Perfect Way to End Your Summer: Korkyra Baroque Festival in Korčula

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Korkyra Baroque Festival

The last days of summer are slowly ticking away, but that doesn’t mean we don’t have anything to look forward to. On the contrary – we’re entering the most soothing, soul-fulfilling season.

The crowds have dissipated, the heat has finally loosened its firm grip. The reign of the High Season has come to an end; with all the buzz and disorder gone, we’re headed for a couple of pleasant weeks on the Adriatic. The sea is still warm, the golden sunlight gentle on our skin, and coastal towns are only now starting to breathe properly.

Come September, most of the biggest party music festivals are behind us. There’s no more debauchery, no more raunchy disarray. No, it’s time for something much more refined, much more inviting; as a nod to local tradition and history that go back for centuries, islands are paying tribute to their cultural heritage with an array of wonderful manifestations.

Starting from tomorrow, September 2, one such event is about to greet the guests with a ceremonial opening night: the Korkyra Baroque Festival on Korčula island. Launched in 2012 to promote both the local and the international musical heritage, the high-profile manifestation keeps enchanting the audience year after year with incredible performances of classical musicians.



This year, the 6th edition of Korkyra kicks off with the captivating moreška, a traditional sword dance continuously performed on Korčula since the 17th century. The theatrical spectacle will be brought to life by members of the Moreška Company, one of the two ensembles on the island that perform moreška today. The sword dance is staged at least once a week throughout the summer, but the most lavish, festive performances take place only once or twice a year – on July 29 for Saint Theodore’s Day, the patron saint of the island… and tomorrow, as a proper introduction to the most prestigious cultural manifestation on Korčula.

There’s a magical element to Korkyra, one created by the venues selected to house the musical performances. Instead of confining the musicians in average music halls, the baroque festival is elevated to a whole different level with the concerts taking place in Korčula’s architectural gems. Enrico Onofri and the Croatian Baroque Ensemble will thus play in the St. Mark’s Cathedral tomorrow night, followed by another performance in the St. Nicholas’ Church on Sunday. The Schikaneders Jugend, a highly entertaining Austrian trio, will present their own take on pop music of the 18th century in the courtyard of Aneri palace on September 4.



The soloists of the Croatian Baroque Ensemble will perform in the Franciscan monastery of Our Lady’s Assumption, a well-preserved complex on the islet of Badija, built in the 15th century. On September 10, the Slovenian quartet Il terzo suono will play in the All Saints’ Church, and the last word goes to The London Handel Players from the UK that will close the festival on September 12, in the atrium of the City Hall in Korčula town.

With ten days of skilled performances in the stunning locations on Korčula, the only issue anyone might face is choosing which event to attend. You can find the schedule here and learn more about the perfomers here. As we’re waiting for moreška to mark the beginning of Korkyra, there’s just one thing left to say: we are really looking forward to the new season.


Photo credit: Korkyra Baroque Festival


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