Busy International Itineraries, Guests in Vilnius Performances, Achievements, and Behind-the-Scenes Works

2024 05 31

In May, “Operomanija” presented the results of its activities in Rotterdam and Madrid, another vinyl record of contemporary opera was recorded, and preparations are underway for the premiere of a new work and a tour at the Venice Theatre Biennale in June.

On 9 May, composer Dominykas Digimas received an award for the music composed for the telephone booth opera Things I Didn’t Dare to Say, and It’s Too Late Now at the competition for the best works of 2023 announced by the Lithuanian Composers’ Union. The piece premiered at the Great Stage of the Lithuanian National Drama Theatre (LNDT). It is a co-production of the LNDT, the Lithuanian National Opera and Ballet Theatre (LNOBT) and the Vilnius City Contemporary Music Theatre Company “Operomanija”. Telephone booth opera will return to the theatre‘s repertoire in September.

In mid-May, after numerous runs in the capital, a special showcase of the sonic experience at the Vilna ghetto The Filler, was organised for the participants of the 70th International Rostrum of Composers (a forum of radio producers, which took place in Vilnius this year). Organisers of the Rostrum proposed The Filler to foreign guests as a recommended piece of sonic artwork created by Lithuanian authors. The Filler will take a break for the summer season; we will invite audiences back to this sonic experience in September and tickets will go on sale shortly.

On May 17th, in Rotterdam, the piece The Urban Tale of a Hippo – a concert with a choreographic tail, was presented at the contemporary opera festival “O. Festival”. In January this year, the piece created by an international team was announced as the winner of the 6th music theatre and new opera competition “Music Theatre NOW” – it was one of the TOP 6 works. In a session dedicated to the showcase of the winning works in Rotterdam, The Urban Tale of a Hippo was presented by one of its co-creators, dance artist Andrius Katinas. The winning work also attracted the interest of the international contemporary opera community and producers. In September, the work will be presented in the Austrian capital Vienna.

As the Lithuanian season in France is about to start in the autumn, meetings of its participants and French media representatives took place in Vilnius. The activities of “Operomanija” were presented and the following productions were featured in the programme that will be widespread throughout France: the contemporary opera Have a Good Day!, the performance of Baroque theatre noise machines Navigations, the musical performance Sports Group, and the musical pictures from the archives of Lithuanian Television Radvila Darius, Son of Vytautas.

On 25 May, Ana Ablamonova, producer of “Operomanija”, and cultural communication strategist Stefanija Jokštytė presented the organisation’s activities at the Centro Dramático Nacional in Madrid. A. Ablamonova also participated in a pitching session with the Centre‘s leaders, where two ideas were selected: a work based on the tradition of singing about the products on sale in Spanish markets before the mid-20th century and an interdisciplinary work combining the art of contemporary circus and Baroque music performance, both of which will be subject to further development. Their authors will be consulted by the producer A. Ablamonova, who will accompany them through the creative process. The sketches of the new works are to be presented in the 2024-2025 season, when their further fate will be revealed.

May ended with the studio recording of the telephone booth opera Things I Didn’t Dare to Say, and It’s Too Late Now – the music on vinyl will soon be added to the growing vinyl library of contemporary opera. Sound recordings were made by Teodoras Lipčius (boy treble), a group of musicians of the LNOBT Symphony Orchestra, LNOBT‘s choir artists, and conductor Ričardas Šumila. The recordings are produced by Aleksandra Kerienė and Vilius Keras (“Baltic Mobile Recordings”).

On 6 June, the event “Open Sodas” will take place, opening some of the spaces of the creative residences “Sodas 2123” (Vitebsko Street. 23, Vilnius) to the public. It is also a home to the “Operomanija” studio. The “Sodas 2123” community choir, under the direction of choirmaster Ieva Marmienė and vocal coach Vaidas Bartušas, will perform in the project space at 8 pm. All “Open Sodas” events are free!

At the moment, we are intensively preparing for the premiere of a new work for two opera houses, Absorptio (authors: Dominykas Digimas, Edvardas Šumila, Agnė Ambrozaitytė, Dainius Liškevičius, Morta Nakaitė). The premiere of the work will take place on 7-8 June in Vilnius, as part of the “Culture Night” programme. It is a production of the contemporary opera project “Opera Genome” jointly carried out by “Operomanija” and LNOBT. Audiences are invited to register for the event.

On 9 June, the 2nd festival “Teatrodromas”, organised by the Šiauliai State Drama Theatre, will feature musical pictures from the archives of the Lithuanian Television Radvila Darius, Son of Vytautas. The piece will be presented at the Great Hall of the theatre.

On 18 and 19 June, the stories of the cashiers of the opera Have a Good Day! will be told at the Venice Theatre Biennale; the piece will be presented at the Arsenale – Teatro alla Tese. Have a Good Day! was the first joint work of Vaiva Grainytė, Lina Lapelytė and Rugilė Barzdžiukaitė, whereas five years ago, their second opera-performance Sun and Sea received international acclaim and was awarded the “Golden Lion” at the Venice Art Biennale.