ljubljana festival kongresni trg square
Photo credit: www.ljubljanafestival.si@ Andraž Kobe

This year too, Slovenia’s capital hosts the acclaimed international festival Ljubljana Festival that has been for the 69th time in a row held in Ljubljana’s venues and squares. Every Summer the Ljubljana Festival provides 70 to 80 events that attract more than 80 thousand visitors from Slovenia and abroad. Venues include the Kongresni trg Square (Congress Square), Križanke Church, Križanke Knights’ Hall, Cankarjev dom, and Slovenian Philharmonic Hall, to name a few.

Taking place between June and September, the Festival places Slovenia’s capital firmly on the map of the world’s cultural and artistic venues and make an important contribution to the cultural life of Ljubljana. Last year, for example, the opening night of the Festival presented the only classical concert in the world which was not canclled or rather, that was actually carried out as planned.

At the Ljubljana Festival, carefully selected programme every year covers a wide variety of genres, including ballet, opera, theatre, musicals, chamber music and symphonic concerts, the International fine Arts Colong, masterclasses, children’s and youth workshops, and much more.

ljubljana festival kongresni trg square
Photo credit: www.ljubljanafestival.si@ Darja Štravs Tisu

UPCOMING HIHGLIGHTS OF THE 69TH LJUBLJANA FESTIVAL

On Kongresni trg Square on Monday, 27 July, Sonya Yoncheva and tenor Branko Robinšak will perform a selection of opera arias with the Orchestra of the Slovene National Theatre Opera and Ballet Ljubljana conducted by Domingo Hindoyan. Then, opera stars Anna Netrebko and Yusif Eyvazov will be on 8 August accompanied by the RTV Slovenia Symphony Orchestra under the direction of Michelangelo Mazza. Three days later, on 11 August, German tenor Jonas Kaufmann, will be acommpanied by the RTV Slovenia Symphony Orchesra under Jochen Rieder. On 13 August, Russian pianist, Arcadi Volodos, one of the most highly regarded pianists of the world, will perform on the stage of Kongresni trg Square.

Every night, between 16 and 20 August, one of the most successful Broadway musicals of all time, Chicago, will come to Kongresni trg Square with its spectacle set in jazz age. The production is directed by Mykai Rand, with choreography by Ann Reinking. On 23 and 24 August, St Petersburg’s LDM Novaya Scena theatre company comes with Lolita, a musical of cinematic dimensions. Then, a day later, on 25 August, José Cura, tenorist, known for the powerful intensity of his interpretations, will perform together with the RTV Slovenia Symphony Orchestra, RTV Slovenia Youth Choir, Slovenian Philharmonic Choir and international soloists Elisa Balbo, Nuška Drašček, Péter Balczó and Marcell Bakonyi, under the baton of Argentinian conductor Mario De Rose.

ljubljana festival kongresni trg square
Photo credit: www.ljubljanafestival.si@ Darja Štravs Tisu

On 1 September, Amsterdam’s Royal Concertgebouw Orchestra with British conductor Daniel Harding will perform Beethoven’s Piano Concerto No. 3 in C minor with pianist Yefim Bronfman. Next day, on 2 September, flautist Irena Grafenauer will perform alongside Mate Bekavac, with RTV Slovenia Symphony Orchestra, and soloists Stefica Stipanević, Nuška Drašček and Blaž Šef and the Dekor Chamber Choir.

And on 6 September the Baltic Sea Philharmonic under Estonian artistic director and founding conductor Kristjan Järvi will bring together musicians from ten Nordic countries. Ljubljana Festival will close on 8 August with the ORF Vienna Symphony Orchestra with premieres of works by two acclaimed contemporary composers and Rimsky-Korsakov’s symphonic suite Scheherazade. For more on the programme, see here.

PAST HIGHGLIGHTS OF THE 69TH LJUBLJANA FESTIVAL

Introduction to the Summer Festival was held at the Kongresni trg Square with the traditional gala concert Summer Night, dedicated to the start of the Summer. On the 1 july, the Opening of the 69th Ljubljana Festival was conducted by maestro Valer Gergiev and Mariinsky Theatre Orchestra. Other events were: mezzo-soprano Elina Garanča accompanied in Bizet’s opera by other excellent singers and the RTV Slovenia Smyphony Orchestra under British conductor Kare Mark Chichon. Kongresni trg Square hosted also the celebrated Italian film score composer, pianist and conductor Nicola Piovani who conducted the FVG Orchestra with soprano Annamaria Dell’Oste. The legendary Placido Domingo, who shone as a conductor at the 67th Ljubljana Festival, returned with a programme of opera and zarzuela arias for baritone. Martha Argerich, one of the most respected pianists of the last century, performed Prokofiev’s Piano Concerto No. 3 in C major. Vienna Boys’ Choir presented another of the highlights of the 69th Ljubljana Festival with the programme A Midsummer Night’s Dream.