The start of the Ljubljana Festival 2011 throws us into a glorious celebration of the anniversaries of the birth and death of Gustav Mahler, a composer who spent the 1881/1882 season working in Ljubljana. The summer festival is to be rounded off by the Lithuanian State Opera with Halévy's opera La Juive. The festival's central events are to be accompanied by the 14th international arts colony and an exhibition of Lipizzaner horses. The summer Ljubljana Festival 2011 will host 36 events and over 3,000 artists from 30 countries.
The 59th summer Ljubljana Festival throws open its doors on Sunday 3 July 2011. The renovated Congress Square will ring to the sound of 'The Symphony of a Thousand’ – it will be performed by more than 1,000 musicians. The opening concert will be conducted by the charismatic Russian conductor Valery Abisalovich Gergiev. Under his leadership will be the Slovenian and Zagreb philharmonic orchestras, several Slovenian and Croatian choirs and eight globally-esteemed soloists, including outstanding Slovenian soprano Sabina Cvilak. The concert will be dedicated to the 20th anniversary of Slovenian and Croatian independence and the honorary patron is to be Slovenian President Danilo Türk.
The festival is to air numerous outstanding concerts, operas, ballet and theatre performances as well as musicals. Among the wealth of musical events, Darko Brlek, Ljubljana Festival Director and artistic manager and President of the European Festivals' Association particularly highlighted several major events which will especially mark this year's summer festival: a guest appearance by the Milan orchestra Filarmonica della Scala with globally renowned conductor Daniel Harding, and ‘Twilight of the Gods’, a theatre production by exceptional director Tomaž Pandur and a guest appearance by the Lithuanian State Opera (who will take the stage three evenings in a row, performing Verdi’s ‘Othello’, a concert of operatic arias featuring Joseph Calleja and Halevy’s opera ‘La Juive’ as the closing event of the summer festival). A treat for ballet lovers will be ‘Onegin Online’ and ‘Don Quixote’, original ballet works by Boris Eifman, as well as the ballet triptych What Love Tells Me, Firebird and Bolero in a production by the Béjart Ballet group from Lausanne.
The summer will also be marked by the still-legendary musical Hair, Russian Cossacks, Al di Meola, Gilberto Gil and much more.
The programme furthermore features a number of chamber concerts, the 14th international arts colony, an exhibition of Lipizzaner horses and a variety of other events.
It is possible to find out about events at the summer 'Ljubljana Festival' on the festival website, where besides being able to buy tickets online you can also see video highlights from the festival. If you would like to buy tickets it's a good idea to hurry, as tickets sold on the day of the event will not be cheaper but 50% more expensive.
Ljubljana Festival has put this year's graphic design of the festival onto a Ljubljana Passenger Transport bus, a Slovenian Railways train and a Ljubljana River Transport boat. Therefore, those that buy tickets for Ljubljana Festival 2011 events at Slovenian Railways sales outlets in Ljubljana, Maribor or Celje will be given a 50% discount on the regular rail fare on selected journeys by Slovenian Railways.
All information about what's on at the 59th Ljubljana Festival is to be available in your daily newspaper and other publications, on the Festival website and at the Križanke box office (+386 1 241 60 26).