„Daile” – when cinema becomes a music house
A place for performances and coffee break
The first thing we notice is the 400-seat auditorium which is the same number of seats as Valmiera Theatre has, but the stage is five times nine metres big (just like at The Latvian National Theatre).
„We'll reward Valmiera Theatre by offering them to show their stagings at our place as we often visit Valmiera with performances by ”ARS NOVA„ musical theatre,” tells Anda Zadovska who proudly shows „Yamaha” grand piano (which is to be used at the next week's concert show „Pus es”). She then guides us up to the balconies which are also equipped with the seats located on special platforms, so that the stage is well seen from every side in the auditorium. It's possible to take out the seats, so, for standing concerts, the music house capacity will be up to 700 people.
Owners of the music house have particularly taken care of the acoustics and sound quality which various experts evaluated as really good. Sigvards Kļava, artistic director and conductor of Latvian Radio Choir, was among them, and it's highly possible that the choir might sing at „Daile” too.
„Andris Alviķis will be the main sound technician at ”Daile„. He is outstanding in his work, so it's clear why we chose him.”
We also have a look at a small place they call Ojārs Vācietis' Room, in there, all the rehearsals for the concert show „Pus es” are done. Vintage synthesizers „Hammond L102” and „Fender Rhodes” are also kept in there, composer Jānis Lūsēns feels especially proud of having them. „I hope to create a small cafe in this room some day,” tells Anda Zadovska who also reveals that most of „Daile” interior ideas are hers.
Rooms for musicians are set up on the second floor where the former cinema mechanic's „cabin” once were. There is also a library room which later could be adapted as the reading place. While showing us the unfinished brick walls (which are perfectly seen in the auditorium as well. Stage designer Reinis Suhanovs was the one who advised to leave them that way), Anda Zadovska tells that such walls suit the best for the original house (built in 1913). As the owner of „Daile” Juris Nāruns once told, his father expected to operate the house as cinema (it was opened in 1930).
That's why the owner of the building is glad that cultural events will be held at „Daile” again.
Decorations for „Meierovics”, the upcoming musical production by Jānis Lūsēns and Māra Zālīte, are currently put in the main auditorium, but soon those will be moved to the other hall where rehearsals for „Meierovics” will be held. The premiere will be on November 18 at The Latvian National Opera.
Cloakroom and cafe is set up on the first „Daile” floor. Visitors will be able to have a cup of coffee during the breaks, and the prices for drinks and snacks will be reasonable, promises Anda Zadovska. The large lobby will be used for promoting the upcoming music projects, some light advertisments and special information will be available in there. Also a romantic and beautiful ladies' room is set up on the first floor, where the interior design is made by Zadovska herself. However, she decided to keep her inspiration sources in secret. She points out that everything is made as good as possible so that the visitors feel comfortable while attending „Daile”. Zadovska also notes that she is particularly grateful to artist Anita Lūsēna and singer Uģis Roze - he has agreed to fulfill the duties of technical director.
Hoping to become a repertory theatre
Contrary to the black walls of the auditorium which is, in fact, easier to lighten according to theatre requirements, the office where Zadovska works is decorated in bright colors. „I don't have windows in the office, but that's fine. The doors are open all day anyway, and I hear everything that goes around,” she tells just before revealing a story about „Daile” origins. „I realize that I've taken too much workload at the moment,” admits Zadovska also noting that they decided to keep the former title „Daile” as it was before the music house. „It's an issue of branding, everyone knows about ”Daile„, so it works positively for us. The only doubts were if we should call it the musical theatre, because music gigs are important to us as well. Zigfrīds Muktupāvels advised us to call it venue. So, it's now titled music house because ”Daile„ will offer both theatre and music performances. After all, theatre shows are offered at Rēzekne and Spīķeri concert halls too.”
„It will be five years on September 23 since the musical theatre ”Ars Nova„ started to work. When counting together all the expenses- transportation, rent, hotels, stage design, etc., it's clear that the numbers are not so great. For example, showing ”Kaupēns„ in Liepāja cost us two thousand lats. As we don't get funding from the state and received financial grants only for few projects, it matters, because our only incomes are ticket sales. We came to a conclusion that having our own place would reduce the expenses, and started to look for one,” she tells also adding that, though formerly she thought of a cinema as the potential place for the music house, the idea of taking „Daile” was not the first to come in mind.
Right now, it's important to balance the finances, because a great deal of money went on repair costs and expenses we did not plan."
During the renovation, they experienced various adventures. Anda Zadovska still keeps photos of all the dusty rooms from that time on her computer. The newly renovated rooms now seem pretty clean and proper.
She does not really like to talk about the future projects although there are some plans. "We are thinking of operating on a basis of a repertory theatre. In real life, it means showing one theatre performance for a month, and then comes another project. That would be our goal for now.
We hope to find new partners who could support us in future as now we have our own „home”.
An auditorium with 400 seats, it's my „dream comes true”. It's as much seats as at Valmiera Theatre which I always found the best theatre in Latvia."
Anda Zadovska does not think that „Daile” competes with the newly renovated Ziemeļblāzma, „Palladium” or Spīķeri Concert Hall. Each of those places has its own functions and goals. „I have loads of ideas, finally, this is a place where our directors, sound and light technicians can come and set up everything for the show. We also have radio microphones and other technologies required for musical theatre. If you're asking me about next year's events related to European Capital of Culture, I can tell that we're sending in applications for Riga Council project competitions and feel positive about this. Besides, ”Daile„ is a significant venue in Riga cultural environment, so, yes, we will take part in the events of European Capital of Culture.”