovnik-Neretva County and the Ministry of Culture. We have set high business goals, which means a continuous increase of our own income and new financing models for the purpose of maintaining high quality of our artistic programme, which is something our audiences grew accustomed to,” said the Executive Director, Mrs. Ivana Medo Bogdanović.