Latvian National Opera and Ballet will start the new season with four premieres

The new 2021/2022 season of Latvian National Opera and Ballet will begin with the premieres of four new productions. Curtain will be raised for the first time for the operas Simon Boccanegra and La Cenerentola, as well as for the ballets Dracula and Two Metres. The rest of the season promises many bright and significant art events as well.

The new season will open on September 10 with the premiere of the ballet Dracula by choreographer Krzysztof Pastor. The picturesque neoclassical ballet is based on the motifs of Bram Stoker's world-famous novel. The music director of the new production is Mārtiņš Ozoliņš, costumes and scenography were created by Charles Cusick Smith and Phil R. Daniels. Irish writer Bram Stoker’s novel Dracula, written at the end of the 19th century, has inspired artists in all spheres in art – cinema, television, theatre, music, etc.  The Polish choreographer Krzystof Pastor has translated this gripping story into a lavish ballet, using the music by Wojciech Kilar from the Gothic film Bram Stoker’s Dracula (1992). The love story spanning 400 years serves as a guide to the mysterious world of vampires. The neo-classical ballet Dracula was first presented to audiences in 2018 at the Western Australian Ballet in Perth. The production has received several prizes and nominations. The roles in the production of the Latvian National Ballet will be interpreted by Jūlija Brauere, Jolanta Lubēja, Sabīne Strokša, Ieva Rācene, Annija Kopštāle, Raimonds Martinovs, Viktors Seiko, Antons Freimans, Philip Fedulov, Kārlis Cīrulis, Aleksandrs Osadčijs un citi.

On September 26, the premiere of Giuseppe Verdi's opera Simon Boccanegra under the musical direction of Normunds Vaicis is planned. The production in the Latvian National Opera is based on an original production concept by Stephen Lawless; the set and costume designs are created by Leslie Travers, choreography by Lynne Hockney. The leading roles will be interpreted by Rinalds Kandalincevs, Tatjana Trenogina, Tadas Girininkas and Mihails Čuļpajevs. The title character of this opera becomes the doge of Genoa, defeating the aristocrat Fiesko in the vote, but they are both connected not only by the struggle for power, but also by a fateful woman. The opera Simon Boccanegra was written by Giuseppe Verdi as early as 1857, but only the second edition of the work, which premiered in 1881, become popular with the public and critics. In the 21st century, Simon Boccanegra is appearing on the stage of opera houses more and more often.

On September 30, the premiere of the ballet Two Metres is scheduled in the New Hall. The ballet performance Two Metres is a reaction – serious and humorous at the same time – of choreographers Elza Leimane, Antons Freimans, and Aivars Leimanis to the experiences of a ballet dancer during the pandemic. The etude developed by Elza Leimane Līdzcilvēks (Fellow Human) is the story of a person who fails to find the exit from the theater and at the same time from himself. It is a dancer’s attempt to deal with what is most complicated, the relationship with himself. Antons Freimans has created a dramatic performance involving the emotional and physical problems a dancer faces when resuming dancing after a long, involuntary hiatus. In Aivars Leimanis’s etude he experiments with the mandatory rules, trying to imagine what ballet would be like if the dancers had to observe the 2-metre distance. The common element for all three performances will be the spoken word of the dancers.

On October 31, a new production of Joaquino Rossini's opera La Cenerenola will be presented for the first time. The stage direction, choreography, set and costume design are prepared by the creative team Barbe & Doucet. The music director of the new production is Péter Halász. The well-known Cinderella tale has been transformed into a merry drama for adults. Barbe & Doucet, the creative team of the production, has transferred the story to the 1930s New York cabaret atmosphere. This is the first production of La Cenerentola at the Latvian National Opera.

The premieres of the new productions Dracula, Simon Boccanegra and La Cenerentola are included in the program of the Riga Opera Festival 2021. The festival is supported by the State Culture Capital Foundation and the Riga City Council.

In September and October, the audience will have an opportunity to enjoy the productions from previous seasons, as well as two chamber music concerts, Evija Martinsone Recital on September 12 and concert In Dream on October 30.

In January, the premiere is planned for a masterpiece of Latvian opera music – Jānis Kalniņš's opera Hamlets, the production of which is supported by the Latvian National Opera Guild in the USA. The production team includes music director Mārtiņš Ozoliņš, stage director Kristīna Vuss, set designer Andris Eglītis and costume designer Kristīne Pasternaka.

In April, the premiere of the outstanding choreographer Marco Goecke's contemporary ballet Nijinsky is planned, followed by Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart's opera Don Juan in May with a creative team from Argentina – stage director Marcelo Lombardero and set and costume designer Luciana Gutman.

In accordance with the national restrictions, currently the Latvian National Opera and Ballet offers to attend events at two security levels:

  • Without face masks: for vaccinated persons and persons recovered from COVID-19, presenting a valid COVID-19 certificate. No face masks and physical distance are required during the event.
  • With face masks: on presentation of a valid COVID-19 certificate, the event can be attended by persons who have completed a full course of vaccination, recovered from COVID-19 or received a laboratory-confirmed test result. Face masks and physical distance are required during the event.

For events for the whole family, the security level "With face masks" applies.

In order to find out the conditions for attending each event, we invite you to get acquainted with the program of events in the Schedule section of the Latvian National Opera and Ballet website or on the website

The Innovation Partner of the Latvian National Opera and Ballet is Latvijas Mobilais telefons.

The new productions of Dracula, Simon Boccanegra, Two Metres and La Cenerentola are created with the support of the State Culture Capital Foundation.