Press conference of the Opera Zagreb Festival

Press conference of the Opera Zagreb FestivalOpera — 31. May 2023.

The Opera Zagreb Festival was presented at the press conference held in the CNT Foyer. It is organised for the first time by the central theatrical institution in Croatia. The Opera Festival will commence on June 25 and end on July 5 and the spectators will be able to see the great opera hits of Croatian national theatres as well as of the Slovene National Opera in Ljubljana.

The Croatian National Theatre in Zagreb as a theatre with a long opera tradition and artists who have earned international acclaim, deserves its own opera festival so it is logical to found the Opera Zagreb Festival. The festival concept is to present the best opera productions of Croatian and European theatres. Since such festivals need to be planned in advance, we are already in contact with European opera theatres for the next edition which will take place in 2024. Our audience will be able to see the recent productions of opera houses in the region and compare the artistic achievements of various ensembles said the CNT general manager  Iva Hraste Sočo, emphasising how the Festival will serve as a platform for better networking of generically similar opera houses and theatres with a potential of better positioning of the CNT in Zagreb as a relevant European theatre.

The Opera Zagreb Festival will open on June 25, 2023 with opera Nabucco of Giuseppe Verdi, that premiered at the CNT in Zagreb on October 2022 with Pier Giorgio Morandi as conductor in the direction of Giancarlo del Monaco. The Opera ensemble of the CNT Ivan noble Zajc from Rijeka will perform Tchaikovskyꞌs opera Queen of Spades conducted by Valentin Egel and directed by Christian Romanowsky and Dunja Vejzović on July 3, 2024. The Croatian National Theatre Split will present its opera Cavalleria Rusticana by Mascagni on June 29, with Jure Bučević as conducto in the direction of Jelena Bosančić. The CNT in Osijek will perform Lꞌelisir dꞌamore by Donizetti on July 1, with Mladen Tutavac as conductor in the direction of Ozren Prohić. International guests – the Slovene National Theatre in Ljubljana will perform opera Faust by Charles Gounod with Ayrton Desimpelaere as conductor in the direction of Frank Van Laeck on July 5, 2023.

The idea and program of the Opera Zagreb Festival was presented via a video message by the chief conductor of the CNT in Zagreb Pier Giorgio Morandi: We have focused on the artistic quality of the best productions of our and other theatres that will be given an opportunity of participate in our Opera Festival. During my career I had the honour to take part in numerous significant world festivals such as Arena di Verona, Tokyo Spring Festival, Caracalla in Rome, Taormina, Macerata Festival, festival in Budapest, etc. I have always been fascinated by the attendance rate, not only of opera enthusiasts but also of young international spectators. Our initiative is based on this desire to acquire new audiences here in Zagreb, both local and international.

The spectators from Zagreb, Croatian and abroad along the main program in the theatre will be able to participate in the rich accompanying programs that will complement the rich summer cultural offer of Zagreb.

The accompanying festival content commences on the day of the performance at 6 p.m. in the open, on the eastern side of the theatre. Besides taking part in conversations and interviews with the program hosts, after the performances spectators will be able to mingle with the soloists and artists. In direct communication with the performers, the audience will find out more information about the roles, performance, guest theatre and prizes and quizzes are also planned.

For the Zagreb audience this festival really means a lot. Not only being a serious step forward in our “operatic” offer, the spectators and our artists will have the opportunity to see some of the most interesting productions of guest opera theatres such as The Queen of Spades and Faust, titles the Zagreb audience did not have the chance to see for decades.
Including the festival performances, this season we shall reach the number of 20 staged opera titles - 17 different opera titles and three performances for our youngest spectators, said Željka Barišić Pulig, acting director of the Opera of the CNT in Zagreb.

Read also…

Sign up to the HNK newsletter