Majestic Beginnings: Grandiose Carmina Burana at 68th Dubrovnik Summer Festival

Total Croatia News

A grand opening to the 68th Dubrovnik Summer Festival!

As we notified you timely last week, Croatia’s oldest and most relevant festival of theatre and music and the arts began on the 10th of July, 2017 with a traditional opening ceremony in Dubrovnik’s main square. The fireworks that followed added incredible magic to the world’s largest museum in the open. Incredible, because it is hard to imagine that so much beauty could be added to at all!

Monday rolled around, and we attend its opening programme, in the same square. Lots of people, all seats occupied, hundreds of those without tickets surround the area and, contrary to the reputation of tourists being noisy and misbehaving, a total silence frames the air to give a proper place to the eternal beauty of music.

The stage is occupied by an impressive number of performers: two orchestras (The Dubrovnik Symphony Orchestra and the Zagreb Philharmonic) and a big mixed choir of some 120 singers (the world reputed Ivan Goran Kovačić from Zagreb). Plus the three solo vocals ( Nicola Proksch, soprano, Owen Willets, countertenor, Nikola Mijailović, baritone) and, of course, the conductor (Ivan Josip Skender).

German composer Carl Orff (1895 – 1982) came to real fame when his triptych of scenic cantatas came out in mid-thirties of the last century. Of the three, Carmina Burana became a true hit at its very premiere in Frankfurt in 1937. Orff declared: “All my other works can now be destroyed. My opus begins with Carmina Burana”. Ever since, the work has been produced uncountable times all over the world. Its music is simply irresistible, it makes you think you know it from somewhere and want to join the singers on stage. Nothing to add to that same feeling we all had last night!

Maybe just one little hint to the organisers: Orff was born on the 10th of July, the day of the opening of every festival’s season. In his honour, and for the grandiosity of his music, just symbolically, maybe the opening ceremony could include “O Fortuna”, the most popular of the 24 numbers of the cantata to remind us how the wheel of fortune rules over the world of arts and of our private lives alike.

To see more about the upcoming festival evenings or to book your tickets, click here.


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