The 63rd edition of the “Ohrid Summer” festival, the largest music and performing arts event in the country and the region, began last night with a gala concert featuring the world-renowned opera singer Angela Georgiou. She performed alongside the National Opera and Ballet Orchestra, conducted by Romanian maestro Ciprian Teodorascu.
With her exceptional vocals, technique, and profound dramatic and musical intelligence, opera diva Georgiou once again reaffirmed her high status in the world of opera, delivering an unforgettable evening for the numerous audience at the Ancient Theater.
The festival was traditionally opened by its patron, the President of the Republic of North Macedonia, Stevo Pendarovski, who stated that for over six decades, “Ohrid Summer” has been a place where the most relevant artistic productions from all over the world come together.
There is nothing more important than the continuity in building the institutional memory of a nation. The “Ohrid Summer” festival is a paradigm of such continuity, which, through its carefully archived and developed institutional capital over its sixty-three years, leaves profound traces in the international exchange of cultural and artistic values. In this ancient city, the ancient is preserved, but the contemporary is also created and valued. The richness of the natural environment, spanning centuries, inspires people to showcase the best in architecture, art, and spirituality. The “Ohrid Summer” festival naturally and spontaneously intertwines with that harmony and beauty, history and culture, offering the best of music and performing arts carefully selected from all around the world. Moreover, the festival leaves a deep mark among the numerous layers of civilizations and cultural heritage piled up in this seemingly small yet highly significant space, said President Pendarovski.
The President emphasized that a crucial imperative is to maintain the level and quality that the festival brings, as only in this way will it leave a worthy imprint of its existence in the time we live in. At the same time, it will preserve values and landmarks for future generations.
-In moments when humanity faces countless challenges that undermine key civilizational achievements, we need art and culture more than ever to restore some of the lost or abused value systems, said President Pendarovski, declaring the “Ohrid Summer” festival open.
The Minister of Culture of the Republic of North Macedonia, Bisera Kostadinovska-Stojchevska, highlighted that the festival, built through generations, is established among the top five elite festivals in Europe and has been on this prestigious list for three decades.
-In a time when the world is changing before our eyes at a rapid pace, a speed that seems threatening and offers little promise, art, as it has done many times before, soothes our fears with its comforting message – everything will be alright! Yes, in a world where daily headlines are dominated by bad news and fake stories, cultural news are pushed further down, almost to invisibility. Fortunately, optimists and artists read the news in a different order. They know that without art, life would be an unbearable void. That’s why “Ohrid Summer” is a gift. And these stone seats we sit on in the “Ancient Theater” testify that culture in our land has an ancient date. This is our Ohrid, rightfully our spiritual capital, our indelible cultural code, the cradle of Slavic literacy. “Ohrid Summer” is its finest postcard, said Minister of Culture, Bisera Kostadinovska-Stojchevska.
This year, the artistic message was conveyed by the renowned Macedonian conductor Bisera Chadlovska, who, on behalf of all artists, wished for another successful edition of the festival.
“For the 63rd time, ‘Ohrid Summer’ will welcome artists from all parts of the world and they will leave with hearts filled with beauty, continuing to spread the story of Ohrid, the tradition of the festival, and the irreplaceable Ohrid audience. As an artist who has felt the excitement and pride of standing on these stage I now experience the same feelings from the other side, at every concert, every theater performance, every exhibition… For us artists, these stage in Ohrid is the realization of dreams we had as children, thinking they may never come true. But here we are, fulfilled, proud, and overflowing with eagerness to hear the first notes of the orchestra, which will lead us into the upcoming 40 days filled with beautiful art,” said Chadlovska.
The start of the 63rd edition of “Ohrid Summer” was marked by the traditional festival flame ignited by the director of the National Institution “Ohrid Summer,” Natasa Popovic, and the rendition of the festival anthem composed by one of the most renowned Macedonian composers, Tomislav Zografski. Additionally, the festival flag was raised, which, along with the flame, will serve as a recognizable symbol of the festival in the next 40 days.