The Opera Festival traces its history back to 1993, when its irreplaceable organiser - the opera music lover Dr. Dainis Kalns for the first time invited Latvian singers who performed abroad - Inese Galante, Ingus Pētersons and Egils Siliņš to Sigulda.
Over subsequent years, the scale and popularity of the event constantly grew, and nowadays the numbers of spectators reaches the thousands. The festival hosted plentiful famous performers from Russia, Mexico, France, the USA, Italy, Germany, Estonia and Lithuania. Among them there was the brilliant singer Anna Netrebko, who In Sigulda performed 4 roles: main arias of the Le Nozze di Figaro by Mozart and Carmen by Bizet, as well as Lelisir damore by Donizetti and Il barbiere di Siviglia by Rossini. The roles performed Rosina, Micaëla, Susanna, Adina. Among the guests of the festival there were also such artists as Roberto Sacca, tenor from Italy, Georgina Lukacs (soprano, Hungary), Ildar Abdrazakov (bass, Russia), Alexander Antonenko (tenor, Russia). At Sigulda the careers of such artists as Elina Garancha and current opera diva number one Maija Kovalevska took their first steps. Six productions on the Siguldas stage were led by great Russian director Yuri Alexandrov.
I am glad that my devotion to opera music has led to the appearance of such a great event for the fans of this art people who arrive to Sigulda not only from other Latvian cities, but also from Lithuania, Estonia, Russia, Europe and elsewhere in the world. When we hosted the outstanding Russian singer, Irina Arkhipova, she compared this festival to the famous opera event in Savonlinna, Finland, which brings together performers and spectators from all over the world in summer, says the founder of the festival Dainis Kalns.
This unique cultural event brings together outstanding opera artists in an amazing nature surrounded and inspired place Sigulda Palace ruins. Sigulda region municipality in cooperation with Dr. Kalns continues to work towards making this festival more and more beautiful every year. This year the Opera Festival offers unique and excellent program, therefore we encourage everyone to get musical enjoyment in Sigulda!, says Mayor of Sigulda Ugis Mitrevics.
The festival in Sigulda is a rare event in the cultural life of Latvia which is capable of attracting opera lovers both from our European neighbourhood, mostly from Germany, Italy and Austria, where opera is very much cherished, and from the East, primarily from Russia. This is the festival which is able to promote Latvias image in the world, raising its recognition and attractiveness abroad. In this sense, it is a powerful advertising tool which promotes Latvia in the right information field. We are glad to have a chance to support the Sigulda festival and would like to make its name known all over the world, notes Vadims Aleksejevs, vice president of Rietumu Bank.
The special charm of the event is created by the fact that opera productions and concerts will be held on the open-air stage that is situated in the middle of the well-preserved medieval architecture monuments and spectacular natural landscape.
As a central event of the festival there will be a production of the opera Eugene Onegin by P I Tchaikovsky. The spectators will see it on 30 July. The performance is specially designed for the open-air stage in the ruins of an ancient medieval castle by an outstanding Russian opera stage director, Yuri Alexandrov (Mariinsky Theatre), who has been cooperating with the Sigulda festival for more than a decade.
Primary arias from Eugene Onegin will be performed by a worldwide opera diva Maija Kovaļevska (soprano), one of the leading lyric tenors of the world, Yevgeny Akimov, and the American baritone, Nathan Gunn. The artistic director and set designer is the Honoured Artist of Russia and the chief set designer for the Mikhailovsky Theatre in St Petersburg Vyacheslav Okunev.
The festival will start on 29 July by a concert featuring Latvian pianist Liene Circene, a young popular artist and winner of several international contests. The festival will be closed on 31 July by the gala performance of the world renewed opera stars, among them being the opera world new wave artist Pavol Breslik (Slovakia). The guests of the festival will also be able to attend a concert held by the Sigulda musicians and the one featuring Sacred music in the Evangelical Lutheran church of Sigulda.
XIX INTERNATIONAL SIGULDA OPERA MUSIC FESTIVAL
STARS THAT ENCHANT THE WORLD!
Sigulda New Castle (terrace)
Liene Circene in concert
Concert "We - Siguldians"
Sigulda Open-Air Amphitheatre
Siguldian musicians in concert
Tchaikovskys "Eugene Onegin"
Original open-air production (adapted for the Sigulda Open-Air Amphitheatre)
Tatyana - Maija Kovalevska (Latvia)
Onegin - Nathan Gunn (USA)
Olga - Maria Gorcevska (Russia)
Lenski - Yevgeny Akimov (Russia)
Gremin - Krisjanis Norvelis (Latvia)
Associate roles - Antra Bigaca (Latvia), Kristine Zadovska (Latvia), Guntars Rungis (Latvia)
Conductor - Aleksandrs Vilumanis (Latvia)
Director - Yuri Aleksandrov (Russia)
A further performance of "Eugene Onegin": August 2, 19.00, Ventspils, Performing Arts Center "Juras varti"
Sacred music concert
Sigulda lutheran church
Sigulda Open-Air Amphitheatre
Pavol Breslik - tenor (Slovakia)
Krisjanis Norvelis - bass (Latvia)
Inga Slubovska - soprano (Latvia)
Yevgeny Akimov - tenor (Russia)
Maria Gorcevska - mezzo-soprano (Russia)
child prodigy Amanda Basmakova (Latvia)
Festival orchestra and choir
Conductor - Vladimir Kiradjiev (Austria)
The Latvian National Opera Box Office (Aspazijas blvd. 3, Riga)
Sigulda Tourism Information Centre (3 Raina Street, Sigulda), tel. (+371) 67971335, e-mail: firstname.lastname@example.org
tel. (+371) 29118277
Information updated: 17.03.2011