A Glance at the Past Year and the Year Ahead

2023 12 30

As of the end of 2023, “Operomanijaʼs” register has recorded almost 200 events that have been realised during the year. The major part of the repertoire of Vilnius City Contemporary Music Theatre Company “Operomanija” has been performed for Lithuanian audiences: not only in the capital, but also in other cities of the country, including Kaunas, Klaipėda, Šiauliai, Vilkaviškis. The company actively participated in festivals as well – its productions were featured in “Sirens” and “Music Autumn” festival programmes in Vilnius, “TheAtrium” in Klaipėda, “Virus” and “Teatrodromas” festivals in Šiauliai.

Performances produced by “Operomanija” also toured abroad throughout the year: the opera Have a Good Day! visited Italy (“Art City Bologna 2023” contemporary art fair); the concert programme Late Junctions was performed in Israel (at the Felicja Blumental International Music Festival, Tel Aviv Museum of Art); The Sports Group was performed in the Netherlands (at the Rotterdam Festival “O. – Festival for Opera. Music. Theatre.”); Navigations (from the Bad Weather series) was presented in the United Kingdom (at the European New Music Festival “hcmf//”, at Huddersfield town hall) and in Poland (at the Tykocin Festival “Kresy – Bezkresy”, at the town’s fire station); opera Alpha visited Latvia (alternative music festival “Sansusī” in Aknīste); Radvila Darius, Son of Vytautas was shown in France (at the platform for young European performing artists at Maillon Theatre, Strasbourg).

In 2023, “Operomanija” became part of the Opera Europa network, an international association of opera theatres and festivals. The organisationʼs productions have been presented and new links of contemporary music theatre have also been established in Latvia, Croatia, Netherlands, Belgium and Denmark.

This year, together with partners from Latvia and Estonia, the Baltic Contemporary Opera Network was initiated, with the first meetings to take place in diverse contexts in Lithuania, Latvia and Estonia in 2024. The network has already received support from the Nordic Culture Point Foundation. The first meeting of the network is planned for April 2024 in Vilnius.

In cooperation with the Lithuanian Dance Information Centre and the Theatre Information Centre, “Operomanija” organised the first Lithuanian Performing Arts Platform in May, which was attended by almost fifty producers and art curators from abroad. The platform was organised in preparation for the Lithuanian cultural season in France in 2024.

This year, Operomanija’s name was mentioned three times in the list of nominees for the Golden Stage Cross awards. The cast of the musical performance The Sports Group, produced by the company, was nominated in the category of ensemble of actors, whereas Žygimantas Kudirka, the author of the lyrics of the corporate dystopia / probiotic ecotopia for voices Brave New Body, was nominated in the dramaturgy category. On 26 March, on the eve of the International Theatre Day, at the award ceremony held at the Lithuanian National Drama Theatre, the producer of “Operomanija” Ana Ablamonova was awarded the Boris Dauguvietis Earring commemorative sign for foresighted initiation and implementation of interdisciplinary creative processes.

The community choir of “Sodas 2123”, where “Operomanija” has its studio, started its activities in autumn. Initiated and curated by “Operomanija”, the choir is led by choirmaster Ieva Marmienė and vocal teacher Vaidas Bartušas, the choir consists of the members of the “Sodas 2123” community. The first performance of the “Sodas choir” took place on 28 December.

LP and a comic strip book of the opera Alpha was added to “Operomanija’s” vinyl library in 2023; The Filler (sonic experience at the Vilna ghetto) will be released soon, the audio recording of the musical performance The Sports Group was completed. Recordings and release of other works are on the way. Vinyl records can be acquired at the e-shop section of the website.

The premiere of the documentary narrative The Abyss, a co-production between “Operomanija” and LRT, was released and broadcast on Lithuanian Radio in 2023. This audio narrative is about the journey of one of the protagonists of The Filler, Joshua Zak, and his niece, Tsila Zak, from Israel to Lithuania in the autumn of 2022, and the search for the traces of their loved ones lost during the Holocaust. This piece is dedicated to the 80th anniversary of the liquidation of the Vilna Ghetto. English version of the audio story The Abyss will be released in early 2024, while the Lithuanian version has been extremely popular and was played many times. We invite you to listen to the documentary in Lithuanian HERE.

On 1, 2 and 3 December, the premiere of the long-developed telephone booth opera Things I Didn’t Dare to Say, and It’s Too Late Now took place (playwright and director Kamilė Gudmonaitė, composer Dominykas Digimas, set designer Barbora Šulniūtė, music director and conductor Ričardas Šumila). This co-production between “Operomanija”, the Lithuanian National Drama Theatre (LNDT) and the Lithuanian National Opera and Ballet Theatre, which has been performed four times at the LNDT’s Great Hall, has attracted significant attention of performing arts critics and reviewers. Next year, performances of this production, enjoying a great deal of public interest, are already planned in the capital and other Lithuanian cities.

“Operomanija” is in the midst of its 16th season and invites you to take a look at some of the events already announced for the beginning of 2024 and to buy tickets HERE.

In 2024, numerous creative undertakings await the Vilnius City Contemporary Music Theatre Company “Operomanija” in Lithuania and abroad. Preparations are underway for the 2024 Lithuanian culture season in France, which will be marked by tours of the works produced by the organisation in different cities of France.

New and intriguing activities are also planned in Lithuania: a collaboration of “Operomanija” and the State Drama Theatre of Šiauliai led to an announcement of a competition for ideas for a contemporary work of performing art, inviting creators to experiment. We are looking for submissions until 10 February 2024. For more information about the competition and to apply, click HERE.

New works are in the pipeline for next year, featuring well-known players in the field of contemporary opera as well as completely new names. We are already preparing for the 9th NOA (New Opera Action) Festival that will take place in 2025.

“Operomanija” is funded by the Lithuanian Council for Culture, Vilnius City Municipality, the Ministry of Culture of the Republic of Lithuania, LATGA, AGATA, Nordic Culture Point. You, dear audience, also support us by buying tickets to the events.

Thank you for your involvement in 2023 and see you again in 2024!