2014 to Bring More Than 200 Culture Events to Riga

2014 to Bring More Than 200 Culture Events to Riga
Mārtiņš Otto
05-04-2013 A+ A-
In a symbolic opening event on Thursday, April 4 on Esplanade, the foundation 'Riga 2014' announced the program of Riga 2014 – European Capital of Culture featuring more than 200 events in various fields of artistic and cultural activity.

For Riga – European Capital of Culture, a significant planning period has been completed, rather than being public, centering on the collaboration of many cultural organizations and partners of 'Riga 2014.'  Now, we are opening the program of Riga 2014 to the public – to be explored, studied, and discovered,’ said the chair of the foundation 'Riga 2014' Diāna Čivle to the audience of the presentation. The year 2014 program events will add even more and new elements to the traditionally inviting spectrum of Riga’s cultural life. The program was built with participation of almost one hundred state, municipality and non-governmental organizations, generating the environment for the events of 2014 in Riga to rise to a prominent international level and to draw strength from the most up-to-date European and global cultural currents. The year of Riga as European Capital of Culture will be Latvia’s chance to earn international attention before 2015 when the state takes over the presidency of the Council of the European Union.

The program of Riga 2014 promises a rich concert life, with a number of guest appearances of such world stage musicians as Māris Jansons conducting Bavarian Radio Symphony Orchestra, Gidon Kremer, Misha Maisky, Maija Kovalevska, Marina Rebeka, Egils Siliņš, orchestra ‘Kremerata Baltica’ and others on Riga’s many musical platforms. The novelties of the operatic repertoire will be two original operas telling about two outstanding personalities in Latvia’s history and culture Valentina Freimane and Mikhail Tal. Entire Richard Wagner’s ‘Ring of the Nibelungs’ will be presented to the public as well as premiere of opera ‘Rienzi’ Wagner began to compose while living in Riga.

An eventful weekend of January 17th to 19th will open the year of European Capital of Culture in Riga. An action of participation is planned for January 18, with live chain of people passing books by hand from the old building of the National Library to the new one, multimedia opera ‘Rienzi’ will see its premiere, and several exhibitions – ‘1914’ in the exhibition hall ‘Arsenāls,’ ‘Amber Through Times’ focusing on this national treasure as a scientific material, and a show of kinetic art ‘From Johanson to Johanson’ in the National Library of Latvia – will open their doors to the public. A wide range of events will also invite the audience to the town of Sigulda.

The National Library of Latvia will offer cultural events all year round, one of which will be the exposition of rarities of European historic publishing ‘500 Years of the Book 1514-2014,’ and exhibitions of such re-known artists as Vija Celmiņa and Gustavs Klucis will open in other cultural venues in Riga.

The culture will take on the role of the medium, in the program of 'Riga 2014,' in order to address the heated questions of Latvia’s history in World War I, and the ‘Corner House’ project will feature several expositions bringing to light the human, individual aspect of the history of wars and decisive change.

Several large-scale international events will be part of the European Capital of Culture program as well, such as World Quire Olympics, which will bring more than 20 000 singers from all around the world to Riga, and the European Film Academy will present its annual awards in the capital of Latvia.

A program focusing on contemporary art will involve active participation of Riga’s partner-town Sigulda in the European Capital of Culture processes, and collaboration is under way with several other municipalities, such as Daugavpils 2014, where an international conference dedicated to the art of Mark Rothko will be held.  

Unusual venues are chosen for many of 'Riga 2014' events, taking the culture out of the center – into all of the city’s neighborhoods, where the public will be invited to free cultural programs and to participation in the proceedings as volunteers, audience or guests coming from however far.

A free program of Riga – European Capital of Culture will be available to everyone in the post offices and libraries all over Latvia, and materials representing it will be found in the Council of Riga service centers, in the Ministry of Culture of Latvia, in the trading centers and service centers of the main partner of the thematic line ‘Riga Carnival’ ‘Lattelecom,’ as well as in the office of the foundation 'Riga 2014'.

With the opening of 'Riga 2014' program the public, the home page of Riga 2014 www.riga2014.orghas also significantly changed, turning into a cultural portal offering not only the calendar of Riga – European Capital of Culture events, but also a possibility for everyone to make their own selections of program elements, promote a deeper exploration of their content, participants, and stories surrounding them in the European and world cultural context.

The program was announced to the public on Esplanade, where 'Riga 2014' informative space will be found this summer and in 2014.

More information and complete program of the events will be found onwww.riga2014.org

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