The 67th Dubrovnik Summer Festival, taking place from 10 July to 25 August, will open on 10 July at 9.00 pm, in front of St Blaise’s Church, with the raising of the Libertas flag on Orlando's Column to the verses of Hymn to Liberty. During 47 festival days, more than 2000 artists from all over the world will take part in more than 70 theatrical, musical, operatic, ballet, folklore and other events in around twenty site-specific venues, before an audience of 60.000 local and foreign visitors, according to the announcement from the Press Conference held at the Hilton Imperial Hotel. The participants included Andro Vlahušić, Mayor of Dubrovnik, Davorko Obuljen, Deputy Prefect of the Dubrovnik-Neretva County, Mladen Tarbuk, the Dubrovnik Summer Festival Artistic Director, Mani Gotovac, Theatre Programme Director, and Paulina Njirić, Executive Director’s Authorised Representative.
This season's premiere plays include two projects. Carlo Goldoni's La Bottega del caffee, translated and adapted by Frano Čale, is one of cult plays from the Festival’s golden age, which – directed by Tomislav Radić at Gundulić Square – remained in the repertoire for ten consecutive years. In 2016, the theatre director Vinko Brešan will stage this comedy with song and dance in the Stradun, also using Frano Čale’s translation and adaptation. The songs in the play are written by Mate Matišić. Mira Muhoberac is in charge of dramaturgy, Marin Gozze of set design, Doris Kristic of costume design and Anamarija Bogdanović of choreography. Nikša Butjer will play the role of cafe keeper Frano and Pjer Meničanin the role of master Lukša. The Dubrovnik Summer Festival will mark the 400th anniversary of the death of William Shakespeare with its production of Othello, translated by Vladimir Gerić and directed by Ivica Boban. Dragan Despot, principal at the Croatian National Theatre of Zagreb, will play the role of Othello, Rakan Rushaidat the role of Iago, and Anja Đurinović the role of Desdemona. The premiere at Lovrjenac Fort will take place on 20 August.
- „Our production of Othello at Fort Lovrjenac deals with a motive I believe to be quite actual: the motive of present-day manipulators. They are the people who seem to be likeable little angels, who find a way to rise to power and destroy their neighbours. This is Iago, and Shakespeare is the only playwright who portrayed such a character. That is the reason why we decided to stage Othello at Fort Lovrjenac. Iago destroys the nobleness, beauty and values embodied in Othello“ – explained Mani Gotovac.
This year’s programme also includes repeat performances of Ivo Vojnović’s Dubrovnik Trilogy, directed by Staša Zurovac, and a number of guest performances: a ZKM Theatre production of Jazmín Sequeira's and Luciano Delprato's play #workingtitleantigone directed by Renata Carola Gatica, portraying the city of Thebes shaken by a terrorist attack and the young and rebellious internet activist Antigone determined to unmask the conspiracy hiding behind this tragedy. The play was premiered in April 2015 and awarded the Best Direction Award at the 30th Gavella Evenings Festival; a Gavella City Theatre production of Molière’s Le malade imaginaire, a comedy-ballet in three acts directed by Krešimir Dolenčić, premiered in September 2015; a co-production with the Ulysses Theatre, MESS Sarajevo and Sarajevo National Theatre of Antigone 2000 Years After, directed by Lenka Udovički and premiered to a wide critical acclaim on the island of Mali Brijun in August 2015, a widely acclaimed play aiming at comparing this Sophocles’ heroine with the events taking place in our region twenty years after the war; and Uncle Maroje staged by professor and theatre director Mira Muhoberac with the students of University of Zagreb, the way she believes Marin Držić first performed it in 1551 at the Dubrovnik Republic Town Hall. Two performances of this play will take place at the Art School Park.
On the nearby Island of Lokrum, ballet lovers will have the opportunity to enjoy the premiere of C. Debussy’s Prélude à l'apr ès-midi d'un faun, a ballet diptychchoreographed by Edward Clug; and Rodion Shchedrin’s Carmen, choreographed by Valentina Turcu, a co-production of the Dubrovnik Summer Festival and the Slovenian National Theatre of Maribor. The ballet will be accompanied by the Dubrovnik Symphony Orchestra conducted by Simon Krečić. Six members the Zagreb Dance Ensemble will present the ballet Anything, by the renowned Spanish choreographer and dancer Daniel Abreu. This guest performance is realised by the Croatian Dance Network.
The Island of Lokrum will also be the venue of The Festival Features Writers project including two authorial evenings. Milana Vuković Runjić and Daniel Rafaelić will tell the story Maximilian and Carlota on Lokrum portraying the unfortunate and brave archduke, his restless and sensitive wife, and the dreams they had on the island. Igor Zidić's evening of poetry The Midsummer Night’s Dream will take place in the newly-restored St Stephen’s Church at Pustijerna, also based on a medieval legend of King Stephen and his wife Margarita who renovated the then dilapidated original church. The Croatian playwright, scriptwriter, composer and musician Mate Matišić will have his authorial evening at the Rector’s Palace. The project will also include The Foreplay, Guitar and 7 Pages from G. G. Márquez’s One Hundred Years of Solitude.
The 67th Dubrovnik Summer Festival’s music programme will open by the world famous tenor, José Cura, whom music critics often call “the fourth tenor”, alluding to The Three Tenors. At the Opening Ceremony directed by Ivan Miladinov, he will appear as both conductor and singer, while the following day – on 11 July – he will perform some of the finest operatic arias with the soprano Linda Ballova and the Croatian Radio and Television Symphony Orchestra conducted by maestro Mladen Tarbuk in the gala concert taking place in front of St Blaise's Church.
The rich music programme will comprise recitals of the most distinguished national and international pianists of all generations such as Ivo Pogorelić, Philippe Entremont and Michele Campanella, as well as the young talents Andrew Tyson and Aljoša Jurinić. Matija Dedić will dedicate a recital to his late father Arsen Dedić and appear in front of the Rector’s Palace in the concert entitled the Four Seasons for Three Pianos alongside Matej Meštrović and Hakan Ali Toker, the renowned Turkish pianist, composer and music pedagogue. This will be the world premiere of the piece whose name alludes to Vivaldi’s The Four Seasons arranged for three pianos by Matej Meštrović, and a rare opportunity to see three pianos on the stage. Roman Simović - the world famous violinist and concertmaster of the London Symphony Orchestra - will appear in a recital with the pianist Ratimir Martinović, while the violinist Davide Alogna will perform with the pianist Alexander Frey. Worth mentioning among chamber concerts are those of the Nordic Chamber Orchestra with one of the world’s most famous horn players Radovan Vlatković, and of the Vienna Philharmonic Ensemble. The Rector's Palace will play host to the Dubrovnik Symphony Orchestra with the renowned conductors Amos Talmon and Ertug Korkmaz, clarinettist Marija Pavlović, bassoonist Pieter Nuytten, violinist Stephen Waarts and cellist Jelena Očić. In August, Frano Đurović’s Symphony will be first performed in the concert dedicated to the departed maestro Ivo Dražinić. The 67th Dubrovnik Summer Festival’s Closing Concert will feature the Croatian Radio and Television Symphony Orchestra conducted by Ivo Lipanović, the mezzo-soprano Dubravka Šeparović Mušović, the soprano Valentina Fijačko and the Henschel Quartet, last year's Orlando Award winner.
Thinking about its future and aiming to promote young artists, the Dubrovnik Summer Festival has created a programme entitled Key to the Future, including six concerts with young laureates of prestigious international competitions: the American pianist Andrew Tyson (Queen Elisabeth Competition 2013 and Zürich's Géza Anda Competition 2015), violinist Stephen Waarts (Queen Elizabeth Competition and Menuhin Competition 2014), the Russian pianist Andrey Gugnin (1st prizes in Valsesia International Competition 2014 in Italy and Ludwig van Beethoven Competition 2013 in Vienna), the Ukrainian violinist Alexey Semenenko (2nd prize in Queen Elisabeth Competition 2015) who will perform with the pianist Inna Firsova, the Russian pianist Yury Favorin (Olivier Messiaen Competition in France, Queen Elisabeth Competition, Austria's Gyorgy Cziffra Foundation and Nikolai Rubinstein Young Pianists Competition), and the young Croatian pianist Aljoša Jurinić (finalist of Warsaw's 17th International Frederic Chopin Competition 2015 and laureate of the Queen Elisabeth Competition 2016). This year, the Festival programmes will be also held outside the city walls, and some of the abandoned values all over the County will be rediscovered. The Mexican pianist and conductor Enrique Bátiz will give a recital at the Franciscan Monastery of St Blaise in Pridvorje, while the Henschel Quartet will appear at St Nicolas' Church Pinacotheca in Cavtat.
Alongside the Festival's official theatre, music and ballet programmes, the audience will have the opportunity to enjoy rich Croatian dance, music and folk heritage presented by the Linđo Folklore Ensemble of Dubrovnik (alongside its regular performances on the Revelin Fort Terrace, the ensemble will give a Festive Concert in front of St Blaise’s Church marking its 50th anniversary of performing at the Festival), and Croatia's most prestigious Lado Ensemble. In collaboration with the Pula Film Festival, the Dubrovnik Summer Festival will organize screenings at the open-air cinemas Jadran and Slavica, while the Sponza Palace Atrium and the Lazaretto will play host to numerous exhibitions of paintings and photographs, including those by José Cura, Tihomir Lončar, Jagoda Buić, Mare Bratoš and Dejan Stokić. The Festival will present an Ivo Dulčić Monograph by Igor Zidić and the Pavo Urban War Diary edited by Dubravka Vrgoč. The BADco Art Collective will present the contemporary performing practice, while the Foreigner project – first performed at the Perforacija Festival in June 2015 – will be presented on the Revelin Fort Terrace.
- „On the behalf of the Dubrovnik Summer Festival, I would like to thank all financiers and sponsors, who have once again recognised the importance of our programme. They include in the first place the Ministry of Culture of the Republic of Croatia, the City of Dubrovnik and the Dubrovnik-Neretva County, Croatia osiguranje, HEP, Kraš, Croatia Airlines, and many others. I also greatly appreciate the support of our fellow-citizens, Dubrovnik hotels and institutions in realising this programme. I would also like to thank the Zagreb institutions without whose support our projects would not be possible. They include the Zagreb Academy of Theatre Art, the Zagreb Puppet Theatre, and the Zagreb Youth Theatre, where the rehearsals for our performances took place during the entire month of June. A big thank you to all who understand what we do and support us“, said Paulina Njirić, Executive Director's Authorised Representative.
The Press Conference was held at the Hilton Imperial Hotel at Pile. A champion of the Dubrovnik tourism, the hotel is located in the magnificent historic building, originally constructed in 1897 and completely restored in 2005, while its original 19th century form has been preserved.