Expanding International Connections, New Contacts and Tours Abroad

2024 05 02

In April “Operomanija” organised the first Baltic Contemporary Opera Network meeting in Vilnius, and in May the company is going to present its productions in Rotterdam and Madrid.

On 17-20 April, the Baltic Contemporary Opera Network held its first meeting in Vilnius. Creators, researchers, and producers of contemporary music theatre, new opera, and new music from Lithuania, Latvia, and Estonia were invited to attend. Representatives from other European countries, interested in the work and innovations in the field of contemporary opera in our region, also came to the event. Over several days, the participants of the network meeting (as well as the audience, who bought all tickets to the events in a flash) had the opportunity to see live three works from the repertoire of “Operomanija”: Confessions – a spatial opera in the dark, Have a Good Day! – an opera for ten cashiers, supermarket sounds and piano, as well as the sonic experience at the Vilna ghetto The Filler. The meeting in Vilnius inspired the participants to pursue the idea further, and future meetings of the Baltic Contemporary Opera Network are planned to take place in Latvia and Estonia later this year.

The marathon of events in Vilnius was immediately followed by a tour of the performance of the Baroque theatre noise machines Navigations (from the Bad Weather series) by sound artist Arturas Bumšteinas in Switzerland. On 21 April, this work was presented at the international music and sound festival “Archipel”. Navigations was performed in the impressive Salle Communale de Plainpalais, a historic hall in the city of Geneva built between 1908 and 1909 and renowned for its exceptional acoustics.

In the competition of the best works of 2023, announced by the Lithuanian Composers’ Union, the fifteen works competing for the awards include the telephone booth Things I Didn’t Dare to Say, and It‘s Too Late Now, with music written by composer Dominykas Digimas. The telephone booth opera was co-created by the author of the idea, playwright and director Kamilė Gudmonaitė and stage designer Barbora Šulniūtė. The premiere of the work, which took place in December last year, is a co-production of three institutions – the Lithuanian National Drama Theatre, the Lithuanian National Opera and Ballet Theatre, and the Vilnius City Contemporary Music Theatre Company “Operomanija”. Voting for the Audience Choice Award will take place until 8 May and the best works will be announced on 9 May. Listen to an excerpt of the piece and vote here.

From 7 to 12 May, The Filler, a sonic experience at the Vilna Ghetto – will return to the Old Town of Vilnius and will be shown four times a day. On 14 May, this production will be attended by the participants of the 70th International Rostrum of Composers (a forum for broadcasting representatives, which will take place in Vilnius this year).

On 17 May, two members of the creative team of the concert with a choreographic tail The Urban Tale of a Hippo – Andrius Katinas and Marta Finkelstein, as well as producer Ana Ablamonova will present the work at the international competition “Music Theatre NOW” winners’ convention (the piece was selected among the top six works in January this year), which will take place at the annual Rotterdam contemporary musical theatre festival “O. Festival”. The presentation will take the form of a performative lecture and discussion, bringing together many curators, producers, theatre and festival directors from all over the world that are interested in the new opera genre.

On 25 May, Ana Ablamonova, the producer of “Operomanija”, will give a lecture at the Centro Dramático Nacional in Madrid. The lecture will present the activities of the organisation, as well as the peculiarities of contemporary music theatre and creative production. On 26 May, together with representatives of the Centre, she will participate in a pitching session, where several ideas will be selected and their authors will be assisted in the development thereof.

On 27-29 May, the team of the telephone booth opera Things I Didn’t Dare to Say, and It‘s Too Late Now will work in the sound recording studio, where they will record the music of the piece for the upcoming vinyl record. The work will return to the theatre stage this autumn.

Preparations are also underway for the premiere of the new piece, which will take place in Vilnius on 7 June as part of Culture Night. Absorbtio (authors Agnė Ambrozaitytė-Šumilė, Edvardas Šumila, Dominykas Digimas, Dainius Liškevičius, Morta Nakaitė) is a work for two opera houses. This is yet another premiere of the contemporary opera project “Opera Genome”, jointly run by “Operomanija” and the Lithuanian National Opera and Ballet Theatre. Audience registration for the event will be announced in early June.

We look forward to seeing you at our events!