Monday, 11 July 2022

73rd Dubrovnik Summer Festival Opens

ZAGREB, 11 July 2022 - The 73rd Dubrovnik Summer Festival opened on Sunday evening with the hoisting of the Libertas flag and the Hymn to Freedom, recited by two Ukrainian actresses.

The opening ceremony commemorated the 750th anniversary of the Dubrovnik Statute.

Mayor Mato Franković said the Dubrovnik Statute had constantly changed through time but remained a guarantor of progress and security through social order.

"Thirty years ago, with the great sacrifice and heroism of our knights, we defended our homes and chased the heartless aggressors from our doorstep," he said, referring to the Serbian military aggression.

Today, as we watch the war from afar, we sympathize and deeply understand the determination to preserve the independence and identity of one people, regardless of the losses, because peace and freedom are absolute values and eternal aspirations one does not trade, which we know well, Franković said, referring to Ukraine.

The opening ceremony was attended by Prime Minister Andrej Plenković, Parliament Speaker Gordan Jandroković, presidential envoy Zdravko Zima, European Commission Vice President Dubravka Šuica, members of the Croatian and European parliaments, participants in the Dubrovnik Forum, representatives of the diplomatic corps and many others.

The festival lasts until 25 August and will feature 40 programs at 16 locations.

For more, check out our lifestyle section.

Friday, 8 July 2022

Special Dubrovnik Security Measures in Force Until End of Weekend

July the 8th, 2022 - Special Dubrovnik security measures are coming into force today and well remain in place until the end of this coming weekend owing to an international conference beginning in the Pearl of the Adriatic today.

As Morski writes, the fifteenth annual international Dubrovnik Forum conference will begin today in the City of Dubrovnik, which will last until Saturday. The renowned 73rd Dubrovnik Summer Festival will also begin on Sunday.

On this occasion, the police have asked both residents and visitors of the City of Dubrovnik and the surrounding areas, including Konavle, that from today until Sunday, special Dubrovnik security measures will be in effect in the main city area, which will affect the normal flow of traffic. Traffic is usually slow in Dubrovnik at this time of year anyway owing to increased volumes of people as the main summer tourist season progresses.

People have been informed that from Friday, July the 8th until Monday, July the 11th, there will be temporary traffic jams on the main roads leading from Dubrovnik Airport in Cilipi to the hotel accommodation facilities of foreign delegations that will attend the aforementioned gatherings, as well as in the area of ​​the very core of the UNESCO protected old city, where the wildly popular 73rd Dubrovnik Summer Festival is set to kick off.

The opening ceremony of the Dubrovnik Summer Festival is set for the traditional date of the 10th of July at 21:00 in front of the church of St. Blaise (Sv. Vlaho) with the raising of the Libertas flag to the lyrics of the Hymn to Freedom (Himna slobode). Guests can expect 47 days full of varied programmes that will be enjoyed by Croatian and foreign audiences of all ages.

The police have asked residents and visitors alike for their understanding and patience for the duration of these special Dubrovnik security measures, especially in regard to likely traffic jams, and at the same time have urged them to respect the instructions of police officers out in the field.

For more, make sure to check out our dedicated lifestyle section.

Friday, 8 July 2022

73rd Dubrovnik Summer Festival Opens on Sunday

7 July 2022 – The 73rd Dubrovnik Summer Festival will open on Sunday, 10 July at 9 pm, in front of St. Blaise’s Church, with the traditional raising of the Libertas flag to the verses of Ivan Gundulić’s Hymn to Liberty.

The rich and diverse programme, which both local and foreign audiences of all ages will enjoy in the coming 47 festival days, was presented at the press conference held on Wednesday, 6 July in the Sponza Palace by the Festival’s POA Paulina Njirić and Artistic Director Dora Ruždjak Podolski, where the City of Dubrovnik Mayor Mato Franković and Head of the Administrative Department for County Affairs and the Dubrovnik-Neretva County Assembly Leader Žaklina Marević showed their support for the Festival as well.

"It is especially important to say that this 73rd edition of the Festival is actually a return to how things were before, for the first time after two years. I have to emphasise also the importance of the support we received in 2020 and in 2021, from the Ministry [of Culture and Media of the Republic of Croatia] as well as the City and the County. If the Festival hadn’t been held then in its full format, I am not sure that we would have been able to have such a rich programme now or be able to strategically look at the future that is certainly ahead of us – pointed out Artistic Director Dora Ruždjak Podolski. 


The direction of the opening ceremony was entrusted to Aida Bukvić who co-wrote the script with dramaturge Marijana Fumić. Accompanied by the Dubrovnik Symphony Orchestra under the baton of maestro Ivan Hut, soprano Kristina Kolar will be joined by the Pro musica Mostar Academic Choir, Libertas Mixed Choir, Dubrovnik Chamber Choir, and Blasius Choir, with the Festival Drama Ensemble and the Acting students of the Zagreb Academy of Dramatic Arts and Linđo Folklore Ensemble also performing. Alongside the large audience and important dignitaries gathered in front of St. Blaise’s Church, the opening ceremony will be followed by viewers and listeners of the Croatian Radio and Television who will be broadcasting it live.

The drama programme includes two premiere titles and three hit reprise productions, performed by the Festival Drama Ensemble. One of the most famous 17th century Dubrovnik prose comedies (the so-called smješnice), the juicy play Lovers with a plot that does not lose any of its relevance even three hundred years after publication, directed by Aleksandar Švabić and sponsored by OTP Bank, will be staged on 19 July at a new festival location – in front of St. Jacob’s Church. The relationship between masters and servants, the ridiculing of covetousness, miserliness, artifice and superstition, all revolving around the theme of courtship, will be presented by the best actors of the younger generation Marin Klišmanić, Andrej Kopčok, Boris Barukčić, Kristijan Petelin, Josipa Bilić and Veronika Mach, led by Nataša Kopeč and Dražen Šivak. Set design and costume design are done by David Morhan and Mia Popovska, stage movement by Damir Klemenić. Maro Market is the composer of the music, the lighting designer is Martin Šatović, and the advisor for Dubrovnik's speech is Maro Martinović.

August brings the culmination of the drama programme in the premiere staging of the cult Federico García Lorca tragedy Blood Wedding directed by the award-winning Franka Perković Gamulin. Despite being tied to the rural environment in the first half of the 20th century, the play bears universal values, considering the story it tells. Goran Ferčec did the dramaturgy, Igor Vasiljev set design, Doris Kristić costume design, Elvis Butković lighting design. Matija Ferlin is in charge of stage movement and Toma Serdarević is the director's assistant. With an impressive creative team, the doubly-cursed dramatic characters confined within their own limits and enslaved by their own passions will be embodied on stage by an impressive festival ensemble led by Ksenija Marinković, Jadranka Đokić and Nikša Butijer together with Lana Meniga, Luka Knez, Nikola Baće, Iva Kraljević, Tanja Smoje and Mojmir Novaković, who also composed the music. On 17 August the play will premiere at two locations on the island of Lokrum, sponsored by Hrvatska elektroprivreda (Croatian Electric Company).

To the delight of the audience, reprises of Festival hits are on the programme. Starting on 13 July, the drama programme will open with the award-winning staging of Shakespeare's Hamlet directed by Paolo Magelli which premiered at the anniversary 70th Festival with Dubrovnik's own Frano Mašković playing the title role. Last year's success Lion House will follow, based on the eponymous debut novel by Ivan Salečić and directed by Aida Bukvić, its strong cast narrates the story of Dubrovnik, portraying it as a place where burdened history and burlesque transition clash. By now the audience favourite Mara and Kata, an original project by director Saša Božić done in collaboration with actresses Nataša Dangubić and Doris Šarić Kukuljica as the titular gossipmongers, is an indispensable part of the summer. The Festival will also host the Croatian National Theatre Zagreb and their stage adaptation of the world-renowned novel My Brilliant Friend by the mysterious writer Elena Ferrante, directed by the young Marina Pejnović already known well by the festival audiences. On the programme as well is the traditional performance by the Lero Student Theatre who will present a select scrapbook of faded pages of lost and lonely owners, their sadness, foreboding, suffering and silence in the play Ladies’ Park directed by Davor Mojaš.


The festival audience will enjoy listening to the great names on the Croatian and world music scenes as part of the music programme, which will be opened by one of the most respected voices in the baroque and classical milieu, the acclaimed soprano Nuria Rial, who will perform together with the distinguished Fahmi Alqhai and his Accademia del Piacere ensemble in the Rector’s Palace and bring an inspiringly fresh early music oeuvre. The same stage will see a concert dedicated to Croatian music by the Dubrovnik Symphony Orchestra Chamber Ensemble under the baton of maestro Ivan Hut, joined by soloists Franjo Bilić on the harpsichord and Lovro Merčep on the saxophone, after which the music programme continues with an integral performance of Liszt's Transcendental etudes by a musician of tremendous focus and energy Lovro Pogorelić. The Zagreb Quartet with bassoonist Žarko Perišić and clarinettist Milan Milošević will perform at the Rector’s Palace too, where the pianist Fazıl Say will play a Bach piece consisting of an aria and 30 variations, as well as his own original recital in the same week.  After many years Roman Simović, violinist of brilliant virtuosity and limitless imagination, will return to the Festival. Vadym Kholodenko, one of most musically dynamic and technically gifted young pianists to recently emerge on stage, will first have a solo recital in the Rector’s Palace atrium where he will then perform with the violinist Alena Baeva two days later. Magnificent baroque compositions performed by the Antiphonus Vocal Ensemble will also echo through the Rector’s Palace, as well as the melodies played by the world's most respected classical guitarists Miloš Karadaglić who will also be performing there. Furthermore, the Dubrovnik Symphony Orchestra with the young and promising soloists Lucija Stilinović on the flute and Veronika Ćiković on the harp under the baton of one of the most charismatic conductors of the new generation Dawid Runtz will hold a concert there. The unique project Dubrovnik on a Rock of Music will once again gather brilliant Dubrovnik musicians in an exciting ensemble of accomplished soloists under the direction of Tomislav Fačini, in this year’s edition featuring two soloists – flautist Đive Franetović Kušelj and mezzo-soprano Dubravka Šeparović Mušović.

A big jazz concert in the Gradac Park sponsored by Mastercard® will be held by keyboard and organ virtuoso, producer, multi-instrumentalist, and Grammy award winner, Cory Henry, who will be accompanied by talented musicians, reveal to the festival audience an unusual combination of jazz, funk, gospel and soul. Fans of world music will enjoy the performance of Indian musician Arnab Bhattacharya, who will present the deep and introspective sound of the sarod in the Sponza Palace atrium, on the occasion of Azadi Ka Amrit Mahotsav, the celebration of 75 years of Indian independence, which is joined by the Dubrovnik Summer Festival, under the auspices of the Indian Council for Cultural Relations and the Embassy of India in Zagreb. The opera gala, the magnificent finale of the Festival on 25 August in front of the Cathedral, will bring one of the most interesting young soloists, the American soprano who has already had numerous performances on the world's most prestigious stages Nadine Sierra, and this year's Boris Papandopulo National Competition for Young Musicians winner Croatian tenor Filip Filipović accompanied by the indispensable hosts of the final concert, Croatian Radio and Television Symphony Orchestra, this time conducted by maestro Ivan Repušić.

Ballet and dance lovers will relish the acclaimed neo-romantic staging of Jane Austen's novel Pride and Prejudice in Gradac Park, choreographed and directed by Leo Mujić and performed by the Croatian National Theatre Zagreb Ballet, as well as the performance of frequent festival guests, the Zagreb Dance Ensemble, with a contemporary dance show Revel Revel by the Spanish choreographer Roser López Espinosa, in which five women question the limits of their own freedom. A key part of the festival programme is the Linđo Folklore Ensemble, whose performances at the Festival celebrate the rich Croatian folklore, dance, and music heritage.

The rich accompanying programme includes Response, an exhibition by the exceptional Dubrovnik artist Izvor Pende, who will put up his large-format abstract oil paintings of strong colouristic expression in two locations, in the atrium of the Sponza Palace and in the Lazareti, and Livio Badurina’s Diary of an Actor – Rehearsal Room/Space of Appearance and Disappearance which will open at the Public Library Grad on the first day of August. The film programme brings the premiere of the Croatian Radiotelevision documentary Time of Aretej at the Jadran Open-air Cinema on the occasion of the 50th anniversary of the premiere of the legendary play Aretej at the Dubrovnik Summer Festival, and the screening of the recently premiered documentary film 80 Years of Radio Dubrovnik directed by Vedran Benić at the Slavica Open-air Cinema. On the same big screen, the festival audience can catch the winning domestic film from the Pula Film Festival, brought in cooperation with Dubrovnik Cinemas.

With the Behind the Stage programme in the Sponza Palace atrium, composers Ardian Halimi and Nina Perović will present themselves and their work as part of a two-week residency on the project #synergy: Sharpening the capacities of the classical music industry in the Western Balkans. The project is co-funded by the EU Creative Europe programme, with the aim of strengthening cultural cooperation and the competitiveness of cultural and creative industries in the Western Balkans. The main partner of the project is the KotorArt Don Branko’s Music Days from Montenegro, and alongside the Dubrovnik Summer Festival, the project partners are: the Belgrade Festivals Centre (CEBEF) from Serbia, the Festival Ljubljana from Slovenia, the Kosovo Chopin Association from Kosovo and the Vox Baroque International Festival from Albania.

Always an important part of the Festival is the programme intended for the youngest audience, and this summer's the Festival is happy to announce real treats: one of the few plays in Croatia for children under two years of age – The Story of the Wheel, and for the slightly older kids the playful and interactive The Princess and the Pea, both of which will be staged by the Mala scena Theatre at the Bunić-Kaboga Summer Villa. The highlight of the children's program however will be put up at the Lovrjenac Fort, where the musical-stage work The Enchanted Forest will be premiered, with the support of the Caboga Stiftung foundation. The adaptation of the novel of the same name by the writer Sunčana Škrinjarić is directed by Lea Anastazija Fleger, the dramaturge is Nikolina Rafaj, the music composer Frano Đurović, and the conductor is Mateo Narančić.

"I would like to thank all the sponsors and donors who have been with us for years, and none of whom have given up on us in the last two years of the coronavirus pandemic. Of course, besides the financing which is always very important, I can't help but thank all the people and all departments of the City who have, I would rather say fulfilled our wishes, than just worked with us – concluded the POA Paulina Njirić, extending special thanks to the citizens who have been suffering and loving the Festival for all these years. 


The full programme of this year's Festival and as well as tickets to all performances are available online at the official website and through the service, with the latter also available Festival Palace Box Office (Od Sigurate 1), which is open every day from 9 a.m. to 9.30 p.m. Purchases made with Mastercard® and Maestro® cards provide a 10% discount, while purchases over HRK 500 receive a 30% discount voucher on festival souvenirs.

The Dubrovnik Summer Festival – the centre of Croatian and global spirit and culture, a place of creation and not just a place of visit, a place of community, ideas, and new artistic expressions, is traditionally supported this year by the Ministry of Culture of the Republic of Croatia, the City of Dubrovnik, the Dubrovnik-Neretva county, Dubrovnik Tourist Board and numerous sponsors Euroherc, Mastercard, HEP, ACI club, ALH, Kraš, Coca-Cola, Croatia Airlines and TuttoBene and donors Caboga Stiftung foundation, OTP bank, and other benefactors who helped bring this most prestigious cultural event in Croatia to fruition.

To read more about sports in Croatia, follow TCN’s dedicated page.

Sunday, 11 July 2021

72nd Edition of Dubrovnik Summer Festival Kicks Off

ZAGREB, 11 July, 2021 - The 72nd of the Dubrovnik Summer Festival began on Saturday evening at the traditional ceremony which included the hoisting of the festival's Libertas.

The ceremony was addressed by Mayor Mato Franković who, among other things, spoke about the importance of freedom.

In attendance at the ceremony were Croatian Parliament Speaker Gordan Jandroković, Prime Minister Andrej Plenković, High Representative of the European Union for Foreign Affairs and Security Josep Borrell, as well as some of the guests who had participated in the Dubrovnik Forum earlier in the day.

This year's festival will run through 25 August, and its programme includes over 60 plays, concerts, dance and folklore performances that will take place at a dozen venues,

The budget of the 72nd Dubrovnik Summer Festival is nearly HRK 8 million, which is HRK 1.5 million more than in 2020. The festival's own funds, including revenues from sponsors, donors and tickets, account for 30% of the budget.

The Dubrovnik Summer Festival was founded in 1950. Unique ambiance of indoor and open air venues of the historical City of Dubrovnik makes a perfect stage for many theatre, music, opera and dance performances during the festival.

For more on lifestyle in Croatia, follow TCN's dedicated page.

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Saturday, 10 July 2021

Obuljen Koržinek Praises Dubrovnik Summer Festival programme

ZAGREB, 10 July 2021 - Culture and Media Minister Nina Obuljen Koržinek said on Saturday that the organisation of the challenging programme of the Dubrovnik Summer Festival during the present health crisis and great uncertainty deserved all the praise as it continued the most beautiful festival tradition.

Speaking at a formal session of the Dubrovnik Summer Festival Council, Obuljen Koržinek recalled the exceptional circumstances of the organisation of the festival.

"I hope the audience will see how much effort and expertise it has taken to have such a programme," the minister said.

She added it was not easy to keep cultural institutions in Croatia open during the pandemic, unlike in other European countries.

"It was not easy for us who tried to ensure financial support. But also for artists who often demonstrated in situations that posed a risk to their health that art was their life, and for us art is a vital need. That is the message we sent to Europe and the world. I am proud of the artists but also of the audiences who attended cultural events," said Obuljen Koržinek.

She said there was no artistic life without interaction with the audience and called on people to get vaccinated.

"Amazing things took place online, but we were all touched when we could come to theatres and cinemas. The more citizens get vaccinate, the more cultural events will be able to be organised as before," Obuljen Koržinek said.

Dubrovnik Summer Festival director Dora Ruždjak Podolski said the greatest value of the programme was the insistence on their own theatrical performances, noting that this is what makes the festival stand out.

She added that the Dubrovnik Summer Festival is the first in Croatia to get the opportunity to open to the audience with performances of international stars.

Director of Dubrovnik Summer Festival public institution Ivana Medo Bogdanović said the institution was ready to support this year's rich programme in the technical, organisational and logistical way.

"We are also prepared in the epidemiological sense because last year we proved that we can cope with those challenges and I hope everything will go well," said Medo Bogdanović.

The 72nd edition of the Dubrovnik Summer Festival starts on Saturday evening with an opening ceremony in front of the Church of St Blaise. Nearly 70 drama, music, dance, folklore and other events will take place at 15 locations in 47 days of the festival by 25 August.

The budget of this year's festival is nearly HRK 8 million, which is HRK 1.5 million more than last year.

The audience will have to wear face masks and maintain physical distance of one seating space.

To know more about summer festivals in Croatia at this season, read our guide

For more, follow our lifestyle section.

Saturday, 10 July 2021

Dubrovnik Summer Festival Will Have Its Grand Opening Today

July 10, 2021 - Everything is ready for the start of the Dubrovnik Summer Festival in the walled city, which opens tonight. Take a look at what the latest rehearsal looked like and more details about the event.

By raising the Libertas flag on the city bell tower and with the verses of the Hymn of Freedom in front of the church of St. Vlaho, the 72nd Dubrovnik Summer Festival will be officially opened on Saturday night, reports

Over the next 47 days, until August 25, nearly seventy drama, music, dance, folklore, and other programs will be performed at fifteen stage and ambient locations.

The opening ceremony is directed by Hrvoje Korbar and features the Dubrovnik Symphony Orchestra under the direction of maestro Stjepan Vuger, percussion ensemble Percussion Club and Folklore Ensemble Linđo with the participation of the Festival Drama Ensemble, which will be joined by acting and dance students from the Zagreb Academy of Dramatic Arts.

Attendance at the ceremony will require an EU digital covid certificate or other valid evidence of vaccination, a negative test result, or recovery from infection.

The drama program of the festival will also include two premieres. The first is 'Out of Yourself', the work of Nataša Rajković, Ivan Penović, and the acting ensemble, as part of the EU project 'Port of Dreamers'. As part of it, the Games will also feature the play 'Celebration' of the Slovenian National Theater from Maribor by Ivor Martinić and directed by Jan Krmelj, and the play 'Under the Same Roof' directed by Ivana Janošev and co-produced by the civil society organization Kulturanova and Újvidéki Színház, a minority Hungarian theater. from Novi Sad.


Photo: Grgo Jelavic/PIXSELL

The second premiere will be 'The Lion's Head', based on the novel of the same name for the first time by Ivan Salečić, adapted by playwright Marijana Fumić and directed by Aida Bukvić. The plays "Hamlet", "Mara and Kata" and "Grižula" will be shown again, and the Student Theater Lero will perform the play "Jugo" by the author and director Davor Mojaš.

The music program of the festival will include, among others, the Percussion Club, the HRT Choir and Jazz Orchestra, Lovre Marušić, Julija Ležnjeva with the ensemble La Voce Strumentale, Eva Šulić with the chamber ensemble of the Dubrovnik Symphony Orchestra and quartet, Martina Filjak, Felix Klieser, Andrej Bielow, Lawrence Brownlee with Vesna Podrug Kossjanenko, Petrit Çeku, Goran Filipec, Richard Bona, Alfred Rodríguez.


Photo: Grgo Jelavic/PIXSELL

The unique music program "Dubrovnik on the music cliff" brings performances by Lovro Mercep, Marija Grazio, and Dubravka Separovic Musovic.

The festival will close with an opera gala concert by the HRT Symphony Orchestra conducted by Ivan Repušić with Diana Damrau, Nicolas Testé, and Roko Radovan.

According to the financial plan, the budget of the 72nd Dubrovnik Summer Festival is almost 8 million kunas, which is 1.5 million more than last year.

The audience will follow the performances by maintaining a physical distance from one seat with the obligatory wearing of face masks.

The Pearl of the Adriatic for some, King’s Landing for others, walled city Dubrovnik is UNESCO World Heritage Site perfection for all. Tips for travel, food, accommodation, sights & things to do can be found in Total Croatia's Dubrovnik in a page. Read it here, now in your language!

For more on travel in Croatia, follow TCN's dedicated page.

Sunday, 16 May 2021

72nd Dubrovnik Summer Festival to Feature over 60 Events

ZAGREB, 16 May, 2021 - The 72nd edition of the Dubrovnik Summer Festival will be held from 10 July to 25 August, with over 60 plays, concerts, dance and folklore performances taking place at about 10 venues, the organisers announced earlier this week.

The budget of the 72nd Dubrovnik Summer Festival is nearly HRK 8 million, which is HRK 1.5 million more than in 2020. The festival's own funds, including revenues from sponsors, donors and tickets, account for 30% of the budget.

It is expected that online ticket sales will start after new epidemiological guidelines for events are released.

For more information about events in Croatia, follow TCN's dedicated page.

Sunday, 9 August 2020

Dubrovnik Summer Festival Receives EU Money For #synergy Project

ZAGREB, Aug 9, 2020 - The Dubrovnik Summer Festival has been given HRK 320,000 for co-financing a project aimed at strengthening cultural cooperation and the competitiveness of cultural and creative industries in the Western Balkans, in which the festival will invest HRK 108,000 of its own money as well.

The "#synergy: Sharpening the capacities of the classical music industry in the Western Balkans" project was one of 300 which were submitted for funding from the Creative Europe programme and one of the 13 that have been given €410,000 in total.

The main partner on the project is the Don Branko Sbutega Foundation from Montenegro. Besides the Dubrovnik Summer Festival, the other project partners are the Belgrade Festivals Centre from Serbia, the Ljubljana Festival from Slovenia, the Frederic Chopin Association from Kosovo, and the Vox Baroque Organisation from Albania.

The duration of the project is 34 months.

Over the past two years, the Dubrovnik Summer Festival has received HRK 7 million in EU funding for three projects.

(€1 = HRK 7.46)

Saturday, 7 July 2018

69th Dubrovnik Summer Festival Begins Soon

Are you ready for the 69th Dubrovnik Summer Festival?

Wednesday, 2 August 2017

From Pula to Dubrovnik: Award Winning Films

The 68th Dubrovnik Summer Festival will screen some of the Pula Film Festival's best international films this month.

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