The oratorio "Romeo and Juliet", a stage spectacle including over 200 Macedonian and international artists of all genres opened late Thursday the 52. Ohrid Summer Festival, the country's largest musical-stage event.
President Gjorge Ivanov, the festival’s patron, declared the event for opened by welcoming the audience at Ohrid Antique Theatre. The festival was opened hour and a half later due to bad weather in Ohrid.
"Before us is yet another summer devoted to art. Another Ohrid Summer Festival filled with music, drama, dance," Ivanov said, reminding that more than half a century the Ohrid Summer Festival has been a home of Macedonian, European and world art, an open house in which renown artists from all around the world keep coming back to share their moments of inspiration with the loyal audience.
"In the past decades, more than 10,000 participants from 56 countries have extinguished the thirst of the audience. Thirst for the aesthetic, beautiful and valuable. This would not have been possible without the generations of Macedonian artists and organizers who have left mark with their dedication. It is a venture worth of admiration, a venture that makes Macedonia especially proud," the President said.
Speaking about the art, he said it "beautifies life and enriches the soul."
"Every art requires courage. Just like love, which always trusts, always hopes, always perseveres, and, never fails. It is timeless, as is the story of Romeo and Juliet. And yet, timeless love is in need of timeless space. Space that binds past, present and future. Indeed, is there a more natural ambience for celebration of love than this centuries-old temple of art? Temple in which the citizens of Lychnidos were ennobled," Ivanov said.
Actors, musicians, ballet dancers, opera singers, designers will perform this year at the big stage, united in their purpose to resume the tradition of giving beauty to the biggest festival in the region.
Besides "Romeo and Juliet", theater-goers will have the chance to attend the performances of Vaclav Havel's "The Beggar's Opera", produced by the Albanian National Theater, "The Beginning of Nations" by Jordan Plevnes in production of the Skopje Drama Theater, "Bloody Wedding" by Julia Pascal - to be performed by London's Pascal Theater Company and Giovanni Boccaccio's "The Decameron" by the Macedonian National Theater and the Theater for Children and Youth in Skopje.
The drama program also includes this year's theater sensation - the play "Henry VI" by the Bitola National Theater, which represented Macedonia at the Cultural Olympiad in London. The centenary of the death of the genius playwright August Strindberg will be marked with a performance of his play "Miss Julie".
Theaters from Turkey, Slovenia and Bulgaria will also present their productions.
The musical program of this year's edition was prepared based on the concept of including as many top artists as possible, who haven't performed before in Ohrid.
The concert by one of the most exciting jazz artists, Dominican pianist Michel Camilo - scheduled on July 16 - is in this year's focus of interest. Festival's birthday, August 4, will be celebrated with a concert by Perpetuum Jazzile, a Slovenian choir that performs jazz and popular music.
The festival will also see performances by world-renowned piano and violin virtuosos from Russia, France, Cyprus, Albania, Italy, Czech Republic...
The host country will be represented at the festival by the Macedonian Philharmonic Orchestra with a concert on July 26 devoted to domestic composers.