100 Years of Ljubljana National Opera and Ballet (Feature, Videos)

By , 12 Apr 2018, 20:46 PM Made in Slovenia
Postcard of the Opera and Ballet Theatre in 1910 Postcard of the Opera and Ballet Theatre in 1910 Wikimedia

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The Ljubljana SNG Opera and Ballet launched celebrations of its centenary on Thursday, remembering the year in which the first opera production premiered and the ballet got its professional ensemble. 

STA, 12 April 2018 - The centenary of the Slovenian opera theatre will be in the focus of this year's Slovenian Music Days, running from 12 to 19 April.

Apart from concerts, the festival will feature an academic conference at which more than 30 musicologists from 16 countries will discuss national opera theatres in the 20th and 21st centuries.

Conference head Jernej Weiss has told the STA that they will focus on the reasons for the current situation in Slovenia and abroad and on milestones in opera trends.

Borut Smrekar, a former manager of the Ljubljana Opera, complained about the poor situation in Slovenia, which is best seen in meagre funding and political staffing.

Smrekar said the funds opera theatre receives from the national budget amounted to approximately half the funds spent on drama theatre.

He said the country's "incompetent and irresponsible cultural policy" had pushed opera into a crisis several decades ago, preventing it to recover even if it had proved its vitality several times.

The ballet's centenary will be celebrated tonight with Ballet 100 - revivals of three short ballets staged by several acclaimed choreographers in the 1940-1986 period.

The new production will enable ballet lovers to get an insight into different periods and "into the backstage of the past", ballet artistic director Sanja Nešković Peršin said at a news conference earlier this week.

Lok (Bow), a dance suite by acclaimed Slovenian ballet couple Pia and Pino Mlakar, was put on stage in 1940, Žica (Wire) by choreographer Vlasto Dedović (1934-2013) in 1976 and Beethoven's Pastoral Symphony was first staged by Milko Šparemblek in 1986.

"Each of the selected choreographers was active on the international scene when they made the shows, and enriched Slovenian ballet with their experiences from abroad," said Nešković Peršin.

By engaging younger choreographers to put these ballets on stage for the centenary, the Opera and Ballet wants to make ballet aficionados to think about how they are perceived today, she explained.

Ballet 100, to be conducted by Marko Gašperšič, is only one in a series of events the Ballet House will organise to celebrate the centenary.

Slovenian opera, and ballet, witnessed a revival immediately after WWI, while there were no shows during the war on the Ljubljana opera stage.

With Slovenian lands part of the Austro-Hungarian empire until the end of the war, theatre was dominated by Germans.

The first opera production in Ljubljana premiered in December 1918. It was Bedrich Smetana's comic opera The Bartered Bride.

In late 1925, Mirko Polič was appointed conductor, a major milestone leading to what it seen as the golden age of Ljubljana opera until 1939.

Ballet was at first integrated into operas, but the first full-fledged ballet production - Jaromir Weinberger's Evelyn's Elopement - premiered already in April 1919.


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  • The first significant increase in foreign vehicles driving on Slovenian roads before the main summer tourist season is during the Easter holidays.

    We are therefore expecting increased traffic at the end of this week from Austria and Italy in the direction of the border crossings with Croatia and from Italy to Hungary.

    Holidays in certain parts of Europe start on Thursday, 29 March; therefore, we may expect increased traffic from Austria in the direction of Croatia. On Thursday, we also expect heavy freight traffic and long waiting lines at the border crossings with Croatia.

    Roads will be heavily burdened on Friday, 30 March. Heavy congestions can be expected on the Lower Carniola motorway at Dobruška vas due to construction works.

    Due to the end of the holidays in most European countries, traffic will be significantly increased in the opposite direction on Monday, 2 April, and Tuesday, 3 April. 

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    Expected construction works and road closures

    A2, Ljubljana - Obrežje

    A full road closure is expected in the Dobruška vas - Drnovo section until 21 May, which will be carried out in five stages. Traffic shall run on the other half of the motorway in both directions. Due to the full closure of the section, the Smednik junction will host temporary passage. Due to the closure of junction sections A and B at the Smednik junction (the expected start of the construction works is at the beginning of April), a detour will run on state-owned roads. The Zaloke jug rest area will be closed for the duration of the closure.

    A2, Ljubljana - Karavanke

    From Monday, 16 April to Thursday, 19 April from 8am to 4pm there will be maintenance works in the Karavanke tunnel.
    Traffic will run at intervals with waiting times at each end of the tunnel of up to 30 minutes. The maximum transport width is 3.5m.   à

    A1. Ljubljana - Koper, H4, Vipavska dolina

    As part of adjusting the toll booths for the DarsGo system, there will be a full half hour closure of the Divača - Kozina section on Monday, 2 April between 12am and 1am due to the removal of the signalisation at the CP Videž gantry. There will be a short closure of the Gabrk - Sežana vzhod section on Tuesday, 3 April between 4am and 6am due to the removal of the signalisation at the CP Dane gantry. Traffic will also occasionally be hindered outside the listed dates.

    Within the next phase of a more extensive renovation of the Vipava expressway, the worn roads in certain sections of the Vipava-Ajdovščina and Ajdovščina-Selo expressway in the total length of 7.7km will be renewed in each direction. The contractor will begin the renovation works as soon as the weather allows for it or after the end of the winter service on the motorways and expressways at the latest, most probably in the last third of March.

    A1 Maribor - Ljubljana, A5 Maribor - Lendava

    On the night of 1 April, traffic will be hindered at toll booths on the A1 at CP Vransko, CP Kompolje and CP Pesnica, on the A5 at CP Dragotinci, and on the A4 at CP Prepolje due to the implementation of the new traffic signalisation. CP Vransko will also have a half hour full closure in both directions at around midnight.

    Due to road patching works, traffic will be hindered at CP Vransko on Saturday, 31 March. 

    From Tuesday, 3 April to Saturday, 7 April, road patching works will commence on the A5 motorway at Vučja vas, Murska Sobota.
    On Saturday, 7 April, lines will be painted for the toll booths on the Styria motorway, while road patching works at CP Tepanje will commence on Sunday, 8 April.


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    We suggest that you check the status of the roads using:
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