Spectacular opening of “Ohrid Summer” with the Great Tchaikovsky

A grand gala ballet concert “The Great Tchaikovsky” was organized last night by the artists from the National Opera and Ballet of the Republic of North Macedonia, at the opening of the 61st edition of the Ohrid Summer Festival.
On the stage of the Ancient Theater, the ballet pioneers, Marija Kicevska-Sokarovska, Mimi Pop Aleksova-Atanasovska, Vasil Chichiashvili and Boban Kovacevski, as well as the soloists, the ensemble and the orchestra of the National Opera and Ballet performed an impressive homage to the world music Petar Ilyich Tchaikovsky. They performed the ballet trilogy “Swan Lake”, “Nutcracker” and “Sleeping Beauty”, as well as excerpts from the ballet “Anna Karenina” and the opera “Eugene Onegin”, for which they were rewarded by the audience with a stormy and long standing ovation.
After the singing of the festival anthem and the lighting of the festival fire, “Ohrid Summer” was declared open by the patron, the President of the Republic of North Macedonia, Stevo Pendarovski, who said that the paradox of beauty, embodied in art and culture, is that it is an inexhaustible source of hope for a better world, even when it portrays the greatest suffering, violence against the powerless or ugly faces of men.

-Authentic art offers us hope both as a personal and as a collective phenomenon, encourages us to seek the truth and to embrace goodness. As a critic of all apparatuses and systems of power, art encourages us not to put up with abuses and not to remain silent in the face of injustice. Even when ignored or banned, art finds its way into people, nations, languages ​​and cultures, expanding the space for a world with a more human face. In order not to sink into despair, the world needs beauty. It, along with liberating truth and ennobling goodness, can reconcile people, reduce their pain, connect generations, and give humanity new hope. And that is more than we need in everyday life filled with gray tones, said President Pendarovski.

The patron of the festival, Pendarovski, emphasized that “Ohrid Summer” as an institution for 61 years provides space for top creations of thousands of artists from around the world.
– Artists are the real guardians of beauty, and thus, witnesses that the hope for humanity exists. This year, when we celebrate 30 years since the independence of the Republic of North Macedonia, we start our most prestigious international festival “Ohrid Summer” with 90 Macedonian artists whose qualities are certainly not below the world famous names, said President Pendarovski, declaring the festival open.
Addressing the audience, the Minister of Culture of the Republic of Northern Macedonia, Irena Stefoska, from the stage of the Ancient Theater said that “Ohrid Summer” is a prestigious event that has already surpassed the festival role and became a Macedonian brand that patiently made its way to world recognition.

– The pandemic that swept the world, we did not swear our “Ohrid Summer”. Set on sound foundations, built with love and nurtured with respect – it not only lasts but also gives us the best of ourselves. That is the art-healer of the soul, said Minister Stefoska.
According to the Minister, neither Ohrid can do without “Ohrid Summer”, nor “Ohrid Summer” can do without Ohrid because, as she explained, the magic is mutual, just as the whole region is magical.
– The region is a magic of nature and a heritage of history. The title deed is in our hands only for safekeeping and that is why we must preserve it – not because of UNESCO, but because of the legacy left which is both our obligation and our honor. In that task, we as a Government may seem to be slow, but we do not stop. As our “Ohrid Summer” does not stop either. Because the summers in Ohrid begin and end with the “Ohrid Summer”. Everything before that, and everything after that, is only summer, added the Minister of Culture Irena Stefoska.

The message of “Ohrid Summer” on behalf of all artists, this year was conveyed by the famous ballerina and choreographer Olga Pango who stressed that art is man’s constant desire to create for himself a different order of reality from the one given to him.
– The honor to stand in front of all of you tonight on behalf of all artists is huge, as well as the responsibility that each of us bears with every stop on stage, every movement and every applause experienced. We breathe and live the music, we breathe and we live the dance. We will convey our message to you as we know it best – from the stage, which we have missed too much for the last year and a half. The excitement is even greater due to the fact that this year we, the Macedonian artists, will open the Ohrid Summer Festival. “Macedonian cultural institutions must support each other and tonight we will show exactly how to work in the name of art,” said Pango

This year’s 61st edition, which was announced last night with rich fireworks over the Ohrid sky, at the Ancient Theater, in the church “St. Sophia” and in its lobby, on the stage “Dolni Saraj” and in the Cultural Center “Grigor Prlichev” will bring 40 festival evenings filled with quality program and top artists.