The 68th Dubrovnik Summer Festival, taking place until 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 to the verses of Hymn to Liberty. During 47 festival days, nearly 2000 artists from all over the world will take part in more than 80 theatrical, musical, operatic, ballet, folklore and other events in around 15 site-specific venues, before an audience of 60.000 local and foreign visitors.
First theatre premiere of the 68th Dubrovnik Summer Festival is Messrs Glembay by one of the greatest Croatian writers of the 20th century - Miroslav Krleža and directed by Zlatko Sviben. Play will take place in the Modern Art Museum, Dubrovnik. It is also the first time that this play is being staged at the Festival. Supreme acting ensemble is headed by Predrag Ejdus as Ignjat Glembay, Anja Šovagović Despot as Baroness Castelli and Mijo Jurišić in the role of Leone. Second premiere title is the play Marin Držić - Victory Over the Enemies in which Hrvoje Ivanković depicts Držić’s dispute with the Dubrovnik Republic on the basis of numerous existing documents and anecdotes. By combining Držić’s biographical data and fragments from his numerous comedies and pastoral plays, Ivanković creates a special kind of glossary of their present-day meaning. The play is commemorating the 450th anniversary of Držić’s death and will be directed by Ivica Boban. Young performers will be led by more experienced actors Doris Šarić Kukuljica and Maro Martinović. In the role of Marin Držić and a series of his emblematic characters like Pomet and Skup is one of the most prominent Croatian actors of younger generation Ozren Grabarić.
Last year's hit plays La bottega del caffè and Othello - which enthralled critics and the Festival's audience alike, and for which extra tickets were requested - will be part of this summer's repertoire again. Translated and adapted by Frano Čale, Carlo Goldoni's La bottega del caffè is one of the legendary plays from the Festival's golden age. Last year's staging of this play in the form of a comedy with song and dance, directed by Vinko Brešan and performed by the Festival Drama Ensemble, attracted more than 4.000 visitors. An additional performance was shown, and the tickets were sold out many days in advance. William Shakespeare's Othello – directed by Ivica Boban and performed by the Festival Drama Ensemble on Fort Lovrjenac – was also warmly received by both audiences and critics, who wrote: „The play worthy of its glory, the present day, and the crowded auditorium“, …„Dubrovnik's Othello was entirely made of unbribable emotions. The outstanding ensemble is headed by Dragan Despot in the role of Othello, Rakan Rushaidat in the role of Iago, and Anja Đurinović in the role of Desdemona. The entire ensemble was awarded the Orlando Award for the best play, while Ivica Boban was awarded the Croatian Theatre Award for the best direction. Guest performances will include the Croatian National Theatre of Zagreb last year's hit play by Tena Štivičić, Three Winters, directed by Ivica Buljan at Gradac Park. The play was first performed in London with great success, won the prestigious Susan Smith Blackburn Prize in New York, and became a major hit at the Croatian National Theatre of Zagreb. Produced by Zagreb Youth Theatre the award winning play Hinkemann directed by Igor Vuk Torbica is also coming to the Festival at the very beginning.
The music and stage programme will include a premiere of Händel's Orlando, featuring David Bates, Artistic Director, Janusz Sikora, Director, the Croatian Baroque Ensemble, and the soloists: Owen Willetts, Ivana Lazar, Renata Pokupić, Marija Kuhar Šoša and David Oštrek. Ballet lovers will have the opportunity to enjoy the most popular „white ballet“ of all times and a synonym of classical ballet art, Tchaikovsky's Swan Lake, choreographed by the famous Vladimir Malakhov and produced by the Croatian National Theatre of Zagreb. Bitef Theatre and their dance company will also have a guest performance - The Birds inspired by Aristophanese and choreographed by Edward Clug.
Festival's rich music programme will be opened on 11 July in front of St. Blaise's Church with Orff's Carmina Burana performed by the Dubrovnik Symphony Orchestra, the Zagreb Philharmonic, the Ivan Goran Kovačić Academic Choir, solists Nicola Proksch, Owen Willets and Nikola Mijailović and conductor Ivan Josip Skender. The Festival dedicates this performance to mo. Vjekoslav Šutej, successful former director of the Festival music programe whose performance of Carmina Burana at the Opening Ceremony in 2002 still remains very vivid in the memory of festival audience. The Dubrovnik Symphony Orchestra will have two concerts in the Rector's Palace Atrium during August, with guest conductors and soloists. Pianist Goran Filipec prepared an evening dedicated to Franz Liszt and has carefully selected compositions from his late opus in which Liszt sought the limits of freedom of the music, announcing new times. The program entitled Key to the Future, featuring young virtuosos, laureates of prestigious international competitions, will be opened by finalist of the Chopin and Queen Elisabeth competitions - Dmitri Šiškin. Programe will also feature Lukáš Vondráček, the absolute winner of the Queen Elisabeth competition, 2016. Croatian representative in this programme is the most prominent guitarist of younger generation Srđan Bulat. Guitarists Zoran Dukić, Petrit Çeku, Tvrtko Sarić and Maroje Brčić will also be greeted in the Rector's Palace Atrium as 4 guitars.
Umberto Giordano will present a pogram dedicated to Ludwig van Beethoven, while the Dialogos Ensemble with singer Katarina Livljanić and Numerous other recitals will take place in the Rector's Palace: a concert by cellist Monika Leskovar and guitarist Petrit Ceku, violinist Aleksander Milosev and pianist Lovro Pogorelić, and a violin recital by Stefan Milenković accompanied by Rohan de Silva. The chamber ensemble Synergia 6 whose member is the world famous violinist Nemanja Radulović will also perform in the Rector's Palace. At the same venue the festival audience will be able to hear one of the most interesting interpreters of sevdah music Božo Vrećo. Young and award-winning musicians Filip Merčep and Nicolas Sinković will produce a digital project called The Dialogue - using percussion with electronics interactively with the audience, studying, as the title suggests, the dialogue between contemporary art and the city's site specific venues. At the end of the Festival, another musical treat awaits - one of the most prominent British female jazz vocalists, Zara McFarlane will perform at Revelin Fort Terrace. The Festival will be closed on 25 August in front of St. Blaise's Church with the Symphony Orchestra of the Croatian Radio and Television conducted by maestro Alberto Veronesi. Last year winner of the Orlando Award, Ukrainian violinist Alexey Semenenko will also perform at the concert.
An integral part of the 68th Festival program are the traditional performances of the Linđo Folklore Ensemble on Revelin Fort Terrace, which include premiere performances this summer. The accompanying program brings the selection of the best films from the Pula Film Festival including the best Croatian film, winner of the Golden Gate Award. An exceptionally rich exhibition program brings a great exhibition of Antun Masle on the occasion of the 50th anniversary of his death, where will be presented some of his never-before-seen works. Sponza will also host the exhibition of Nikolina Šimunović One Summer in the City and a photography exhibition by Aljoša Rebolj entitled Sculptured Time which is dedicated to the theater work of Tomaž Pandur. Exhibition of sculptures entitled Scherzo by Jagoda Buić will be set in St Stephen's Church at Pustijerna. The program Festival Features Writers and Poets, will be opened by Tereza Kesovija who will interprete Croatian poets accompanied by piano, guitar and violin. As part of this program, work of the Croatian poet Drago Glamuzina and Italian writer Elena Ferrante will also be presented. In co-operation with Art Workshop Lazareti, Darko Lukić's latest title Introduction to Applied Theatre: Who Owns the Theatre? and Ivica Kunčević's Director's Notes published by the Croatian ITI Center will also be presented to the festival audience. Program will also feature a presentation of the Monograph prepared on the occasion of the 40th Anniversary of Orlando Award published by the Croatian Radio and Television.
Browse the whole programme of the 68th Dubrovnik Summer Festival here.