A Summer of Festivals, or What’s Still to Come This Summer

A Summer of Festivals, or What’s Still to Come This Summer
Maria Sandell . The street art festival “Re Re Riga!” will run in Riga from the 6th to the 9th of August
The unforgettable World Choir Games have concluded, but there are many important festivals still to come at “Riga 2014” this summer, starting already on Thursday, the 24th of July, with stage director Ilona Btrūevere’s series of ten open-air performances “The Ladies’ Paradise”. Later on, we will have a chance to witness the street art festival “Re Re Riga!”, the Blues Festival, Sigulda Opera Music Festival, and many other impressive events.

* Open-air night-time performances “The Ladies’ Paradise”

From the 24th of July to the 21st of August, the culture chalet “Esplanade 2014” will host, every Thursday from 10 p.m. to 1 a.m., ten open-air performances “The Ladies’ Paradise” that will present ten fashion designers’ interpretations of the European fashion history of the 20th century.


Each show will present two new couture collections and interpretations on the fashion of a given period by Dace Krieviņa, Kristiāna Dimitere, Ieva Veita, Sandra Sila, Roberts Krauze, Elita Patmalniece and Natālija Jansone – on the stage, while costumes by Žanete Auziņa, Rūta Kuplā, Indra Salcēviča, Vita Radziņa and Sabīne Groza will be shown on screen, featuring befitting music and dance moves characteristic of the period. The performances will feature the following actors as the most prominent personalities of the period – Andris Bulis, Juris Jope, Ieva Pļavniece, Marta Ančevska, Jūlija Ļaha, Alise Polačenko, Ieva Aleksandrova-Eklone, Māris Bezmers, Andris Gross and Mārtiņš Brūveris. An hour-long intermission between the shows will be used by the artists to prepare for the next decade to be presented to the audience in one of the central parks of Riga.

More information about the project is available here:


* The 5th Blues Festival in Sigulda

Local musicians and guests from Estonia, Italy, Great Britain, Poland, Finland and even the far-away Tasmania will participate in the 5th Sigulda Blues Festival that starts in the Sigulda Medieval Castle on Saturday, the 26th July. Traditionally, the festival will feature not only performances by blues musicians from various countries but also an open-air photography exhibition dedicated to blues. Furthermore, documentary films about blues music will be screened at the Blues Cinema.


The only open-air blues festival in Latvia brings together the best blues performers from Latvia and abroad. Part of the international festival’s programme is the final of the National Blues Competition, the winners of which represent Latvia at the main event in European blues music – “European Blues Challenge” that will be held in Brussels in 2015.

The festival’s full programme has been posted on the website of the Blues Festival.

Tickets to the Blues Festival are available from “Biļešu serviss” outlets and online.


* Introvert art festival “Ad Lucem”

The international introvert art festival “Ad Lucem” will run in Riga from the 26th of July to the 3rd of August, presenting multiple concerts in Riga concert halls and parks and creative workshops at the culture centre “Ziemeļblāzma”. Three festival programmes, “Sunrise in the City”, “Lord of Horizons” and “Night Meditation” have been included in the “Thirst for the Ocean” thematic line of the “Riga 2014” Programme.

“Sunrise in the City” is a free concert at the culture chalet “Esplanade”, located in the very heart of Riga, on the night from the 26th of July to the 27th of July. The night-long event will feature the post-folklore band “Iļģi” together with musicians Laima ansone, Raimonds Tiguls, Biruta Ozoliņa, Magnuss Bauģis, Timo Väänänen, Arja Kastinen and others, who will be performing introvert music to immerse the public in a meditative atmosphere up until the sunrise.

The “Lord of Horizons” concert by the orient music ensemble “Sarband” will be in Imants Ziedonis Hall of the National Library of Latvia on the 30th of July. The concert programme is inspired by the 17th century translator, scholar and composer Ali Ufki whose very life, at the crossroads between the Occident and Orient, is a proof of humanity, the greatest value of all time.

“Night Meditation”, the third concert in the “Ad Lucem” series, will be on the night from the 2nd of August to the 3rd of August at the culture centre “Ziemeļblāzma”. This very special tradition of “Ad Lucem” was started by the outstanding British cellist Matthew Barley – a musician ever open to new ideas and challenges who accepts no geographic, social or stylistic boundaries – in the summer of 2010. “Night Meditation” will be an indescribable and unforgettable experience for all who attend the concert. For eight hours the audience, sitting or lying on blankets and cushions, will be immersed in the sounds of acoustic and electric cello – listening, falling asleep, awaking, and finding themselves in a different dimension of perception

All information about the festival’s programme is available at the website of the “Ad Lucem” festival.

Tickets to the festival’s concerts are available from “Biļešu serviss” outlets and online.


* The 22nd Sigulda Opera Music Festival

The 22nd International Sigulda Opera Music Festival will be taking place at the Sigulda Castle Ruins stage from the 1st to the 3rd of August, offering the public a number of exquisitely beautiful concerts.

The festival’s opening concert “From Latvian to World Classics” will be in Sigulda New Castle Garden at 7 p.m. on the 1st of August. Performers: Gints Bērziņš, Raimonds Ozols, Mārtiņš Circenis, Jolanta Strikaite, Kalvis Kalniņš, Liene Camarena.


In an original open-air production of Georges Bizet’s “Carmen” at the Sigulda Castle Ruins stage on the 2nd of August, 9 p.m., three French soloists will perform the main roles: Clémentine Margaine as Carmen, Philippe Do as Don José, and Pierre-Yves Pruvot as Escamillo. The acclaimed Latvian soprano Maija Kovaļevska will star in the role of Micaëla. Supporting roles will be sung by Latvian opera singers Kristīne Gailīte, Olga Jakovļeva, Juris Ādamsons, Andris Lapiņš, Krišjānis Norvelis and Kalvis Kalniņš. The production is directed by Edmunds Freibergs. Also participating in the performance will be the festival’s orchestra and choir, conductor – Vladimir Kiradjiev.

A sacred music concert in Sigulda Evangelical Lutheran Church at 1 p.m. on the 3rd of August will feature George Frideric Handel’s “Dignare”, Andrew Lloyd Webber’s “Pie Jesu”, sacred music by Latvian and foreign composers, as well as “Solveig’s Song” from Edvard Grieg’s “Peer Gynt”. Participating in the concert will be the Riga Dom Choir School’s soloists, including the multiple award winners Gabors Goldmanis, Endijs Endelis, Patriks Tabaks and Nikolass Deivids Funo. Solveiga’s part will be sung by Laura Lolita Perešivana, a semi-finalist in Belvedere Competition for Young opera Singers. Aija Ziņģīte will be at the organ.

The festival’s gala concert will be at 5 p.m. on the 3rd of August. Two magnificent baritones, Pierre-Yves Pruvot (France) and Vittorio Vitelli (Italy), will perform in the concert, as well as Georgian soprano Iano Tamar and tenor Philippe Do (France). Tenor Marcelo Álvarez (Argentina) will be the Gala Concert’s special guest. The concert will also showcase Latvian National Opera soloists Krišjānis Norvelis, Rihards Mačanovskis, Olga Jakovļeva, Dināra Rudāne, and the festival’s orchestra and choir, conducted by Vladimir Kiradjiev.

More information about the Sigulda Opera Music Festival is available here:

Tickets to the Sigulda Opera Music Festival are available from “Biļešu paradīze” outlets and online shop.


* Street art and music festival “Re Re Riga!”

The international street art festival “Re Re Riga!” will run from the 6th to the 9th of August at the Congress Centre building, the Esplanade and elsewhere in the city. “Re Re Riga!” is the largest international street art and world music event in the Baltics. The festival’s programme includes performances in a variety of arts – new circus, music, dance, street theatre and others. The festival’s objective is to give an impetus to cultural processes in Riga by making the city a positively charged, creative, adventurous and socially-attractive environment. “Re Re Riga!” establishes a new tradition to place Riga on the world map of annual street festivals. All outdoor events of festival are free of charge.


This year, the festival will bring together more than sixty artists from twelve countries: Spain, the Netherlands, Belgium, Norway, Finland, Sweden, Estonia, France, Great Britain, Turkey, the United States and Latvia. The festival’s main venues include the Riga Congress Centre, the Congress Centre’s Square and the culture chalet “Esplanade 2014”, plus several performances that will take place elsewhere in the city. The colourful festival brings residents and guests of Riga a variety of cultures from different countries.

For a full programme of the festival, visit the website of “Re Re Riga!”.

The outdoor events of the festival will be free of charge, whereas tickets to other events are available from “Biļešu serviss”.


* Festival “Artissimo” concert “Years of Pilgrimage”

The festival “Artissimo” gala concert “Years of Pilgrimage” will be at the Dzintari Concert Hall on the 8th of August at 7 p.m., according to the Herman Braun Foundation.


Participating in the concert will be soprano Inga Kalna, bass Egils Siliņš, violinist Elīna Bukša, cellists Mischa Maisky and Ramon Jaffé, accordionist Ksenija Sidorova, vibraphonist Jānis Bombizo-Fedotovs, violinist Daniils Bulajevs, chamber orchestra “Kremerata Baltica” and the Latvian National Symphony Orchestra, conducted by Ainārs Rubiķis.
The concert will be made up of three parts, each showcasing unforgettable performances reminiscent of travels and visits to faraway countries: Latin American rhythms, pleasant strolls in Italy, an evening in New York, an early morning in Riga…

Further information about the festival is on the Herman Braun Foundation’s website.

Tickets to the festival’s concerts are available from “Biļešu serviss” outlets and online.


* Festival “Summertime. Inese Galante & Friends” to open with concert “Requiem – Prayer for the Baltic Sea”

The festival “Summertime. Inese Galante & Friends”, which this year marks its tenth anniversary, will open with the concert “Requiem – Prayer for the Baltic Sea”. Participants: soprano Inese Galante (Latvia), tenor Andreas Schager (Austria), bass Egils Siliņš (Latvia), mezzo-sopranos Ann Hallenberg (Sweden), and the Latvian National Symphony Orchestra. Conductor - Evelino Pidò (Italy).


“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: mezzo-soprano Ann Hallenberg from Sweden, Austrian tenor Andreas Schager, and our own outstanding bass-baritone Egils Siliņš,” says Inese Galante.

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.

For more information about the festival “Summertime”, visit the festival’s website.

Tickets to the concerts of the festival are available from “Biļešu paradīze” outlets and online shop.

* Night of the Ancient Bonfires

The “Riga 2014” foundation calls on residents in all coastal regions and cities of Latvia to light bonfires at the Vakarbuļļi beach on the 30th of August for the Night of the Ancient Bonfires. The campaign aims to turn people’s attention to the quality of environment and preserving resources for the future generations. A number of artists and scientists will also participate in the event.


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