20 January 2014

The traditional ceremony was performed by Protojerej-Stavrofor Petar Lukić, Head of Belgrade Orthodox Cathedral Church, with participation of the National Theatre’s Choir, conducted by maestro Đorđe Stanković.
In his address, Mr Lukić said that it is his honour, pleasure and privilege to congratulate St. Patron’s Day to the National Theatre’s staff, as well as to perform the traditional ceremony of cutting the ceremonial bread.
“I am glad that Saint Patron of this grand and important house, a temple of our people’s culture, is St. John the Baptist, a saint who was born by a woman and who prepared the path for our Lord and who baptised the Lord. He is, actually, a man who found strength to be uncompromising and to call ‘repent, for the Kingdom of Heaven is at hand’”, said Lukić and added that it is quite natural that the Theatre, just like every Serbian family, has its saint and patron, since that is our national tradition.
He addressed the National Theatre’s staff with a wish to see them detached “from some earthly temptations and encounters” as much as possible.
“Everyone possesses resistance towards both good and bad in their nature. Therefore, it is not a privilege; instead, it is destined to us as a consequence of the original sin. So, let’s have your Saint, John the Baptist, protector of your house of culture, be the path and show direction to your lives, and to your families’ lives… Please, accept my best wishes for your St. Patron’s Day. May the Lord give you joy. Remain in good health for many years to come. God bless you all,” said Lukić.
Mr. Dejan Savić, Acting General Manager of the National Theatre in Belgrade, thanked the staff, former staff, numerous guests, especially Mr. Dimitrije Stefanović, an Academic and a representative of the Serbian Academy of Sciences and Arts, for taking part in this celebration.
He said that the National Theatre appreciates the support, but the employees need to rely on their own strengths and never disregard the good interpersonal interaction. ”We have had a very successful season. We have worked hard on keeping good interpersonal interaction. I do not ask and I do not believe that we should all have the same opinion, that would be wrong, but we must be aware that the Theatre is more important. I am convinced that we, who work here, love the National Theatre and our jobs. If it had not been the case, we would not have worked here. I am very optimistic about future and I believe that we will continue to give our best efforts to have better situation in future,” said Mr. Savić. He also expressed gratitude to Transportation Company Lasta, Belgrade, since they were in charge of this year’s St. Patron’s Day.
Mrs. Dubravka Malohodžić, President of Association "Žena plus", presented the National Theatre with icon of St. John, by artist Mirjana Marović, on this occasion.
Ensemble "Musica da Camera Nuova" performed a programme for the guests. Musicians who play in the ensemble "Musica da Camera Nuova" are Bratislav Đurić (flute), Edit Makedonska (violin) and Tamara Đurić (bas flute). They performed the programme consisting of 3 Inventions (Bach), arias from opera Magic Flute, London Trio I and London Trio III by Haydn.
The National Theatre in Belgrade resumed celebrating St. Patron’s Day in 2001, after 67-year long interval. On that occasion, Protojerej-Stavrofor Petar Lukić blessed the Theatre.

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