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Latvian National Opera | Aivars Tiepins

Latvian National Opera and Ballet

Anniversary Gala

100 Years of the Latvian National Opera


This performance is no longer viewable as video-on-demand for rights reasons but other material about the production is still available.

Celebrate the centennial anniversaries of Latvian independence and the Latvian National Opera with this spectacular gala concert.


Featuring arias by the great opera composers of Italy, Germany and France, this concert also includes music by Jānis Mediņš and other leading Latvian composers of the last 100 years. Latvian National Opera soloists, internationally recognised opera stars and locally beloved singers combine to create an outstanding lineup.

Inga Kalna Soprano
Liudmyla Monastyrska Soprano
Dinara Alieva Soprano
Dana Bramane Soprano
Inga Šļubovska-Kancēviča Soprano
Olesya Petrova Mezzo
Zanda Švēde Mezzo
Stephen Gould Tenor
Murat Karahan Tenor
Rame Lahaj Tenor
Irakli Kakhidze Tenor
Raimonds Bramanis Tenor
Andris Ludvigs Tenor
Franco Vassallo Baritone
Vladislav Sulimsky Baritone
Samsons Izjumovs Baritone
Kalvis Kalniņš Baritone
Jānis Apeinis Baritone
Krišjānis Norvelis Bass
Ain Anger Bass
Egils Siliņš Bass-baritone
Rihards Mačanovskis Bass-baritone
Chorus Latvian National Opera Soloists

Conductor Mārtiņš Ozoliņš, Modestas Pitrenas, Aleksandrs Viļumanis, Jānis Liepiņš, Normunds Vaicis
Director Elita Bukovska
Set Designer Mārtiņš Vilkārsis
Lighting Designer Sandra Bermaka
Video Director Zane Zelmene
LNOB Chief Conductor and Music Director of the Concert Mārtiņš Ozoliņš
Casting Manager Ilze Sprancmane
Stage Manager Valda Ilgisone
Production Manager Anda Siliņa
LNO Orchestra Director Miks Vilsons
LNO Chief Chorus Master Aigars Meri

Part One: Latvian Opera

Jānis Mediņš
04:27 Chorus – ‘Lāčplēs, mēs tevi sveicam!’ LNO Chorus

Arvīds Žilinskis
07:44 Antiņš’ aria – ‘Sirds kā uguns’ Andris Ludvigs

Romualds Kalsons
11:20 Ilze’s aria – ‘Es atceros, māt’ Inga Kalna
16:00 Roplainis’ aria – ‘Vadi mani, Laimes māte’ Rihards Mačanovskis

Bruno Skulte
18:50 Maruta and Raitis’ duet – ‘Visiem sapņiem šonakt jāpiepildās’ Dana Bramane, Raimonds Bramanis

Jāzeps Mediņš
24:07 Mirdza’s song – ‘Mēness starus stīgo’ Inga Šļubovska-Kancēviča

Zigmars Liepiņš
27:00 Jakubowsky’s aria – ‘Ir mīla stiprāka par nāvi’ Jānis Apeinis

Jānis Kalniņš
30:42 Lolita’s aria – ‘Sārtziedu pilns ābeļzars’ Zanda Švēde, LNO Chorus

Jānis Kalniņš
33:20 Grave-diggers’ duet – ‘Kad biju jauns’ Krišjānis Norvelis, Kalvis Kalniņš

Romualds Kalsons
25:50 Men’s chorus – ‘Pērkonlietus šonakt līs’ LNO Chorus

Part Two: German, Italian and French Opera

Richard Wagner
38:39 Act III Overture

Richard Wagner
42:05 Tannhäuser’s Rome Narration – ‘Inbrunst im Herzen’ Stephen Gould

Gaetano Donizetti
54:25 Maria’s prayer – ‘Deh! Tu di un’umile preghiera’ Inga Kalna, LNO Chorus

Gaetano Donizetti
58:45 Nemorino’s romance – ‘Una furtiva lagrima’ Rame Lahaj

Umberto Giordano
1:03:19 Gérard’s monologue – ‘Nemico della Patria’ Egils Siliņš

Francesco Cilèa
1:08:20 Federico’s lament – ‘E’ la solita storia del pastore’ Irakli Kakhidze

Georges Bizet
1:13:40 Seguidilla – ‘Près des remparts de Séville’ Zanda Švēde

Charles Gounod
1:16:34 Méphistophélès’s song – ‘Le veau d’or est toujours debout’ Ain Anger, LNO Chorus

Camille Saint-Saëns
1:19:15 Dalila’s aria – ‘Amour! viens aider ma faiblesse!’ Olesya Petrova

Giacomo Puccini
1:24:15 Manon’s aria – ‘Sola, perduta, abbandonata’ Dinara Alieva

Giacomo Puccini
1:30:29 Cavaradossi’s aria – ‘E lucevan le stelle’ Murat Karahan
1:34:21 Scarpia’s aria – ‘Tre sbirri... Una carrozza’ Samsons Izjumovs, LNO Chorus

Part Three: Giuseppe Verdi

Giuseppe Verdi
1:39:16 Ezio’s aria – ‘Tregua è cogl’Unni… Dagl’ immortali vertici’ Franco Vassallo

Giuseppe Verdi
1:45:13 Lady Macbeth’s aria – ‘Ambizioso spirto tu sei, Macbetto… Vieni! t’affretta!’ Liudmyla Monastyrska
1:53:18 Macduff’s aria – ‘O figli, o figli miei!... Ah, la paterna mano’ Rame Lahaj

Giuseppe Verdi
1:57:30 Zacharia’s cavatina – ‘Sperate, o figli!... D’Egitto là sui lidi’ Ain Anger, LNO Chorus
2:05:36 Nabucco and Abigaille’s duet – ‘Donna chi sei?’ Liudmyla Monastyrska, Franco Vassallo

Giuseppe Verdi
2:16:23 Rigoletto’s aria – ‘Cortigiani, vil razza dannata’ Vladislav Sulimsky

Giuseppe Verdi
2:22:07 Leonora’s aria – ‘Pace, pace, mio Dio!’ Dinara Alieva

Giuseppe Verdi
2:28:44 De Silva’s cavatina – ‘Che mai vegg’io!... Infelice! e tuo credevi’ Egils Siliņš

Giuseppe Verdi
2:35:11 Azucena’s aria – ‘Condotta ell’ era in ceppi’ Oļesja Petrova

Giuseppe Verdi
2:40:34 Leonora and Count Luna’s duet – ‘Udiste? Come albeggi’ Liudmyla Monastyrska, Vladislav Sulimsky

Giuseppe Verdi
2:28:47 Otello’s monologue – ‘Dio! mi potevi’ Stephen Gould

Giuseppe Verdi
2:54:32 Don Carlos and di Posa’s duet ‘Dio che nell’alma infondere’ Irakli Kakhidze, Vladislav Sulimsky

Giacomo Puccini
2:58:05 Calaf’s aria – ‘Nessun dorma’ Murat Karahan, LNO chorus
3:02:07 Finale – ‘Diecimila anni al nostro Imperatore!’ Soloists and LNO Chorus

The Opera was, is and will be

A message from Zigmars Liepiņš, Chairman of the Board of the Latvian National Opera and Ballet

The Latvian National Opera was born at a time when all around was the sound of mortars, the noise of war. The map of Europe changed, as did the whole world. People, in their minds and hearts, understood that the Opera must endure, even through those conditions.

And so it was. The Opera survived The Bermondt Affair, the Second World War, two occupying forces and today, in a free nation, is once again the most significant cultural institution, a place where all art forms come together.

As a bridge between national and international art it is completely a part of the European artistic space. The Opera will be! It will not be suppressed by materialistically inclined clerks and short-sighted temporary management.

The Opera and Ballet was, is, and will be – always! I congratulate our artistic team and our audience on this celebration.

The Latvian National Opera can boast many proud achievements in this, the company’s first 100 years. Here are some highlights:

1918-19: The first season opens with a concert in September in Riga’s Second City Theatre under the baton of co-founder, director and perennial chief conductor Teodors Reiters. One month later the company performs its first opera, Wagner’s The Flying Dutchman. The following year they move to their current home, the former Riga First City Theatre.

1920s: Alfrēds Kalniņš composes and conducts Baņuta, the first opera with a Latvian libretto. The LNO’s first performance of Puccini’s Madame Butterfly is the inaugural broadcast of Riga Radio. The company flourishes artistically under principal conductor Emil Cooper.

1930s: Max Reinhardt directs Johann Strauss’s Die Fledermaus using a revolving stage brought from Berlin. Glazunov and Stravinsky visit Riga and perform at the LNO. Mikhail Chekhov produces Wagner’s Parsifal with a partly covered orchestra pit in an attempt to achieve the sound characteristic of Bayreuth.

1940s: Elfrīda Pakule stars as Queen of the Night in Mozart’s The Magic Flute. Conductor Leonīds Vīgners lays the foundations to restoring the opera company and orchestra after the

War. Aleksandrs Viļumanis plays the title role in Rubinstein’s The Demon. Latvian National Opera is renamed as the Latvian S.S.R. State Opera and Ballet Theater.

1950s: The company reaches new levels of artistic quality under the leadership of conductor Edgars Tons. Italian tenor Tito Schipa visits Riga and discovers the Latvian baritone Kārlis Zariņš. Pēteris Pētersons directs The Green Mill, a sparkling Latvian comic opera by Marģeris Zariņš.

1960s: Dmitry Shostakovich visits Riga and participates in the rehearsals of his opera Katerina Ismailova. Jānis Zariņš stages a production of Britten’s Peter Grimes. A production of Verdi’s Il trovatore sung in Italian marks the return to performing operas in their original language instead of in Latvian or Russian.

1970s: Estonia’s Eri Klas conducts Gershwin’s Porgy and Bess. Jānis Zariņš creates an iconic production of Puccini’s Turandot that will remain in the company’s repertoire to the present day. Latvian prima donna Žermēna Heine-Vāgnere, still in outstanding vocal form, performs unforgettable farewells to the stage.

1980s: The Baltic opera houses host friendship concerts with soloists representing all three countries. Samsons Izjumovs gives an outstanding performance as the tragic fool in the title role of Verdi’s Rigoletto. Having been renamed as the Latvian S.S.R. State Opera and Ballet Theater 45 years earlier, the theatre recovers its historical title of the Latvian National Opera.

1990s: The opera house is restored over a period of four years. It reopens with Jānis Mediņš’s Fire and Night in a postmodern production by Alvis Hermanis. A new tradition is established with the Riga Opera Festival showcasing the new and best productions of the season.

2000s: At the age of 24, Andris Nelsons accepts the position of chief conductor of the LNO. Mariss Jansons conducts the Royal Concertgebouw Orchestra in a concert at the opera house. Elīna Garanča makes her role debut as Carmen in a production of Bizet’s opera set in Cuba.

2010s: The LNO stages the world premiere of The Heiress of Vilkaci by Latvian composer Bruno Skulte.The Riga Opera Festival celebrates Wagner’s 200th anniversary with a complete cycle of The Ring. A new production of The Flying Dutchman opens the company’s 100th season and is streamed live on OperaVision.