Mozart’s musical comedy’s “Bastien and Bastienne” premiere has taken place at the Riga Latvian Society

Mozart’s musical comedy’s “Bastien and Bastienne” premiere has taken place at the Riga Latvian Society

On the last day of May a special musical and historic event took place at the Riga Latvian Society. The premiere was for Mozart’s musical comedy “Bastien and Bastienne” in the Riga Latvian Society Big Hall. The performance took place in the framework of the Riga Latvian Society project “Let’s Open the World for Opportunities and Skills”.

Brightly were the soloists of the performance - Jolanta Strikaite, Juris Vizbulis and Viesturs Vītols, the outstanding performance gave the new musicians – Jāzeps’  Mediņ’s Riga 1st music school’ s chamber orchestra ARMONICO and the Riga Latvian Society children vocal ensemble’ s “Knīpas and Knauķi” group’s “Wagtails” pupils. Special emotional addition to the performance gave the vocal ensemble of Strazdumuiža Boarding school - development centre for the visually impaired and blind children (leaders Iveta Zvaigzne and Irēna Ozoliņa). Staging’s musical leader and conductor - Normunds Dreģis, director - Dace Pūce, stage designer – Oskars Dreģis, costume designer - Linda Lagzdiņa.

The director, choreographer and video artist Dace Pūce shares her impressions after the performance: "Special challenge during the creation of opera was the cooperation with Strazdumuiža Boarding school’s girl ensemble. The cooperation of this kind is for the second time in my life. This time my task was to include organically weak eyed and sightless girls in the opera performance. It did great, because the girls acted with huge responsibility and fulfilled all the instructions. Huge gratitude should be expressed to girls’ teachers Iveta Zvaigzne and Irēna Ozoliņa! Thank you for Agnese’s nice hand-made gift that I received after the premiere and that I have put at home in an honorably place. This nice present helped me to remember my childhood, when I made something different for my mom to her birthday. With the participation of Strazdumuiža girls this opera gained double meaning. I think that projects of this kind that promote disabled children and youth integration in the society should be implemented more often!”

The sincere atmosphere of the 31st may afternoon was supplemented with Strazdumuiža weak eyed and sightless children pictures’ exhibition in the Big Hall foyer, which was based on performance’s plot.

The next performance of “Bastien and Bastienne” will be in August during the Riga City Festival.

The comic opera’s performance is an important event in the history of the Riga Latvian Society and is closely connected with the society’s history and the beginnings of opera in Latvia. The Riga Latvian Society Music Commission announced the competition for the libretto for the opera to promote Development of Latvian original opera. In the competition of seven works, during which was also the Latvian outstanding writer Rainis, won the new student of Polytechnic Institute Artūrs Krūmiņš, originating from Skrāģi innkeeper as the fourth his son, with the libretto “Baņuta”.  The music several years later, in already 1918/1919, composed his contemporary and friend from the town Cēsis Alfrēds Kalniņš. The premiere of the first Latvian national opera was on May 29, 1920. 


Project is financially supported by Iceland, Liechtenstein and Norway.
This publication has been made with European Economic Area’s Financial Mechanism’s and State of Latvia financial support.
The Riga Latvian Society is responsible for the content of the publication.