A conference for the media was held on the occasion of closing of the 153rd season of the National Theater
1 July 2022
Summing up the recently completed 153rd season, the National Theater in Belgrade for the first part of the next season announced the premiere of the musical-stage piece “Children” according to NIN awarded novel-poem by Milena Marković, directed by composer Irena Popović Dragović, as well as Shakespeare’s “Macbeth” directed by Jagoš Marković, with Nataša Ninković and Nebojša Dugalić in leading roles.
The Drama ensemble will have guest performances in Montenegro and Macedonia during the summer – of the recently first time performed play “War and Peace”, according to the novel by Lav Tolstoy, dramatized by Fedor Shili and directed by Boris Liješević, and will open the Festival “Theater City” in Budva and participate in the Ohrid Summer.
In the course of the last season the National Theater ensemble performed nine drama, two operas and two ballet premieres, namely, had a total of 315 performances on the home stage and in guest appearances, which together with guest performances and other performance events was viewed by 90,000 spectators, reported at the media conference on July 1st.
The past season, as assessed by the Drama Director Molina Udovički Fotez, was characterized by high quality performances, a major production project “The Years of the Crows” by Siniša Kovačević with as many as 60 participants on the stage, as well as a large number of new young actors that have brought fresh energy to the ensemble, whereas experienced National Theater actors won significant recognition. Among them Slobodan Beštić (Gold medal “Maja Dimitrijević” for the monodrama “The Night Writer”), Nada Šargin (Award of the City of Belgrade for the leading role in the play Nora), Aleksandar Srećković (Sterija’s award for the role in the drama “The Years of the Crows”)...
Rehearsals have started at the National Theater Opera for the Puccini’s master piece “Turandot”, directed by Mario Pavel del Monaco.
“We wish to give a chance to the young, and this young artist educated in Italy is also “our child” – the son of the opera diva Dragana del Monako” – said Nikola Mijailović the Opera Director.
The plan for the next season is restaging the opera “Koštana” by Petar Konjović, ballet-opera premiere “Vaskrsle seni” composed by Svetislav Božić and Verdi’s “Falstaff”, directed by Nebojša Bradić.
Mijailović expressed his satisfaction for having hosted again in Belgrade in the past season the world celebrated Serbian opera singers Želјko Lučić, Zoran Todorović, Milijana Nikolić.
The new Ballet director Ana Pavlović stated that she found a “dormant troupe” because of the rare performances during the pandemic, but with the work on the premiere of “Sleeping Beauty” they shifted together into “the fifth gear” and ended the season with a highly successful visit to the Croatian National Theater with the ballet “Who’s Singing Over There”.
The Ballet of the National Theater has ambitious plans for the next season, when it will mark its one hundred years of existence.
“We will begin with a classical and very attractive piece “Pirate”, which was never performed here. We are planning a reconstruction of our ballet opus, by giving a chance to young choreographers to present their view of our ballet history” said Ana Pavlović.
A new office was introduced at all three sectors this season – of executive director, on the motion of the acting director of the National Theater, Svetislav Goncić, and the sector directors claim that this has made work easier from organizational aspect.
Goncić expressed his pleasure with the results, reminding that strict measures related to the pandemic have also been in force during the major part of this season.
“The most important thing is that after three difficult seasons, we have kept our people. But we are again faced with the challenging times, but of a different kind”, said Goncić, adding that the National Theater has been working on a strategy for a longer period of time, in cooperation with the Ministry of Culture and Information.
“Our tasks are high quality programs, focus on classics and modern classics, but also inclusion of young artists. All this with utmost respect of the predecessors whose work is weaved into the national theater” Goncić pointed out, actually repeating the plan presented when taking over the office after the replacement of the former director Ivana Vujić.
Emphasizing that the National Theater is an “enormous organism”, which, beside its three artistic companies has a large technical sector and workshops, Goncić pointed out the need of continuous care for providing adequate work conditions. Within this context he said that one of the current tasks is agreement with the Belgrade Power Plants to switch to district heating.
NATIONAL THEATER IN BELGRADE
PREMIERS AND RESTAGING:
• Wolves and Sheep 25/9/2021
• Authority, 6/11/ 2021 .
• Nora – A Doll’s House, 23/12/2021
• The Pelican, 23/2/2022
• Iran Conference, 9/3/2022
• The Years of the Crows, 12 and 13/3/2022
• A Lullaby for Aleksija Rajčić, 30/4/2022
• War and Peace, 30/5/2022
• Mrs. Einstein, 30/6/2022
• Don Quihote, 2/3/2022
• Snow White and the Seven Dwarfs, 12 06. 2022.
• Carmina Burana, (concert performance) 29/6/2022
• Alice, 25/10/2021
• Giselle (premiere restaging) 4/6/2022
PARTICIPATION IN FESTIVALS AND MANIFESTATIONS IN THE COUNTRY AND ABROAD:
• Dictionary of the Khazars – Dream Hunters - Festival del Verano, Auditorio de el Escorial, Madrid (03. 09. 2021); Chekhov festival Moscow (9, 10, 11/11/2021).
• Vasa Zheleznova and others, Russian International Theater Festival “Maxim Gorky“ in Nizhny Novograd (18/10/2021)
• Wolves and Sheep, “Acting Ceremonies Milivoje Živanović “, Požarevac (6/4/2022); Festival “Days of Nušić“, Smederevo (24. 05.)
• The Years of the Crows, Sterija’s Theater Festival (1/6)
• Lullaby for Aleksija Rajčić, Within the program “Heroines“ Novi Sad – European Capitol of Culture (06. 06.); Festival “Bucini dani“, Aleksandrovac (22. 06.)
• Balkan Spy, Theater Marathon, Sombor (8/6.)
GUEST PERFORMANCES IN THE COUNTRY AND ABROAD:
• Balkan Spy, Gornji Milanovac
• Orpheus and Eurydice (opera), Čačak
• Bastien und Bastienne (opera), Vršac, Gornji Milanovac
• Manon Lescaut (opera), Madlenijanum x 4
• Coffee White, Subotica
• The Power of Darkness, Podgorica (Montenegro), Novi Sad
• Don Giovanni, (opera) Madlenijanum x 5
• The Bereaved Family, Sarajevo (BiH), Banja Luka (Republic of Srpska)
• Seven Deadly Sins (ballet), Sarajevo, Banja Luka
• Impure Blood, Valјevo
• Traviata, (opera) Požarevac
• Dictionary of the Khazars – Dream Hunters (ballet) Madlenijanum x 3
• Who’s Singing Over There, (ballet) Vršac, Zagreb (Hrvatska)
THE ARTISTIC ENSEMBLE OF THE NATIONAL THEATER PERFORMED A TOTAL OF 315 PERFORMANCES IN THE SEASONS 2021/22 ON THE HOME STAGE AND VISITING AND HOSTED GUESTS AND VARIOUS PERFORMANCE ACTIVITIES (total 84 programs) OVER 90,000 SPECTATORS.
• Concert on the occasion of 40 years of art work of the concertmaster Edit Makedonska, Main stage 13/11/2021.
• Two decades since the premiere of the drama “Hasan Aga’s Wife” by Ljubomir Simović, directed by Jagoš Marković, Stage “Raša Plaović”, 30/12/2021.
• “Remembering Živan Saramandić – Serbian Shalyapin“, on ten years since his demise. Stage “Raša Plaović”, 30/1/2022.
• Play “The Great Drama", text and director Siniša Kovačević – twenty years since the premiere, Main stage, 22/2/2022.
• Ballet “Who’s Singing Over There”, choreography and direction by Staša Zurovac, two hundredth performance, Main stage, 29/4/2022.
• Ten years since the premiere of the opera “Carmen” by Georges Bizet , Main stage, 30/4/2022.
• Remembering Velimir Veca Lukić, on the occasion of 50 years from taking the office of the director of National Theater in Belgrade and 25 years since his demise. National Theater Museum, 15/6/2022.
• National Theater in Belgrade / Award “Stevan Majstorović” (our House is the first recipient of this newly established award granted for contribution to cultural cooperation)
• Principal drama artist Slobodan Beštić / Gold Medal „Maja Dimitrijević" for monodrama, awarded by jury of experts and the Public Award Gold Medal “Siniša Dašić“ at the Monodrama and Mime Festival in Zemun.
• Principal drama artist Nela Mihailović / Award for the best actress (role of Danica Čvorović in the ”Balkan Spy”) at the Theater Fest “Petar Kočić“ in Banja Luka.
• Actor Ljubomir Bandović / Award for the best actor (Ilija Čvorović, “Balkan Spy“) at the Theater Fest “Petar Kočić“ in Banja Luka.
• Principal drama artist Ljilјana Blagojević / Award “Pavle Vujisić“ for outstanding contribution to acting art in national feature film and similar media.
• Principal drama artist Nataša Ninković / Award “Gold Platanus Tree“ for outstanding contribution to Euro-Mediterranean film
• Director Tatjana Mandić Rigonat / “Ivana Tomičić Plaque“ for outstanding contribution to development of theatrical expression
• Ballet soloist Tatjana Tatić / Award “Nataša Bošković“ for the role of Tatjana in the ballet “Eugene Onegin“
• Principal opera artist Aleksandra Angelov / Award of the “Breda Kalef” Foundation for the role of Orpheus in the opera “Orpheus and Euridice”
• Principal drama artist Nada Šargin / Award of the City of Belgrade for creative theatrical work for the role of Nora in the drama “Nora – A Doll’s House”
• Actor Aleksandar Srećković / Sterija’s award for the role of Alojz Kavran in “The Years of the Crows”
• Principal opera artist Nataša Jović Trivić / “Zlatni beočug” Award for permanent contribution to culture of Belgrade
• “Lullaby for Aleksija Rajčić” - Award “Milan Minja Obradović“ for the best production of theater performance at the Festival “Bucini dani“ in Aleksandrovac
OTHER EVENTS DURING THE SEASON: (selection)
• Donation Gala evening with the famous ballet star and greatest dancer today Sergej Polunjin, 28/9/2021.
• “Second Century of Opera in Belgrade“ - Gala concert of the Opera ensemble of the National Theater, within the manifestation “Days of Freedom 2021”, Trg Republike, 21/10.
• Principal opera artist of the National Theater Sanja Kerkez performed in the garden of the Serbian Pavilion within the World Exhibition in Dubai, 10/11.
• Opera “Madam Butterfly”, of the Puccini Festival from Tore del Laga had a guest performance on the Main stage, 28/11.
• Ballet soloist of the National Theater Tatjana Tatić performed in the premiere of “Romeo and Juliet” in London in the production of the Foundation “Sergej Polunjin” “Polunjin ink“ from Great Britain, 1/12.
• Maestro Đorđe Pavlović from the National Theater conducted the premiere performance within the project “Cross Operat” in Modena, 3/12.
• Gala concert of the Orchestra of the National Theater in Belgrade, Main stage, 8/1/2022.
• Traditional New Year’s Gala Concert, Main stage, 13/1.
• Revue performance “Igor’s Days”, devoted to tragically died young director of outstanding talent Igor Vuk Torbica; National Theater in Belgrade and Serbian National Theater from Novi Sad, 24-30/1.
• National Theater visited the National Theater in Sarajevo on February 7th and 8th with the comedy by Branislav Nušić “The Bereaved Family” and the contemporary ballet by Igor Pastor “Seven Deadly Sins“, and at the same time, these performances, after several decades, renewed the cooperation with the oldest and greatest theater institution in Bosnia and Herzegovina.
• Protocol on cooperation with the National Theater of the Republic of Srpska was signed in Banja Luka on 9/2.
• The National Theater Sarajevo had a guest performance at the National Theater in Belgrade; on February 20th performed the play “This Never Happened Anywhere”, and a day later the ballet “Harvest”.
• Within the program “Platform”, actress, director and drama writer from Italy, Monika Napo held a two-day workshop. Rehearsal hall. 4th and 5th/3
• One of the most recognized world baritones Želјko Lučić had a guest performance in Verdi’s “Traviata”, Main stage,9/4.
• Best known Serbian tenor Zoran Todorović had a guest performance in “Tosca”, Main stage, 16/4.
• International opera stars Milijana Nikolić and Rozario la Spina had guest performances in “Il Trovatore“, Main stage, 20/4.
• National Theater in Belgrade started a podcast “Pause”, 5/5.
• Concert “Stars – most beautiful Serbian solo-songs for deep voice with the participation of mezzosoprano Nataša Jović Trivić and pianist Dragana Anđelić Bunjac with guests. Foyer of the 2nd Gallery, 20/5.
• On the occasion of marking one hundred years since the birth of the Italian composer, baron Rafael de Banfild Tripković, at the premier performance of his opera “Colloquio con il Tango” at the Mittelcul Theater in Triest, the leading role was performed by the prime opera singer of the National Theater in Belgrade Jadranka Jovanović, 1/6.
• “Heavenly Voices“, concert by the members of the Opera Choir of the National Theater in Belgrade on the World Parkinson Disease Day, Foyer 2nd Gallery, 16/6.
• Baritone Honyu Chen had a guest appearance in Verdi’s “Traviat”, Main stage, 20/6.
NATIONAL THEATER MUSEUM:
• “The Dancer’s Art” dedicated to Milorad Mišković (1928-2013), giant of Serbian ballet and striking figure on the European stellar sky in mid-20th century, prepared by Miloš Dujaković, Miškovićev’s associate for many years, December 14, 2021, Ground floor foyer of the Main stage
• Exhibition dedicated to the renowned theater, television and film director, actor and scriptwriter Borislav Grigorović (1928-2010), author Dragica Gaćeša, December 29, 2021, National theater Museum
• “Breda Kalef – an Unusual Prima Dona“, dedicated to the famous opera artist, author Dragan Stevović, March 16, 2022, National Theater Museum
• “Božana – Costume Painter“ dedicated to our great costume designer Božana Jovanović (1932-2020), wizard of the magical and ephemeral, yet tangible and material art of theater stage – theater costume, authors Ivana Žigon and Dušica Knežević, June 7, 2022, National Theater Museum
• Guest exhibition about Bora Grigorović at the National Theater in Sarajevo from February 7 – 18, 2022.
• Organized by the Center for Culture Šamac, from April 12 – 14, Festival “Milica - Women in Art”, dedicated to Milica Babić Andrić, a pioneer of Serbian costume design, born and raised in Šamac, one of the participants was also the Museum of the National Theater in Belgrade.
• Guest exhibition of photographs dedicated to one hundred years since the first performance of “Traviata” at the National Theater in Belgrade (authors Dragan Stevović and Dragica Gaćeša), Požarevac, May 18.
• The National Theater Museum took part this year as well in the Manifestation “Museums for 10”, largest national museum initiative in Serbia and unique in Europe, held for the eighth time from May 14 – 20, under the auspices of the Ministry of Culture and Information of the Republic of Serbia. During the seven days the Museum exhibited a rich program whose content was based on the heritage of the national theater preserved and nurtured through history.
• The usual thematic cycles were held at the Museum this season as well: “Encounters“, “Promotions”, “Concert”, “Remembrances”, “Open Doors”, as well as visits to the Theater and the Museum by foreign tourists from river cruisers, with respective concerts performed by the students of the Opera Studio “Borislav Popović“.
The presence of the National Theater in Belgrade intensified on social media over the period from November 15 until the end of the seasons 2021/2022.
An Instagram account was opened on January 30, 2019 and had 438 announcements by October 22, 2021. From November 20, 2021 until June 30, 2022, a total of 393 announcements were posted, about 7 thousand stories and 38 reel videos. During the same period, the page grew without promotion by 4 thousand new followers.
The Facebook paged realized a 74% increase, namely, 1,308,158, and with over 25,800 new visits a growth of 27%, and over 1000 new followers, an increase by 38%.
During the period from November 20, 221 until June 30, 2022, the National Theater in Belgrade was followed in the media by 4500 announcements.
In March 2022, the site of the National Theater in Belgrade was also redesigned.
At the very beginning of the season, on October 14, 2021, the Government of the Republic of Serbia appointed drama artist Svetislav Goncić as acting director of the National Theater in Belgrade.