Most significant theater and opera projects of “Rīga 2014”

Most significant theater and opera projects of “Rīga 2014”
No Valentīnas Freimanes arhīva . Viens no 2014. gada ievērojamākajiem kultūras notikumiem būs Artūra Maskata operas „Valentīna” iestudējums LNO
19-12-2013 A+ A-
Proceeding to reveal the “Rīga 2014” programme, we offer the chance to take a look at the wide selection of opera and theater projects, starting with Arturs Macat’s opera “Valentina”, which is still in the making, followed by the Sigulda International Opera Festival and last, but not least – Latvian Academy of Culture festival “The Autumn of Patriarch 2014”.


* Rienzi. Triumph and Defeat. Opus in images

19 and 21 January, 3 and 15 June, the Latvian National Opera

Richard Wagner begun composing his third opera “Rienzi” in Riga and with this piece, the composer begun his road to global success. The ties of this opera and its composer to Riga are also stressed in this new production, opening the year of Riga as the European Capital for Culture.

The multimedia production of ‘’Rienzi’ in Riga is carried out by an international of team of creative artists and the Danish Director Kirsten Dehlholm, who the Latvian audience may recognise from the multimedia productions of “Operation: Orfeo” and “War Sum Up”. Electronic music of the young Latvian sound artist Voldemārs Johansons will also be used in the productions. The Riga Dom Cathedral Boys Choir and students of the Riga Choreography secondary school will also take part in the production.

Tickets available at “Biļešu paradise” box offices and on-line.

Thematic division “Thirst for the Ocean”


* forte forte. First week of plays

25 January – 1 February, cinema “Splendid Palace” and film studio “Rīgas kinostudija”

The contemporary theater program “forte forte” is a year-long program of lead European director play productions. The first week of “forte forte” will be dedicated to New Riga Theater Artistic Director’s Alvis Hermanis accomplishments in Western Europe.

On 25 and 26 January, at 19:00 pm, at the film studio “Rīgas kinostudija”, the production of the play „Späte Nachbarn” (Late Neighbors), based on the literature of Isaac Bashevis Singer, played out by the Munich Chamber Theatre, will take place. On 30, 31 January and 1 February, at 19:00 pm, at the same location, “Burgtheater Wien” will play out the production of “Fathers”, featuring well-known Latvian actors Gundars Āboliņš un Juris Baratinskis.

On 28 January, the premiere of Gints Grube documentary “Vairāk nekā dzīve” (More than life) about A. Hermanis, will take place at cinema “Splendid Palace”.

Thematic division “Freedom Street”

* forte forte. Second week of plays

19 and 20 March, unspecified location – any of the theaters in Riga or unconventional play venues near Brivibas Street.

The second week of plays of the contemporary theater program “forte forte” is dedicated to the Belgian director Jan Lauwers and “Needcompany”. On 19 and 20 March, the play “Isabella’s room” will take place, featuring the likes of Viviane De Muynck, Anneke Bonnema, Hans Petter Dahl, Julien Faure, Benoît Gob, Misha Downey, Ludde Hagberg, Sung-Im Her, Yumiko Funaya and Maarten Seghers.

Thematic division “Freedom Street”


* Opera “Mikhail and Mikhail play chess”

12 March, New Hall at the Latvian National Opera.

The opera “Mikhail and Mikhail play chess” of the young Latvian composer Kristaps Pētersons, is dedicated to world champion in chess from Riga - Mikhail Tal.

The musical drama of the opera is based on the sensational game of chess, which was played out in the 1960 world championship in Moscow, where Tal beat the seemingly unbeatable soviet people’s chess playing idol Mikhail Botvinnik. The legendary event will be played out in the form of a multimedia lecture, stressing the ideological meaning of chess in the Soviet Union, as well as Tal’s intuition and improvisation-based tactics that allowed him to beat the academian Botvinnik, who was very rational.

The artists to form the creative team of the production are conductor Ainārs Rubiķis, choreographer Kiril Burlovs who resides in London, director Viesturs Meikšāns, set designer Reinis Suhanovs, and French video artist Carlos Franklin. Opera will be performed in Russian.

Upcomming performances: 13 March, 21 March, 23 May, 7 June, 10 June.

Tickets available at “Biļešu paradise” box offices and on-line.

Thematic division “Amber Vein”


* Chamber opera “Wind of the Sun”

5 and 6 June, Spīķeri Concert Hall, Riga Festival

Planes are delayed due to bad weather. Two people accidentally meet at the airport. But there are no coincidences, as we know. Universe works in its own way as the air flow that comes and goes. Wind of the sun makes magnetic storms and Northern Light, but people meet, they fall in love, get close, get distanced and long for each other.

Vocal group “Framest” and an instrumental band will take part in the chamber opera, composed by Krists Auzenieks and directed by Indra Roga.

Thematic division “Riga Carnival”

* “The Ladies' Paradise”

21 July – 3 August, “Esplanāde 2014”

“The Ladies’ Paradise” consists of five performances, each of them portraying two decades in fashion, between the years 1900-2000. The aim of the project is to employ the genre of entertaining performance in order to foreground a phenomenon as wide as European fashion. Well-known fashion designers from Riga will participate in the performances, created and produced by Ilona Brūvere; fashion adviser - Natālija Jansone.

Thematic division “Riga Carnival”

* Opera “The Enchanted Wanderer

17 July, the Latvian National Opera

The Mariinsky Theatre of Saint Petersburg, Russia, will bring three soloists, a choir and an orchestra to Riga to perform the opera “The Enchanted Wanderer”. The production is based on Nikolai Leskov’s story and the libretto has been created by composer Rodion Shchedrin. Artistic Director - Valery Gergiev. 

The opera was commissioned by the American conductor Loren Maazel and it is also dedicated to him. The opera was premiered on 19 October, 2002, at the Avery Fisher Hall in New York, by the New York Philharmonic, conducted by Maazel himself. The stage production of the piece was premiered at the Mariinsky Theatre on 26 July of 2008 and later was also included in the theater’s repertoire. The production in Riga will feature synchronized subtitles in Latvian and English.

Thematic division “Riga Carnival” ​


* XXII Sigulda International Opera Festival

1-3 August, Sigulda Castle ruins open-air stage

The XXII Sigulda International Opera Festival will be opened with a concert on 1 August, followed by a special performance for children on 2 August and the original production of G. Bizet’s “Carmen” at the Livonian Order's castle in Sigulda. The great opera soloists from France, like Clémentine Margaine, Pierre Yves Privo and Philippe Do, will be among the head role players. Director Vladimir Kiradjiev will also take part in the festival.

As tradition, the opera festival will close with the annual gala concert, which this year will such world renowned and loved opera singers as Vitorio Vitelli and Ino Tamar.

Tickets available at “Biļešu paradize” box offices and on-line.

* “Cafe Spleen or August 1914”

12 August – 12 September, at Jānis Akurāters Museum and the museum garden.

The campaign “Cafe Spleen or August 1914” is aimed at understanding how the war changed the way people thought, thus creating the modern human. “Café Spleen or August 1914” creates the venue of the campaign as an expo, featuring vocally instrumental oratorios of J. Akuraters, E. Virza and K. Skalbe poetry, as well as the following performances in-between lectures:

- “The Riflemen Theatre in the Black cabinet”;

- “My grand-father, my great-grand-father, my great-great-grandfather – rifleman or the tales of the unmentioned”;

- “Two little doves…”;

- “The Field of Death” – poetry of G. Trakl and story “Death” by Jānis Akurāters;

- “My letter to another generation”;

- reading of novel “Fiery Flowers” by Jānis Akurāters.

Thematic division “Freedom Street”


* Latvian Academy of Culture festival “The Autumn of Patriarch 2014”

29 September – 5 October, E. Smiļģis Theater Museum and the Latvian Academy of Culture theater and audio-visual arts department “Zirgu pasts”.

Latvian Academy of Culture festival “The Autumn of Patriarch 2014” will represent a marathon of events introducing the public to aspiring artists in the field. The tradition of the festival’s opening event remains steady – it is a concert-performance in the pavilion of Āgenskalns market followed by a walk to the Theatre Museum. The week of the festival will invite to performances created by student theatre and film directors, actors, film operators, and choreographers. Guest lectures and performances as well as master classes will enrich the program of the festival. “The Autumn of Patriarch 2014” honors the 150 anniversary anticipation of famous Latvian writers Rainis and Aspazija, as well as separate events will be dedicated to the 450 anniversary of William Shakespeare.

Thematic division “Road Map”


* Splendors and Miseries in the Schengen Zone

30 September – 30 November, Latvian National Theater

The series of performances – the festival – features several European directors, who address the issue of preserving national identity and sovereignty. Some of Europe’s most prominent new generation theater artists have been invited to take part in the festival to allow the audience to witness the latest ideas and concepts, offered by the art of theater in Europe.

The project will invite participation of the theatre artists of younger generation from different parts of Europe. The project aims to explore the newest ideas and possibilities offered by European artistic space. The concept of the project is created by director Valters Sīlis and playwright Jānis Balodis, using different and unique theatre elements and approaches to solve each idea and theme individually. The series will explore theatrical diversity, attempting to cross the limits of dramatic theatre. The performances merge theatre, modern dance and the art of performance.

Thematic division Thirst for the Ocean”



* Brightness. The Series

17. oktobris un 18. oktobris, vieta tiks precizēta

The “Tenso” European Chamber Choir worshop, which takes place from 10 till 19 October, will conclude with the premiere of the production Brightness. The Series”, which is part of the international choir festival “Tenso Days”. This is the first major performance of the choir, an exciting, interactive night trip will be related to an actual issue – how media manipulates with the society, the process that also includes arts. 

The staging is made by conductor and artistic director Kaspars Putniņš, composer Kristaps Pētersons, stage director Zane Kreicberga, guitar player Kaspars Zemītis and DJ Monsta (Uldis Cīrulis).

Thematic division “Amber Vein”



* Opera par kartupeli

24 October, the Latvian National Theater

The road of the small potato from the Andi Mountains in Brazil to castles in Europe and furrows in Latvia is a colorful and exciting one. It also is a slightly scary one – as lengthy travels should be! The lead actors of the Latvian National Theater will play out the journey through dance and song, directed by – Jan Villem van den Bosch. The libretto will be created by Inese Zandere and musical composition – Valts Pūce. Also taking part in this journey will be the Girls’ Quire of Riga Dome, conducted by Aira Birziņa, a chamber orchestra and the most gifted singers and dancers from schools around Latvia. The godfather of the project is Andrejs Hansons.

Tickets available at “Biļešu paradize” box offices and on-line.

Thematic division “Survival Kit”​

* Opera “Valentina”

5 and 6 December, the Latvian National Opera

Arturs Maskat’s inspiration for his opera “Valentina” was the legendary theater and film critic and historian Valentīna Freimane, as her personal story inseparably interweaves with the significant events of Latvian and European history, therefore opening the panorama of the era in all its tragedy and controversy. The new opera reflects the dramatic pages of Latvian history written between the years 1939-1944, which are significant for the record, culture and the spectrum of nations who lived in the territory of Latvia at the time. Head role – opera singer Inga Kalna.

Thematic division “Freedom Street”


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