Maestro Ville Matvejeff, soloists, the CNT Ivan pl. Zajc Orchestra and Chorus took the Rijeka Theatre audience tonight to the music journey in the south and the north, to Spain and to Finland. Two exceptionally powerful and tragic musical stories, La Vida Breve by Manuel de Falla and Kullervo by Jean Sibelius, filled the audience with enthusiasm. We are reporting only some of the visitors’ comments, still under the strong impression of their experience: “I cannot find words strong enough for what I’ve experienced tonight. It was a top-level concert!”, “Congratulations to all for their performance of two enormous and challenging works!”, “ Tragic themes, heavenly music, a top-grade performance!”
The recognisable Spanish and Roma sounds of de Falla’s Short Life have enchanted the audience, but so have also the brilliant soloists, first of all Anamarija Knego as Salud, then Sofia Cingula as Granny, Marko Fortunato as Paco, Slavko Sekulić as uncle Salvaor, Vivien Galletta as Carmela, Dario Bercich as Manuel, Robert Kolar as Cantao, Martin Marić as Voice from the blacksmith’s, Ljubov Košmerl-Judčenko, Tea Ban and Boris Mohorić as vendors.
In the second part of the concert we heard the powerful sound of the monumental Sibelius’s Kullervo in the performance of the mezzosoprano Ivana Srbljan and the baritone Robert Kolar with the male Opera chorus together with the male Academy chorus of the J. Dobrila University in Pula Music Academy. The Rijeka premiere of Kullervo that marked hundred years of Finnish independence was under the auspices of the Finnish Embassy in the Republic of Croatia, as part of the program “Finland 100”.
There could not have been a better way to celebrate this significant Finnish jubilee than by tonight’s production of the grandiose Kullervo symphony by the greatest Finnish composer Jean Sibelius!