The 22nd Sigulda Opera Music Festival

The 22nd Sigulda Opera Music Festival
Ilmārs Znotiņš
28-07-2014 Latviski A+ A-
From the 1st to the 3rd of August, the Sigulda Medieval Castle and Sigulda New Castle will host the 22nd International Sigulda Opera Music Festival, one of the events in the “Riga 2014” Programme. The festival’s programme includes the opening concert “From Latvian to World Classics”, performance for children “Horse of My Dreams”, an original open-air production of the opera “Carmen”, a sacred music concert, and the ever-surprising Gala Concert.

Friday through Sunday, Sigulda Region Council will also offer visitors to attend various events in Sigulda Medieval Castle and New Castle free of charge.

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. The concert will feature the acclaimed Latvian pianist Gints Bērziņš who has worked at the Metropolital Opera House, the Latvian National Orchestra’s Concert Master Raimonds Ozols, virtuoso clarinettist Mārtiņš Circenis, and several young and talented singers: Kalvis Kalniņš, Jolanta Strikaite, and Liene Camarena from Mexico.  The concert programme includes popular and romantic melodies, such as Cavaradossi’s aria from “Tosca”, cavatina from “The Barber of Seville”, Mr X’s aria from “Die Zirkusprinzessin”, and much more.

On Saturday, the 2nd of August, actors Dace Vītola, Santa Didžus, Dana Lāce, Edgars Lipors, Anrijs Sirmais, Valdis Vanags, and dancers from the “Stars Well” ensemble will participate in “The Horse of My Dreams”, a performance for children set to music by Raimonds Pauls, Ivarsa Vīgners, Mārtiņš Brauns, Renārs Kaupers and other popular Latvian composers.

Before and after the performance, children who attend the festival will have a chance to try their hand at papermaking under the supervision of artist Zinaīda Ceske, and learn new skills at the papermaking workshop “Viktora vēstules” that will be open until late night for the International Sigulda Opera Music Festival, offering visitors the opportunity to send a greeting card from Sigulda, printed on a special paper, as well as selling various memorabilia dedicated to the festival – bookmarks, postcards, refrigerator magnets and other souvenirs.

At 8 p.m., the Riga Puppet Theatre actors and puppets will stage “The Other Carmen” in the Sigulda New Castle Garden.

This will be followed by the main event of the night – an original open-air production of Georges Bizet’s “Carmen” at 9 p.m. The performance will star outstanding opera singers: Clémentine Margaine (France) as Carmen, Maija Kovaļevska (Latvia) as Micaëla, Philippe Do (France) as Don José, and Pierre-Yves Pruvot (France) as Escamillo. Supporting roles will be sung by Latvian opera singers Kristīne Gailīte, Olga Jakovļeva, Juris Ādamsons, Andris Lapiņš, Krišjānis Norvelis, Kalvis Kalniņš and others. The production is directed by Edmunds Freibergs. Also participating in the performance will be the festival’s orchestra and choir, conductor – Vladimir Kiradjiev.

For the concert-goers’ convenience, an extra diesel train will be scheduled for Saturday night, which will leave the Sigulda Railway Station for Riga at 1:15 a.m.

After the performance of “Carmen”, the trio “Kafija” will create an entirely different atmosphere – Argentine tango, French musette, salon music hits and classical music for violin. The trio “Kafija” is an ensemble of three excellent female artists – a violinist, an accordionist and a double bassist.

The sacred music concert will be in Sigulda Evangelical Lutheran Church at 1 p.m. on Sunday, the 3rd of August. The concert 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 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 Gala Concert will be preceded by the Musical Piano or Velo Orchestra’s performance, and an unbelievable performance by Latvia’s most creative trombonist Vairis Nartišs.

The festival’s Gala Concert on the stage at Sigulda Medieval Castle will start at 5 p.m. The magnificent – some would say luxurious – assembly of outstanding soloists at the Gala Concert will feature two acclaimed baritones, Pierre-Yves Pruvot (France) and Vittorio Vitelli (Italy), the brilliant Georgian soprano Iano Tamar and tenor Philippe Do (France). Tenor Marcelo Álvarez (Argentina) will be the Gala Concert’s special guest. Only three artists of such calibre have performed in Latvia to date: Feodor Chaliapin, Jussi Björling and Anna Netrebko. The concert will also showcase Latvian National Opera soloists Krišjānis Norvelis, Rihards Mačanovskis, Olga Jakovļeva, Dināra Rudāne, as well as the festival’s orchestra and choir, conducted by Vladimir Kiradjiev.

After the Gala Concert, “Tango sin Quinto” – this time represented by the ensemble’s charming soloist Amber and keyboardist Romāns Vendiņš – will create a velvety-romantic farewell atmosphere in the Sigulda New Castle Garden.

The 22nd International Sigulda Opera Music Festival is organised by the Sigulda Region Council, Dainis Kalns is the Artistic Director of the festival.

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