The ensemble was established in 1946, as part of the then National Theatre, the main cultural institution in Rijeka, where the Italian language has been promoted on an equal footing with Croatian from the beginning, the minister said.
“The Italian Drama ensemble has been one of the fruitful bridges between the two cultures,” she added.
She said that the Italian Drama ensemble performed also in other parts of the Kvarner region, as well as in Slovenia and Italy.
The ceremony at the HNK Rijeka was held on the same date when in 1946 the Italian Drama ensemble performed for the first time, with the “Il burbero benefico” comedy by Carlo Goldoni.
HNK Rijeka director Marin Blažević said the Italian Drama ensemble staged its first performance a month after the first performance of the Croatian Drama ensemble and some 20 days after the first opera premiere of the then National Theatre in Rijeka.
In the more recent time, members of the Italian and Croatian Drama ensembles have been performing together and members of the Italian Drama ensemble also collaborate on other ensembles’ projects, he said.
“We are celebrating the unique Italian Drama ensemble and the common international future,” said Blažević.
The president of the Italian Union Executive Board, Marin Corva, said the Italian Drama ensemble was one of the most important institutions of the Italian ethnic minority in Croatia and Slovenia.
The Italian Drama ensemble is an example of the two countries’ deep ties, he stressed.
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