Riga Opera festival 2018.  (June 6-17, 2018)



June 06 Wed 19:00 The Immured

June 08 Fri 19:00 Dauka

June 09 Sat 19:00 The Rose of Turaida

June 10 Sun 19:00 Valentina

June 13 Wed 19:00 The Rake's Progress

June 14 Thu 19:00 Turandot

June 15 Sat 19:00 Don Pasquale

June 17 Sun 19:00 GALA CONCERT


Opera in two acts by Ēriks Ešenvalds and Inese Zandere

Musical director and conductor Māris Sirmais
Stage director Laura Groza-Ķibere
Set designer Andris Freibergs
Costume designer Kristīne Pasternaka

Ēriks Ēšenvalds’ “The Immured” is an opera about the construction of a library, and the sacrifices without which nothing great can ever be created. It’s a modern-day legend, whose sources are found in the folklore of various European cultures, as well as in modern Latvian society. The heroes of this tale are artists and masons, librarians and politicians, their love and betrayal, faith and responsibilities. The opera is based on an idea and original libretto written by Inese Zandere as a poem; Zandere wrote it in honour of and as an ode to poet Knuts Skujenieks, who has also rendered numerous European folktales into Latvian. This libretto won second place in the LNO Libretto Contest; first place was won by Valentina by Arturs Maskats.



Opera in two acts by Andris Dzenītis

Conductor Aigars Meri
Stage Director Ināra Slucka
Visual Artist Katrīna Neiburga



Andris Dzenītis is one of the most talented, multi-faceted and internationally successful new Latvian composers. The main character of his new opera is an archetypal hero forever searching for the end of the horizon, walking a path that forever runs through ecstasy and catastrophe. In this take on the story, Dauka is no longer a naive child, but an adult, who leaves materialistic society behind only to be met with unsurpassable resistance in his challenging adventures in the vast spirit world. Poet Kārlis Vērdiņš’ libreto is based on the classic children’s tale by Sudrabu Edžus, interweaving modern timbral and textural discoveries with a viscerally Latvian feeling.


Opera in two acts by Zigmars Liepiņš and Kaspars Dimiters

Conductor Mārtiņš Ozoliņš
Stage director Ināra Slucka
Set designer Mārtiņš Vikārsis
Costume designer Jolanta Rimkute
Light Designer Damir Ismagilov
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The Rose of Turaida, an opera by Zigmars Liepiņš and with the libretto by Kaspars Dimiters, is a musically and theatrically revised version of the opera No Rozes un asinīm (Rose and Blood). It’s a story about the events of 1620, during which the protagonists continue to live out their passions – a story that moved conductor Mārtiņš Ozoliņš and director Ināra Slucka to portray this melodious drama as a timeless legend about Maija’s love and loyalty.

Love is stronger than death,
Love is stronger than life.
Life balances on a wire,
And you balance on the wire of death.

If I can, with my final breath,
I will bloom with the Rose.
Eternity will unite us…


Opera in two acts by Arturs Maskats

Conductor Normunds Vaicis
Stage director Viesturs Kairišs 
Set and costume designer Ieva Jurjāne
Lighting designer Nicol Hungsberg



Valentina, the first opera by the internationally celebrated Latvian composer Arturs Maskats, celebrates a legendary figure and film historian Valentina Freimane. The opera revisits a dramatic period in the history of Latvia – 1939 to 1945  – a chapter that was crucial not only for the country’s culture and political future, but also for the coexistence of Latvia’s different ethnic groups. Freimane spent her childhood in Riga and Berlin, where her father worked as a lawyer for UFA film studios and her mother was an influential member of society and on intimate terms with the film greats of the time. On their return to Riga, this educated Jewish family succumbed to the Holocaust. Freimane’s parents and husband were murdered; Freimane herself survived the war in hiding.  “The story of Valentina Freimane’s life is inextricably linked with the history of both Latvia and Europe, and opens up a fresh perspective on a time period shot through with colour and contradiction. The most dramatic moments of Valentina’s life coincide with momentous events of the 20thcentury, such as the country’s loss of independence – an experience that left Latvians physically and emotionally drained. And yet, Valentīna is more than simply a political work: shimmering through the depicted events is a story of profound sentiment and great love.” — Arturs Maskats. 


Opera in three acts by Igor Stravinsky

Conductor Jānis Liepiņš
Stage director Margo Zālīte 
Set Designer Didzis Jaunzems
Costume Designer Yashi
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Lighting designer Oskars Pauliņš

This is the first production at the Latvian National Opera of composer Igor Stravinsky's opera The Rake's Progress, which title the production’s creative team has interpreted as Izvirtības hronika (The Debauchery Chronicles).

It chronicles the adventures of the opera’s main character – a boy named Tom Rakewell. It all starts with the unexpected news of a large inheritance and a trip to the city which is followed by a whirlwind of revelry and pleasure, then degradation, and finally – madness.

Inspired by a series of engravings and drawings by the 18th-century English artist William Hogarth called A Rake's Progress, composer Igor Stravinsky approached the poet W. H. Auden in 1947 (later joined by librettist Chester Kallman) and over the course of a few years an opera with the same name was created. Its première was in 1951 at the Teatro La Fenice in Venice, with Stravinsky himself conducting.

Recommended age: 16+

© Boosey & Hawkes Inc/Gehrmans Musikförlag AB.


Opera in three acts by Giacomo Puccini 

Conductor Mārtiņš Ozoliņš
Original Staging by Jānis Zariņš
Director of Revival Guntis Gailītis
Original Set and Costume Design by Edgars Vārdaunis
Set Designer of the Revival Juris Salmanis
Costume Designer of the Revival Kristīne Pasternaka
Choreographer Elita Bukovska

Will there be such a brave man who will answer the three riddles of the beautiful and cold-hearted Princess Turandot? Everyone she outwits will be sentenced to death. But Prince Calaf’s love may turn out tronger...
This production of Puccini’s last opera, staged at the LNO in 1973, has been renewed several times. The magnificent set and costumes by Edgars Vārdaunis take audiences to a mythical journey to the legendary times of China, while the wonderful music melts even the coldest hearts.


Opera by Gaetano Donizetti

Music Director and Conductor Mārtiņš Ozoliņš
Stage Director and Set Designer Giorgio Corsetti
Set and Costume Designer Francesco Esposito
Video Lorenzo Bruno, Igor Renzetti, Alessandra Solimene
Light Designer Mārtiņš Feldmanis

Don Pasquale, the comic opera of the bel canto genius Gaetano Donizetti, tells a story of an elderly bachelor, who is befooled by his doctor, doctor’s sister – a young and beautiful widow, and the bachelor’s lovesick nephew who marries the widow in the end. In the tradition of opera buffa, the opera makes reference to the stock characters of the commedia dell’arte: Pasquale is recognizable as blustery Pantalone, Ernesto as the lovesick Pierrot, Malatesta as the scheming Scapino, and Norina as a wily Columbina.