Dubrovnik Summer Festival traditionally opened on 10 July, in front of the St. Blaise’s Church before a large audience. With Hymn to Freedom, Festival’s Libertas flag has been raised for the 67th time.
The program of the ceremony is derived from a screenplay by Mani Gotovac and directed by Ivan Miladinov. Festival Drama Ensemble consisted of Nikola Baće as leader of the ceremony, Dragan Despot who spoke verses of Hymns to Freedom and of Boris Svrtan, Doris Šarić Kukuljica, Nikša Butijer, Pjer Meničanin, Anđela Ramljak, Anja Đurinović and Olga Pakalović. A special type of dance, autochthonous to Dubrovnik area, called Dubrovačka kontradanca, was performed by Folklore Ensemble Linđo which this year celebrates its 50th summer at the Festival. With them, Kolarin Theatre, Ballet Department of Art School "Luka Sorkočević", Dance Studio "Lazareti", Dubrovnik Brass Band and others also took part in the Opening ceremony. Croatian Radio and Television Symphony Orchestra was conducted maestro Mladen Trabuco and maestro José Cura who also performed the prologue from the opera Pagliacci. In the role of the singer he was joined by tenor Cristian Suriani and soprano Iliana Korać Teklić and Linda Ballova. Academic choir "Ivan Goran Kovacic" also performed alongside Dubrovnik Chamber Choir and Libertas Choir. After the Opening ceremony there was a traditional firework.
In the next 46 days, at 20 different locations nearly 2,000 artists from all around the world will perform 70 theater, music, ballet, folklore and other programs for the international audience of 60,000 local and foreign visitors. First on the repertoire is tonight’s Gala concert at which the famous world tenor José Cura will perform. He will be accompanied by soprano Linda Ballov and Croatian Radio and Television Symphony Orchestra conducted by the intendant of the Dubrovnik summer Festival Mladen Tarbuk. The first part of the program is dedicated to Shakespeare, and the second part consists of music by Spanish and Latin American composers.