The Unique “Potato Opera” for Schoolchildren Coming This Month
Six Latvian composers – Lolita Ritmanis, Evija Skuķe, Rihards Dubra, Līga Celma-Kursiete, Mārtiņš Brauns and Andris Sējāns – have written “The Potato Opera”, a unique, colourful new work for children, with libretto based on Inese Zandare’s fairy tale about the potato’s historic travel from America to Europe. A special team set up for the premiere of the opera will participate in the concert: soloists Evita Zālīte, Juris Vizbulis, Annija Putniņa, Ivars Cinkuss, Jānis Strazdiņš and others, Riga Dom girls’ choir “Tiara”, and the Potato Opera Orchestra.
“The Potato Opera” tells about the little Potato Boy’s adventures, some a little scary, it encountered while travelling from the Andes in South America, via European royal houses, to the rural areas of Latvia. Condor, Duke Jacob, Monk Hieronymus, the Mole, Mrs. Rat and Mrs. Starch, Mr. Kissel – these are just some of the characters that the Potato Boy meets on his way. Also, the Knife will have a special role in the opera. But the main question posed by the opera is what the main purpose of the Potato Boy’s destiny is. People who come to see the show are requested to bring along a potato to be donated to the food bank “Paēdušai Latvijai”.
“The Potato Opera” is directed by Margo Zālīte, set design is by Ineta Sipunova and Oskars Dreģis, costume design – Liene Dobrāja, choreography – Alberts Kivlenieks, conductor – Aira Birziņa.
“The Potato Opera” will have its premiere on the 24th of November in the New Hall of the Latvian National Opera. Later on, two more shows will follow at the concert hall “Riga” on the 3rd and 7th of December.
The opera will also travel to other cities of Latvia: Ventspils on the 31st of January (culture centre “Ventspils jūras vārti”); Rēzekne on the 5th of February (Latgale concert hall “GORS); Liepāja on the 19th of February (Liepāja Theatre); Cēsis on the 19th of April (Vidzemes concert hall “Cēsis”). “The Potato Opera” is primarily meant for families with schoolchildren.
Tickets to the opera in Riga are already available from “Biļešu paradīze” outlets all over Latvia and online. Tickets to the performances to follow will go on sale on the 10th of November.
“The Potato Opera” is part of the “Riga 2014” Programme and one of the main projects in a series of events celebrating the potato – the other events included the interactive game “Friend in a Pot or Potato Diaries” where 1,849 pupils from all over Latvia were learning good manners in virtual communication, and the basics of organic farming by growing a potato in a flowerpot and learning many new things about the vegetable that has become integral part of the traditional Latvian cuisine.
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 Programme.