The programme of the 14th Rijeka Summer Nights has been presented by the motto “Time for Decisions!” This year the Festival will take place from the 30th June until the 21st July. There will be seventeen different programmes and twenty-two performances in twelve different locations.
At today’s press conference, Marin Blažević, the Rijeka Theatre general manager, having expressed his gratitude to the City of Rijeka and the sponsors explained the Festival motto “Time for decisions!”. There are two basic issues, the one of conception and the one of finances. Rijeka Summer Nights, initiated in 2004, were then the only Festival that offered to the citizens of Rijeka that which could be had in Split and Dubrovnik. In the meantime, a number of smaller festivals or manifestations emerged in Rijeka and the surrounding area so that Rijeka Summer Nights had to face a new situation. However, as long as this Festival is organised by a national theatre house, its programme should not and cannot be guided by market and commercial popular entertainment, but aesthetic criteria”, said Blažević. He pointed out that this season the Festival goes back to its essence, relying on the performing and artistic programme of its own forces, of drama, opera, ballet…” “Three concepts having been offered in the last three years, now it is time for the decision on how to continue. The existence of the Festival is not and should not be in question, but be as a breakwater of art, a festival as the Split or Dubrovnik Summer Festivals are, valuated in the same way”, said Blažević and invited all those who are interested or are responsible to the session of the popular Theatre Parliament to be held on 6th July, when the concept and the future of the Rijeka Summer Nights will be discussed.
From this year’s programme the Rijeka theatre general manager singled out the Festival Opening under the title “Theatre that Breathes”, when the theatre building will become a forum, all the dors into all theatre spaces will be opened while the artists will perform excerpts from past, actual and future performances. “ This time we are not going to take the theatre programme into the city, but bring the city into the Theatre.”
He then set apart Turbofolk by Oliver Frljić, the most frequently performed production of the Rijeka Theatre, counting over eighty performances and numerous guest appearances. ‘It will be revived with the new cast and new actualised contents as Turbofolk – Ri-Loudid. As its subtitle, This is a performance on Robert Frank and Hrvoje Buri
, suggests, it will deal with the new Rijeka political romance or Hrobert”, said Blažević.
Primorje Aqua Maris Synchronised Swimming Club is preparing the dance spectacle on water entitled Back to the 60s at the Kantrida swimming pools complex. As part of the bonus programme, aboard the Galeb ship, two young authors from New York and South Africa will deal with the theme of Josip Broz Tito and John F. Kennedy.
As the biggest and most ambitious programme, Marin Blažević singled out the anniversary premiere of Verdi’s Aida that will mark sixty years of the Opatija Open Air Theatre, with Kristina Kolar in the title role.
The Festival will be closed with the multimedia spectacle of the Sudar Percussion ensemble.
“We are bringing highly artistic performances as Aida, also provocative ones as is Turbofolk. From tragedy to comedy, provocative productions to those for children and the young, while at the same time awaiting the future of the Festival”, concluded Marin Blažević.
Croatian Drama director Jelena Kovačić, apart from Turbofolk in its Ri-Louded revived version, announced the premiere of Zajc Stand-up in the direction of one of the best comedians of the Croatian theatre, Borko Perić. The Hotel Bulić theatre will give guest performance with the monodrama Lampedusa Beach by Lina Prosa, which the most famous Rijeka actress Nina Violić will perform at the Torpedo venue. Regarding plays for children, next to two performances of the Rijeka City Puppet Theatre, this year we will have the guest performance Šumastikus by Sanja Milardović, also Rijeka actress, and Petar Cvirn. This production will be performed in a wood, the Vladimir Nazor Park. Frequent collaborators of the Croatian Drama Ivana Kalc and Mila Čuljak, in the co-production of the Kabinet Artistic Organisation, are preparing a dance production on the theme of motherhood of the 21st century that will be performed at the Torpedo venue.
Kristina Kaplan Rukavina, Ballet Company acting director, expressed her gratitude to the INA
Company, the Ballet programme sponsor, and announced two different guest performances for the lovers of dance and ballet. The Croatian Dance Network is bringing Two Dance Solos and two excellent and awarded dancers, Petra Hrašćanec and Aleksandra Mišić. For those who like the ballet in pointe shoes, there will be a guest performance by Ariston Proballet from Italy with Rock Bach Concert that dynamically combines many of extremes using both classical and rock music.
Ivan Krešić, INA Company member, referred to the open door concept on the occasion of opening this year’s Festival, which, in a way, was preceded by the Day of Open Doors In the Oil Refinery Rijeka. He also mentioned the long-standing friendship of INA and the Rijeka Theatre: “It’s been for six consecutive years now that INA contributes to the realisation of the Rijeka Summer Nights by sponsoring the Ballet programme, as such worthwhile projects contribute to the cultural and tourist offer of Rijeka. This is why it is clear that the citizens of Rijeka, their friends and guests will again visit the Festival in great numbers. INA will definitely continue to support such initiatives in the future as the planned completion termination of a big project in the Rijeka Refinery, of a heavy residuum treatment plant, coincides with the year 2020, when Rijeka will be the European Capital of Culture, so that there is an interesting period awaiting us.”
The Rijeka Mayor Vojko Obersnel pointed out that there is clearly a great interest for maintaining the Rijeka Summer Nights, yet that it should be in the interest of all that the Festival remains on the same professional level as the Rijeka Theatre is, which is impossible without a wider social support. “This cannot be done by the City and sponsors alone, the Festival would have to be recognised by the Ministry of Culture as well, as is the case with other summer festivals in Croatia”, said the Mayor. He expressed the satisfaction with the fact that the Festival managed to keep the original Festival concept, namely to have the performances in different venues, not an easy thing to do due to both logistic and financial reasons. However, owing to the theatre employees’ enthusiasm, the Festival that is going to be on a professionally great level will have its devotees, each of them being able to find something for themselves. He completed this year’s Festival motto: ”It’s time for decisions! We’re not going to give up! “
The sale of tickets starts with Saturday 10th June at the Theatre’s Box Office (Verdijeva 5a, 051/337-114, email@example.com). There is a whole range of benefits and discounts, from 10% to 30%.