On the day of closing of the 14th Rijeka Summer Nights, bidding farewell to the 16/17 Season, general manager and artistic director Marin Blažević and the theatre team of directors presented the New Season 17/18 Programme under the slogan “Winning ourselves again!”
“We do not have any problems with the New Season as we did with the Rijeka Summer Nights because the decisions were made long since. We decided to take the risk, not to give up, to adhere to the programme, not to sell out the theatre by renting it, but to be the breakwater of serious, responsible and valuable art. In the new season of the Rijeka CNT, we are winning ourselves again, continuing with the memorable concerts of the Opera orchestra conducted by world-class conductors (Philippa von Steinaecker, Yordan Kamdzhalov, Zoran Juranić, Marco Boemi, Pavle Dešpalj and, naturally, Ville Matvejeff, still with us); introducing two new subscription packages that are hard to avoid. The package Guest performances comprises performances by the Zagreb CNT Ballet and Drama, Gavella Drama Theatre, Slovene National Theatres from Ljubljana and Maribor, Malenki Theatre from Israel, Slovenian Philharmonic, the young pianist star Aljoša Jurinić and Yusif Eyvazov, one of the leading tenors in the world. We are starting with the revival of our ballet company led by Maša Kolar and you will also be able to meet new members of our ballet ensemble in no less than five premieres. We have twelve premiere drama productions produced by the Croatian and Italian drama companies and their guests; we are giving guest performances throughout Europe, performing Otello and a concert in the Zagreb CNT and in Lisinski, also recording CDs with world-class soloists. The premiere opera programme has never been richer, La Bohème, Dido and Aeneas, Macbeth, Falstaff, Norma, with reruns of Otello and Werther.
Apart from that, we are continuing with the restoration of the auditorium; it is the turn of the mezzanine, but also other spaces important for our spectators, such as public conveniences. We have listened to our audience so that in the new season there are no premieres or concerts with the uncomfortable mounted auditorium. We are starting the pilot programme of Rijeka Youth Theatre Kamov, creating the future of the Rijeka Theatre, a new audience”, were the words of the general manager and artistic director Marin Blažević introducing the new season.
Rosanna Bubola presented the Italian drama company season saying that it will be marked by homage, primarily to the Italian authors. The first premiere will be Brešan’s A Performance of Hamlet in the Village of Mrdusa Donja/La rappresentazione dell’Amleto nel villaggio di Merduscia di Sotto/, a classical project staged for the first time not just in Italian but its Istro-Venetian dialect. Mario Fratti is one of the most significant living Italian dramatist, living in New York. His funny and sharp comedy Six Passionate Women/Sei donne appassionate/, inspired by a Fellini’s film, will be performed in November. The performance for children and families Even fleas can cough/Anche le pulci hanno la tosse by Fulvio Tomizza will present him as an author for children. Pirandello’s unfinished play The Mountain Giants / IGiganti della montagna will be staged in a big co-production with theatres of ethnic minority groups from Trieste, Timisoara, Subotica and Skopje, actors from all of these participating theatres. After its Rijeka premiere at the beginning of March, this production will make a tour of these cities. “It is important to focus on great living authors as well, one of them definitely being Nelida Milani”, said Bubola. There will be reruns of The Mistress of the Inn/La Locandiera, of Cabaret D’Annunzio and Beware of the Wolf or Little Red Riding Hood/Attenti al lupo ovvero Cappuccetto Rosso.
Kristina Kaplan, acting Ballet company director, presented the new Ballet season by Maša Kolar, the newly appointed director. She pointed out that in the season 2017/2018, the Rijeka Ballet will be guided by ideas of diversity, work and excellence, in order to become emancipated and to strengthen the position and activities of the Rijeka Ballet ensemble. “The diversity of planned art projects and their very titles, from Macbeth, In any Case and Merry Christmas of Playful Children, to Hansel and Gretel and Rossini Cards, point to the diversity that represents the place of encounters, openness, curiosity, solidarity and equality”, said in her introduction Kristina Kaplan quoting Maša Kolar.
Macbeth after William Shakespeare’s tragedy, in the choreography of Maša Kolar and on the original music by Višeslav Laboš, in the dynamic style of challenging sequences will impel dancing, being also richly worked out and made highly aesthetic. In Any Case by the choreographer Vigur Gurdu, intended for the 40+ dancers, will present old age in a playful manner, using the dance physical theatre through a new form, where the body is the archive, by its experience and by dance. Maša Kolar will make the choreography for the ballet Merry Christmas of Playful Children, which shows in a specific way what the spirit of Christmas used to be and what it has become today. The awarded American choreographer and ballet dancer Gina Patterson will bring the neoclassical ballet in pointe shoes Hansel and Gretel after the brothers Grimm fairy tale. The contemporary ballet Rossini Cards by Mauro Bigonzetti that has delighted both the critics and audiences throughout Europe and North America will now be staged in Rijeka. The rerun of the Swan Lake by the choreographer and director Staša Zurovac is on the programme as well. It also has to be noted that new dancers are coming to the Ballet ensemble beginning from the month of September.
Presenting the programme of Croatian Drama, Jelena Kovačić announced that Anica Tomić will be directing Büchner’s Woyzeck, one of the most frequently performed and influential drama plays in German, while Bojana Lazić will direct Schwab’s The Presidents. Nazor’s Voda (Water) will be the first direction of a play for children by the renowned choreographer Matija Ferlin. Night School by Vedrana Klepica will open the issue of teenagers committed to the Lopača Psychiatric Hospital. It will be directed by Renata Carola Gatica. ZAJC LAB is a programme that has been conceived as an incubator of new ideas and experiments in co-operation with artists of the independent scene, within which there will be co-productions with the GLEJ Theatre from Ljubljana (Brodar, Novak, Stegnar, Orgy) and with the OOUR Co-authors initiative art organisation (Čuljak, Down, by Law). Zajc Stand-up will have its autumn premiere in the Rijeka Theatre, while there will be reruns of Moliere’s The Misanthrope, Frljić’s Our Violence and Your Violence, Turbofolk Ri-Loudid, Bergman’s Autumn Sonata, Frljić’s and Blažević’s Croatian Theatre, Verne’s Around the World in Eighty Days for the young, as well as Amodeo’s Beware of the Wolf or Little Red Riding Hood. The Croatian Drama will give a number of guest appearances in European theatres, also hosting numerous drama guest productions in Rijeka.
Besides the rich opera and concert season, Opera director Petar Kovačić also announced the new subscription package GALA that is devoted to guest performances in co-operation with various partners. “The Slovene Philharmonic will finally be our guest with their concert. We are opening the concert season with the young pianist star Aljoša Jurinić who has moved to New York, being lucky to be able to have him. What is interesting is that for every concert we have another conductor. The audience of chamber concerts will be able to sit in the comfortable armchairs in the stalls and no longer in the mounted auditorium.” It is Italian opera that is in the focus of the opera programme, with standard works in a new guise. Thirty years after its last staging in our theatre, we have La Bohème again in the direction of Fabrizio Melano, after it the baroque opera Dido and Aeneus, the Verdi – Shakespeare trilogy Macbeth, Otello and Falstaff, as well as Bellini’s Norma. There will be reruns of Werther and Otello. The recording of CDs is continued, while the presentation of the two ones will be at Super Gala Concerts, the first in Lisinski, the second in the Rijeka Theatre, with the eminent group of great singers (Lucio Gallo, Yusiv Eyvazov, Daria Masiero, Rossana Rinaldi) and two conductors (Marco Boemi and Ville Matvejeff).
It is from this season that the pilot project Rijeka Youth Theatre Kamov starts under the lead of Igor Vlajnić.
The subscription for theatre packages begins on 5th of September 2017.