The 75th Dubrovnik Summer Festival will be held in various site-specific locations in Dubrovnik from 10 July to 25 August. During the 47 festival days, over 60 theatre, dance, folklore and other programmes will be presented to domestic and foreign audiences.
This year’s exceptionally rich and varied theatre programme includes three big premieres, performances of successful productions from previous seasons, and further development of dynamic co-productions and site-specific concepts through various collaborations and revitalisation of neglected festival venues.
The first premiere is a coproduction of the Dubrovnik Summer Festival and the Marin Držić Theatre, Carlo Goldoni's iconic La bottega del caffè, translated and adapted to Dubrovnik speech by Frano Čale, directed by Paolo Tišljarić and staged on Držić Square. La bottega del caffè, directed by Tomislav Radić and performed on Gundulić Square by the Marin Držić Theatre, premiered at the Dubrovnik Summer Festival in 1978 and remained on the repertoire for ten years. Although the plot is placed in a specific historical context, the focus will be on the comedy’s current relevance and vitality, its irony, shrewdness, information manipulation etc. The Dubrovnik Summer Festival’s long history is marked by numerous productions of Ivo Vojnović's plays, and through the relationship with the author, the relationship with history is explored, the potential of contemporary creativity in approaching heritage. Ivo Vojnović's Equinox, directed by Krešimir Dolenčić and performed at Posat by the Festival Drama Ensemble, will be the second theatre premiere this summer. By balancing between melodrama and crudeness, sentimentality and cynicism, Vojnović's Equinox skilfully connects individual histories with the collective present, individual memories with forebodings of the future. The third premiere this year, William Shakespeare’s The Tempest, brings a vision of the new age, the future Shakespeare believed was coming. The play is directed by Slovenian director Vito Taufer and performed by the Festival Drama Ensemble, while the Island of Lokrum will provide the perfect setting for the Bard’s final work.
Visiting productions this season include the Croatian National Theatre of Varaždin’s Waiting for Orestes, based on Sophocles' Electra, adapted by Lada Kaštelan and directed by Livija Pandur, who have both often explored big themes of our civilisation in their work. The Dubrovnik Summer Festival, Punctum Arts Organisation, KunstTeatar and Klajn House Dubrovnik will present a project by Ivan Plazibat, Ivana Vuković and Matija Čigir entitled Jimmy Ćorak, an exploration of the notions of acting and the character of an actor who is split between his professional and private life, technology and privacy, neurosis and human contact.
This year’s theatre programme includes successful productions from previous festival seasons. The youngest audience will enjoy the magical world of the musical stage piece The Enchanted Forest on Lovrjenac Fort. The adaptation of Sunčana Škrinjarić’s eponymous novel was directed by Lea Anastazija Fleger, dramatised by Nikolina Rafaj, while the music was composed by Frano Đurović and conducted by Mateo Narančić. With six scheduled performances, the audiences will again have the opportunity to enjoy the stories of the beloved gossipmongers from Kazerma in the play Mara and Kata, a project by Saša Božić and actresses Nataša Dangubić and Doris Šarić Kukuljica. Marijana Fumić’s last year’s success, The Melancholy Women of Ragusa, a search for the contours of everyday life in old Dubrovnik focusing on the lives and fates of nine exceptional women, is directed by Dora Ruždjak Podolski and will be performed in Gradac Park by the Festival Drama Ensemble.
The legendary Jordi Savall, one of the most versatile musicians of his generation and a tireless explorer of early music who saved many precious works from oblivion, will open the 75th Dubrovnik Summer Festival’s music programme at the Rector’s Palace Atrium with his ensemble Hespèrion XXI. Their programme Mare Nostrum: A Dialogue of Souls is a musical dialogue between Christian, Sephardic, Ottoman and Arabic-Andalusian music and musicians from Greece, Turkey, Israel, Palestine and various European countries. This year’s edition of the Dubrovnik Summer Festival will be brought to a spectacular close with an Opera Gala concert. Select opera arias will be performed by one of the greatest opera singers of today, soprano Sonya Yoncheva, Maltese golden tenor Joseph Calleja and one of the most sought-after basses on the international scene, Ante Jerkunica, accompanied by the Croatian Radio and Television Symphony Orchestra conducted by Ivan Repušić.
The staple of the Festival’s music programme, the Dubrovnik Symphony Orchestra will give their first Festival concert this season with one of the most sought-after Croatian soloists and winner of numerous international competitions, cellist Monika Leskovar, under the baton of Sebastian Lang-Lessing, a conductor with an extensive repertoire who has served as chief conductor on five continents. Led by the charismatic conductor Valentin Egel, the Dubrovnik Symphony Orchestra will share the stage at the Rector’s Palace with Pablo Sáinz-Villegas, world-renowned guitarist considered by many the successor of the legendary Andrés Segovia. Under the baton of the energetic Ivan Hut, the orchestra will perform two world premieres, including a piece by Petar Obradović, winner of the Orlando Prize. The music programme will traditionally feature some of Croatia’s foremost artists, including one of the world’s best countertenors, Max Emanuel Cenčić, whose extensive biography includes numerous recordings and several Grammy nominations. This summer he will perform with the Greek ensemble Latinitas Nostra, comprised of excellent musicians dedicated to cultivating the Baroque spirit of freedom and theatricality, founded by the renowned conductor Markellos Chryssicos, one of Greece’s greatest experts on early music. The Rector’s Palace will host virtuosic performances and interesting vocal and instrumental combinations of renowned domestic artists, including the excellent musicians of the Antiphonus Ensemble alongside the lauded guitarist Petrit Çeku, followed by the world-renowned tenor Krešimir Špicer with award-winning pianist Lovre Marušić, who recently won second prize and special Robert Schumann Prize at the International Telekom Beethoven Competition in Bonn, a historic achievement for Croatian pianism. The festival music programme also includes concerts of a duo consisting of prominent, artistically versatile soloists from Dubrovnik, pianist Marija Grazio and violist Marko Genero, as well as the Zagreb Quartet, Croatia’s oldest string ensemble, playing alongside one of the most successful Croatian pianists of the younger generation, Ivan Krpan. One of the most prominent domestic chamber ensembles and recent winner of the Vatroslav Lisinski Award of the Croatian Composers Society for the contribution to Croatian music, the Papandopulo Quartet will also perform at the festival this year. The rich and varied music programme includes the performances of the leading international artists, both notable ensembles and first-class soloists. Firmly standing at the forefront of the new generation of string ensembles ever since they won the prestigious first prize at the ARD International Music Competition in Munich, the Arod Quartet will perform at the Rector’s Palace, where the renowned pianist Pierre-Laurent Aimard will also give recital. Baroque roots of South American music will be presented at the concert entitled Vidala by the members of the Bach Consort Wien, mezzo-soprano Luciana Mancini, tenor Francisco Brito and Ruben Dubrovsky, artistic leader of the ensemble and author of the arrangements. The concert of the French violin virtuoso Renaud Capuçon is not to be missed. He received the Artist of the Year Award in January this year at the International Classical Music Award and will perform in Dubrovnik with pianist Guillaume Bellom. Music programme at the Rector’s Palace will be concluded with the benefit concert Youth for Youth, featuring Croatia’s best young musicians, pianist Jan Niković, double winner of the 20th Ferdo Livadić International Competition of Young Musicians, and guitarist Lovro Peretić, winner of the Jeunesses Musicales Croatia Ivo Vuljević Award, with the Luka Sorkočević Art School chamber ensembles.
Following the example of major international classical music festivals, the Dubrovnik Summer Festival has started the World Music and Jazz Concert Series with the aim of audience development, offering unique cultural-artistic experiences, including the performance of the JM Jazz World Orchestra, gathering top young musicians form different countries under artistic leadership of the renowned American trombonist, composer and educator Luis Bonilla, known for his collaborations with McCoy Tyner, Dizzy Gillespie, Lester Bowie, Tom Harrell, Phil Collins and many other prominent musicians. The series also includes the concert of the legend of the Dubrovnik chanson, Ibrica Jusić, who has left an indelible mark on the Dubrovnik Summer Festival with his midnight serenades and guitar recitals. This year, he marks the 60th anniversary of his artistic career with the programme From Shakespeare to Sevdah. The ethnomusicological project by Dina Bušić and Melita Ivković entitled Bërbili (Nightingale) – Forgotten Songs of the Zadar Arbanasi will also be presented in this series of concerts. In collaboration with experienced musicians such as Edin Karamazov, Dina e Mel are dedicated to keeping the songs sung in one of the most endangered European languages alive. The series ends with the flamenco show programme Tarab, performed by the Cristina Aguilera Flamenco Trio. The best of the flamenco tradition is brought by the cantaor (flamenco singer) Miguel Lavi, David Caro, with his toque, or guitar playing skill, and bailaora (flamenco dancer) Cristina Aguilera, a powerful performer with powerful rhythm and expressive movement.
Ballet lovers will have the opportunity to enjoy the Croatian National Theatre Zagreb Ballet’s performance of Shakespeare’s Hamlet in Gradac Park, directed and choreographed by Leo Mujić. Following Mujić’s highly praised and successful stagings of literary classics, his most recent piece transforms one of the most famous tragedies into a ballet. Offering countless possibilities of interpretation, the timeless masterpiece has inspired many different artists and this version includes the music of P.I. Tchaikovsky and Camille Saint-Saëns, selected by the dramaturge and assistant choreographer Balint Rauscher.
Croatia’s rich folk dance and music heritage will be presented in a series of four performances by the Linđo Folklore Ensemble and the LADO National Folk Dance Ensemble of Croatia, gathering numerous folk music and dance experts, composers, dancers and singers whose dedicated work has yielded an impressive choreographic and music repertoire.
The Dubrovnik Summer Festival will join the celebration of the 45th anniversary of the inscription of the Old City of Dubrovnik on the UNESCO World Heritage List with Hecuba, a musical stage piece performed on Lovrjenac Fort by the Dialogos Ensemble, known for combining performance with scientific approach in reviving European oral and written tradition from the Middle Ages onward, under the artistic leadership of musicologist and singer Katarina Livljanić.
The 75th Dubrovnik Summer Festival’s arts programme includes the following exhibitions: Lopud Portraits, featuring the works of photographer Mara Bratoš; The Mediterranean in the 20th and 21st Century Croatian Painting, a collaboration between the Festival and the Museum of Modern Art Dubrovnik; painter Toni Franović’s Dubrovnik From a Stranger’s Eye and Paintbrush, and From Car to Chaos, featuring the works of the distinguished painter and sculptor Josip Ivanović.
As of today, tickets for some of the 75th Dubrovnik Summer Festival events are available online at the Festival website www.dubrovnik-festival.hr and at www.ulaznice.hr with a two-week early bird discount of 20% and additional 10% for payments with Mastercard®.
All information regarding ticket purchase is provided by the Festival’s Sales Office at firstname.lastname@example.org or +385 20 326 107.