DUBROVNIK, 11 July 2021 – With the raising of the Libertas flag along with the anthem of freedom, the 72nd edition of the Dubrovnik Summer Festival formally opened on Saturday night.
For the next 47 days of the festival, the public will have the opportunity to see 70 drama, music, dance and other artistic performances at 15 locations around Dubrovnik.
The opening ceremony, which was held in front of St Blaise’s Church, was directed by young Croatian director Hrvoje Korbar.
This year’s theatre programme, audiences will have the opportunity to enjoy Shakespeare’s ‘Hamlet’ directed by Paolo Magelli, as well as Saša Božić’s ‘Mara and Kata’, in which Nataša Dangubić as Mara and Doris Šarić Kukuljica as Kata from St Mary’s Convent Courtyard take the audience on an absurd journey through Dubrovnik from the end of the 1990s until recent times. The beginning of August once again brings Držić’s ‘Grižula’ directed by Saša Božić and Petra Hrašćanec to Gradac Park.
The play was premiered last year as part of the Future Epics project co-funded by the European Union Creative Europe programme. It is performed by the Festival Drama Ensemble consisting of Ozren Grabarić, Nataša Dangubić, Perica Martinović, Branimir Vidić and Boris Barukčić, with participation of Dance and Acting students from the Academy of Dramatic Art, University of Zagreb.
The 72nd Dubrovnik Summer Festival music programme opens with a percussion treat led by the excellent Ivana Kuljerić Bilić, accompanied by Nikola Krbanyevitch, Francesco Mazzoleni and Luis Montealegre. Ivana Kuljerić Bilić will also hold a percussion workshop from 14 to 16 July as part of the Festival’s accompanying programme. Tomislav Fačini, the Festival’s Assistant Director for Music, will be conducting the Croatian Radio and Television Choir at this season’s first concert at the Rector’s Palace, which will be followed by performances of the impressive young Croatian pianist Lovre Marušić and Russian soprano Julia Lezhneva with La voce strumentale, an ensemble founded in Moscow in 2011 by Dmitry Sinkovsky consisting of top musicians, winners of various international competitions.
Young violinist Eva Šulić will perform at the Rector’s Palace with the Dubrovnik Symphony Orchestra Chamber Ensemble, and additionally with kvARTet, an ensemble she is a member of alongside cellist Pavle Zajcev, violinist Đana Kahriman and violist Šimun Končić. The famous, award-winning American tenor Lawrence Brownlee will also perform at the Dubrovnik Summer Festival this summer.
Gathering an exciting ensemble of some of Dubrovnik’s finest musicians, with an unusual selection of instruments and distinctive personalities, ‘Dubrovnik on a Rock of Music’ will again be a part of the music programme at the Rector’s Palace this year. Guitarist Petrit Çeku, one of the Festival audience’s favourite artists, will perform at the 72nd Dubrovnik Summer Festival. He will also hold a guitar and chamber music masterclass in Dubrovnik from 18 to 25 July 2021, focusing on interpretation, expressiveness and general artistic development of musicians.
The Dubrovnik Symphony Orchestra will hold a big concert in front of the Cathedral, conducted by Eduardo Strausser, with piano soloist Goran Filipec, renowned for his highly virtuosic, exceptional interpretations of Franz Liszt as well as classical and romantic repertoire. Filipec is a proponent of creativity and subjectivity in performance, observing it as co-creation of a musical piece. He is considered to have ‘three of the most important attributes that make a great pianist: artist, architect and acrobat’ (Gramophone, 2018). The Croatian Radio and Television Symphony Orchestra will traditionally have the honour of closing the Festival with a big closing concert under the baton of one of the Festival’s favourite conductors, Ivan Repušić.
One of the highlights of this year’s dance programme is ‘Lulu’, a project by a former principal dancer of the Croatian National Theatre of Zagreb Ballet Ensemble, a talented director, choreographer, dramaturge and set designer Staša Zurovac. The 72nd Dubrovnik Summer Festival’s dance programme will also feature the award-winning project ‘Together’ by dance artist Petra Hrašćanec, a collaboration between six young dancers premiered at the Zagreb Dance Centre last October. Croatia’s rich folk dance and music heritage will traditionally be presented this year by the Linđo Folklore Ensemble.
The Festival’s exhibition programme starts on 11 July at the Sponza Palace atrium with the launch of ‘Fortune Teller’, a group exhibition of female artists curated by Selma Hafizović, presenting the works of Rebecca Ribiccini, Marianna Mauritzio, Iva Laterza, Dubravka Lošić and Jagoda Buić. The Sponza Palace will also host the presentation of Miho Demović’s book ‘The Great History of Dubrovnik Music, Vol. V’. Literary evening at the Bunić-Kaboga Summer Villa will feature award-winning Croatian writer and poet Ivana Bodrožić.
The children’s programme constitutes an important part of the programme and this year the Festival is happy to announce two treats for the youngest audiences: a musical play for children featuring popular young American pianist Evan Shinners at the Rector’s Palace and Poco Loco Theatre’s fairy tale to go entitled ‘Little Red Riding Hood, Wolf and Grandma’. In this unusual theatrical event, both young and older audiences will be enjoying music as they follow the storyline and walk through the wood on Lokrum Island with earphones. They will be taken for this merry and funny walk by Little Red Riding Hood, Wolf and Grandma, and children will have the opportunity to actively participate by completing creative and educational tasks.