“Riga 2014” Programme for April Presents Several Noteworthy Premieres
Dāvis Sīmanis’ film “Escaping Riga” is screening at the “Splendid Palace” cinema from the 2nd of April. The film is a cinematographic journey, a docudrama that demonstrates how developments in the first part of the 20th century influenced and changed people’s lives. The main characters in the film are two remarkable personalities of the twentieth century: the British thinker, Sir Isaiah Berlin and Russian film director Sergei Eisenstein, who were both born in Riga more than a hundred years ago.
Juris Podnieks Studio’s documentary film “Territory/Vija.Celmins” will have its premiere at the “Splendid Palace” cinema on the 10th of April. The documentary will accompany the opening of the artist’s solo exhibition at the Art Museum Riga Bourse. The exhibition “Vija Celmins. Double Reality” will be the unique Latvia-born U.S. pop art and photorealism artist Vija Celmins’ largest exhibition in Latvia. In addition to the mach awaited exhibition and film premiere, there will be several meetings and discussions with the artist herself.
World premieres of one-act ballets by some of the world’s best choreographers, set to three Latvian composers’ works – are scheduled for the 26th and 27th of April at 7 p.m. at the Latvian National Opera. In an unprecedented collaboration project, contemporary choreographers of various nationalities offer their vision and interpretation of music permeated with a Latvian mentality.
The young choreography star and Stuttgart Ballet choreographer Demis Volpi offers his individual take on the laconic, and very Nordic, music of Pēteris Vasks. The intense and religious music by Rihards Dubra has inspired Mário Radačovský, Artistic Director of the Ballet of the National Theatre Brno. The enlightening and heartfelt world of Georgs Pelēcis’ sounds will be transformed into the language of dance by the outstanding American prima ballerina Bridget Breiner who has recently started to work as a choreographer.
Several new compositions will also have world premieres in April. On the 4th of April, Ēriks Ešenvalds’ Luke Passion will be performed in the Riga Dom as part of the “Bach. Passion. Riga” concert series. The other concerts in the series “Bach. Passion. Riga” will be performed in the three main churches of Riga three Friday nights before Easter.
The “Windstream” festival is also dedicated to Johann Sebastian Bach this year. Several concerts of the festival, including the international composers’ competition, are part of the European Capital of Culture Programme.. The motto of the competition, which presents several composers’ works created specifically for the Professional Symphonic Band “Riga”, is “Feel Bach, Continue Bach, Discuss with Bach”. The final of the competition will be held at the Great Guild Hall on the 19th of April at 7 p.m. The award ceremony, also at the Great Guild Hall, will be on the 20th of April at 7 p.m.
“Transcendental Oratorios” by composer Zigmars Liepiņš will have its world premiere in the Riga Dom on the 26th of April at 7 p.m. The oratorio is based on a true story that occurred during an earthquake in Japan. A baby boy is rescued from the debris. He has survived the earthquake thanks to his mother who used her body to shield the baby. The mother’s last message was, “If you can survive, you must remember that I love you…” The concert will feature opera stars Aleksandrs Antoņenko and Inga Šļubovska, State Choir “Latvija” and chamber orchestra “Sinfonietta Riga”, conducted by Jānis Liepiņš.
The European Capital of Culture Programme of Riga is prepared and run by the foundation “Riga 2014” in collaboration with state, municipal and non-governmental cultural organisations and creative associations. The programme is financed by the Riga City Council, Ministry of Culture and the European Commission, and offered to the public in partnership with “Lattelecom”, which also provides technical support for the Program.