On the opening day of Cēsis Art Festival, July 9, at 16.00 Rihards Wagner’s opera “Tristan and Isolde” will be performed in the concert hall “Cesis”. According to the organizers, this is a unique event, because the last time such a thing happened in Latvia was back in 1921. In recent years, one of the parts of the opera has usually been performed, while in Cēsis we will be able to hear the whole performance, where the music lasts for a little over four hours. The story of Tristan and Isolde, taken from the Celtic legend, is one of the most beautiful love stories in world music. German bass baritone Oliver Zwarg and the famous Latvian bass baritone Egils Siliņš. The Latvian National Symphony Orchestra and conductor Andris Poga will take part in the concert performance of the opera in Cēsis.
The exhibition of contemporary art “House of the Blue Bay” will be on display at the Cesis Center for Contemporary Art from July 9 to August 14. The organizers explained: “It is based on the collaboration of Evita Vasiljeva and Kaspars Groševs, which combines two different and at the same time related artistic practices, in which the relationship between works of art and its elements is important. The exhibition will consist of The project echoes the rich and crowded activities of the NSRD (Unprecedented Sensory Restoration Workshop) and ideas about “rough art” by transferring Hardis Lediņš’s utopian landscape painting “Blue Bay House” (1984) to Cēsis, By mixing the roughness of the industrial environment with the vibrations of the installation in the room, the artists want to unravel and twist the impulses of modern and recent art processes, which appear in the exhibition ‘s performance as well as in the material and its interplay, musically and visually. The curators of the exhibition are Daiga Rudzāte and Žanete Skarule.
Also, from July 9, the exhibition “Bruno Vasilevskis. PS” will be on display at the Cēsis Exhibition House. The exposition is intended not only as a review of Vasilevsk’s work, but also as a “creative investigation, seeking to reveal his spiritual relatives and imprints left in the Latvian art scene”. In addition to the works of Bruno Vasilevskis, the exhibition will feature works by Imants Lancmanis, Juris Pudans, Maija Tabaka, Miervalsz Polis, Līga Purmale, Valdis Līcītis, Līvija Endzelīna, Dace Lapiņa, as well as Jānis Blanks, Zane Tuča and Jānis Šneideras. Curator of the exhibition – Vilnis Vējš.
The exhibition “Waiting for the Big Animal” by Dainis Pundurs will be on display in the gallery of the concert hall “Cesis”. “The exhibition is intended as a staging of events that have not taken place in the past. In it, ceramic vessels can become a medium for interaction with space and events, reaching an intensity of expression that is limited to a physically perceptible presence,” the organizers explained.
The musical program of the festival will continue on August 5 in Cēsis St. John’s Evangelical Lutheran Church, with a concert “Hildegard’s Meditations”. It is dedicated to Hildegard of Bingen, a medieval visionary, nun, healer and composer whose works we will hear in the program. In addition to Hildegard’s songs, the concert will also feature 12-13. century Spanish vocal music, compositions by Alfonso X, king of Castile, opuses by Renaissance master Orlando Gibbons, music by Jeanne Demesier, organist at the Church of Madeleine in Paris, and sacred masterpieces by Arvo Perth. The concert will feature the vocal group “Birds”, organist Kristīne Adamaite, singer Anta Eņģele and percussionist Virdžīnija Laube-Vītiņa.
The open-air event of the festival, which has become a tradition, will be held on August 7 at 19.00 on the stage of Cēsis castle park. Raimonds Pauls, Daumants Kalniņš and the Latvian Radio Big Band together with a string group will delight visitors on the beautiful and scenic stage in the mood of a summer evening. The concert will feature popular and long-loved Maestro songs with the poetry of Alfred Kruklis alongside tarantells, weasels, dreams, larks and larks inspired by Inese Zander, listeners will be able to recall the great ballads with texts by Imants Ziedonis “Southern Watercolors”.
The satellite event of the festival is an audiovisual performance “Silence Falls” with a virtual choir, which will take place on August 12, 13 and 14. designed as a tribute to the Holocaust-destroyed Jewish community of Cēsis. As the creators revealed, “Silence is Falling” is a prayer for the dead with the presence of music and language. The performance takes place in a forest where 200 Jews were killed during the Nazi occupation in August 1941. Its creators are the authors of the idea Krista Dzudzilo and Reinis Dzudzilo, composer Krists Auznieks, youth choir “Kamēr …” and conductor Aivis Greters.
As every year, the festival will also feature a cinema and theater program. Celebrating the 100th anniversary of the outstanding filmmaker Valentina Freimane, visitors will be able to watch a selection of four Swedish film classics she has not yet shown. A series of theater performances “Grand Prix” is also planned.
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