Festival “Summertime” to Open with a Dedication to the Baltic Sea
“During these years we have become a symbol of the Jūrmala culture, and this year, too, we have prepared seven days of quality recreation for all those who love art and good music. Our programme will offer something for every taste, from opera to jazz, the programme also includes a symphony orchestra concert, duets from operas, flamenco…” opera singer Inese Galante told the press conference, adding that, traditionally, the festival will be preceded by the concert “Prelude”, in the Riga Dom on the 8th of July. “And just like last year, young talents will also participate in this year’s festival “Summertime” – the winners of the Inese Galante talent competition will be performing together with the greatest cultural personalities of Latvia. I am very proud that there are so many talented musicians and up-and-coming stars in Latvia. It is simply amazing, and the competition proved that there are very many talented people in Latvia,” said the opera star.
Commenting on the festival’s opening concert on the 11th of August, Inese Galante noted that there was no need to say anything about Mozart’s “Requiem”, part of the concert’s programme – this beautiful and timeless composition so well known to any person interested in music. Why was the “Requiem” chosen for the concert? “We wish that nothing bad happens to the Baltic Sea, a treasure of not only Jūrmala but of the entire Latvia, and we want the sea to be clean and preserved for our children and grandchildren.
Therefore, to turn the spotlight on the problem, we decided to take this step and to invite truly outstanding artists to participate in the concert: the brilliant Italian conductor Evelino Pidò, with whom we have worked together on many projects and who is sometimes considered a contemporary reincarnation of Toscanini, as well as acclaimed soloists: mezzosoprano Ann Hallenberg from Sweden, Austrian tenor Andreas Schager, and our own outstanding bass-baritone Egils Siliņš.”
Director Uģis Brikmanis has been entrusted with staging the festival’s opening concert. The concert will also include a screening of Director Sandijs Semjonovs’ documentary film about the Baltic Sea, the pollution and demise of the sea. “I believe that it will be a very memorable and emotional concert,” said Inese Galante, adding that one of Latvia’s most talented young violinists, the winner of several international competitions Daniils Bulajevs will also participate in the concert.
The other festival concerts will also offer something for everyone, said Inese Galante. The Grammy-winning unique and multi-talented artist Dobet Gnahore from Africa will give her first concert in Latvia (and her first at the Dzintari Concert Hall) on the 12th of August, and the Madrid flamenco ensemble “Daminaro” will perform a concert in Dzintari on the 13th of August. “The evening of the 14th of August will feature duets, including me performing with our outstanding opera singers Aleksandrs Antoņenko and Sergejs Jēgers. We have also prepared a surprise – a composition that has never been performed by the duo of a soprano and countertenor,” Inese Galante said. The 15th of August concert will present, for the first time in Latvia, the legendary piano duo of the Labèque sisters, which will perform their interpretation of the Symphonic Dances from Bernstein’s musical the “West Side Story”. The “Jazz, Blues and Opera” concert at the Dzintari Concert Hall, featuring the Latin Grammy winning pianist, the virtuoso king of jazz Daniel Kramer, will be on the 16th of August.
“The festival will close on the 17th of August with an impressive gala concert, bringing together some of the greatest contemporary stars – tenor Ray. M. Wade, the La Scala diva Bonita Himana, as well as Inese Galante’s long-time stage partners Aleksandrs Antoņenko, Sergejs Jēgers, Intars Busulis, and violinist Raimonds Ozols. The concert will start at 6 p.m.