On Saturday, 29 October at 17:00, the exhibition “100 years of the Liepāja Opera” will be opened at the “Civita Nova” art rooms of Liepaja Concert Hall “Great Amber”, created by “Liepaja Museum” in cooperation with SIA “Lielais Dzintars” and “Liepāja Theater”.
On 15 August 1922, led by conductor Arvīds Pārups and director Ernests Ekšteins, “Liepāja Opera”, supported by “Liepājas latviešu dramatiskā biedrība”, began operating in the “Liepāja Theater” building. On 22 September, the opera opened its doors to the public with a production of Charles Gounoud’s “Faust”, directed by Viljams Bekers and Iļja Riss.
“Liepāja Opera” gave a chance to make a name for themselves to young, capable artists, who later often returned to Liepaja and gave performances as soloists of national and even European level. Liepaja has always been a favourite destination for highly professional artists from all over the world – soloists, musicians, conductors. The repertoire has included world classic operas, operettas and ballets, as well as original works. Excellent scenographers have developed their talents in “Liepāja Opera” and Latvian musical and vocal traditions were developed on that opera stage.
In both the early days of “Liepāja Opera” and today, a visit to the opera has always been a special event, and its aesthetic refinement, which is observed by both the stage artists and the operagoers, has survived to the present day. Opera is a special ritual for which the visitor prepares well in advance – by preparing luxurious outfits, special accessories, setting the time aside to visit the opera and, finally, by indulging in a high quality and professional artistic performance.
The sense of opera as a cultural phenomenon of the last century is perfectly conveyed by the historical costumes, in particular Amanda Liberte-Rebāne’s stage outfit for the role of Carmen, a replica of which was created by artist Dzintra Džeriņa from a scetch by Ludolfs Liberts, and authentic sound files, in which opera singers Ada Benefelde, Mariss Vētra, Arturs Priednieks-Kavars, Ādolfs Kaktiņš and Amanda Liberte-Rebāne can be heard. In addition, upon arriving at the exhibition, visitors will also be able to see decorations, sketches, sheet music, programmes, as well as accessories of stage artists and operagoers of the time.
The aim of the exhibition “100 years of the Liepāja Opera” is to create a bridge where visitors can go from the atmosphere of a modern concert hall to the backstage of “Liepāja Opera” of the previous century, understand how a performance was created, hear how the voices of the audience’s favourite soloists sounded, and see what the stage looks like from backstage.
The design of the exposition is created by artist Kristians Brekte with a concept by Dr. art. Vēsma Lēvalde. It uses materials from the collections of the “Liepaja Museum”, “Latvian National Museum of Art” and “Musaeum of Literature, Theatre and Music”, as well as from the “Liepāja Theater” archive.
The exhibition “100 years of the Liepāja Opera” will be on display at the “Civita Nova” art rooms of Liepaja Concert Hall “Great Amber” until January 15.