Curtains open for the 62nd Ohrid Summer Festival

The outstanding vocals of the Italian tenors Alessandro Cossentino D’Acrissa, Federico Serra, Giovanni Maria Palmia and Ugo Tarquini accompanied by the Orchestra of the National Opera and Ballet of the Republic of North Macedonia under the baton of Lorenzo Bizzarri yesterday evening marked the start of the 62nd Ohrid Summer Festival.

Announcing the Festival open, the patron of Ohrid Summer Festival, the President of the Republic of North Macedonia, Mr Stevo Pendaroski, said that art should not be taken as escaping reality, but on the contrary, as a powerful tool that provides art of living.

– Thanks to the most renowned cultural manifestation here – the Ohrid Summer Festival, we have witnessed outstanding performances of internationally established artists for more than six decades. It is very significant that the programme of the Ohrid Summer Festival includes topmost Macedonian music and treatre artists, whose creations are well known to the national and international audiences. Finally, after two years of pandemics disabling a real festival atmosphere and having impact upon the festival programme, Ohrid Summer Festival decently comes back with a quality offer of music and performing events, which suits this festival the best, – pointed out the patron of the Ohrid Summer Festival, the President Stevo Pendarovski.

Ohrid Summer Festival, representing the Macedonian culture and art, bears the primate as the most significant music and performing manifestation thanks to the support of the Government of the Republic of North Macedonia, through the Ministry of Culture. Addressing the numerous audience, the Minister of Culture Bisera Kostadinovska-Stojcevska pointed out that Ohrid Summer Festival is a confirmation of our identity and a confirmation that we are part of the European and global culture.

– Ohrid Summer Festival is a blessing. Made from an awesome wave of artistic emotion that bore far-fetched “big to last”. And it was born in the unique acoustics of St Sophia, through the echo of the Samouil’s Fortress, resonating at this Ancient Theatre covered in layers of Macedonian history, a cultural heritage whose excavation began 45 years ago. There is no inch of Macedonian soil under which there is no trace of civilizations, of centuries, of our past, of our historical and cultural identity. Come rain or shine, neither artists nor audiences left the scene and seating places. Such is Ohrid Summer Festival. Each year deeper in our hearts, each year reaching higher in the skies and spreading further with its positive impact. Ohrid Summer Festival evolved in a topmost cultural event deserving global attention, – said the Minister Kostadinovska – Stojchevska.

The artistic message of the Festival this year brought the Macedonian composer and musician, Goran Nachevski.

It is a privilege to perform on the same stage where names like Pogorelik, Hvorostovsky, Careras and many other world-known names performed. Honestly, for me as a composer and opera singer it would be easier to send this message in form of a sonata, symphony, or through giving a concert, but tonight let it contain the synonym words to art: love, joy, calm, altruism, understanding, yearning, devotion, decisiveness, persistency, support, inspiration, happiness, friendships, smiles, and finally world peace without which humanity has no future, as well as decent life for all people. Long live art, and long live Ohrid Summer Festival, – said Nachevski.  

The rich history of Ohrid Summer Festival, since 1961, has started thanks to the artistic intuition and creative initiative of the eminent vocal soloist Ana Lipsha – Tofovik, who had the historical concert under the arches of the marvelous St Sophia.

Over three thousand performances have taken place at the Festival scene of Ohrid Summer Festival in the past 62 years, with more than 50 thousand artists worldwide, exciting editions attended by millions. That is the confirmation that the Festival, by its uniqueness, is one of the pillars of the Macedonian cultural tradition.