˝Elena Teodorini˝ International Festival
Craiova Romanian Opera
The “Elena Teodorini” International Festival stems from the initiative of a bunch of enthusiasts and educated servants of the marvellous lyrical art, aiming at providing a genuine homage to the great world-renowned soloist and guide of young vocal talents – Elena Teodorini.(1857-1926)
The festival aims at becoming an open bridge to the world, to the international music world. For various decades, such opening could not find a proper environment. This region’s powerful cultural tradition triggered the search for new means to promote genuine musical values and focus on interesting actions, that should enrich and extend our spiritual existence, coordinating large-scale artistic events in a European cultural context.
This festival helps uncover the genuine availability of the Romanian school of canto, emblematically represented by the Craiova-born Elena Teodorini, among many other illustrious names, also stimulating the proliferation of vocal arts within the much more ample context of the European Union.
The Elena Teodorini International Festival aims at honouring the memory of the spiritual patron of the Romanian Opera of Craiova and is a highly important cultural event of our city, along with the Oltenia Philharmonic’s Musical Craiova Festival and the Shakespeare International Festival of the National Theatre of Craiova.
The activities performed within the thirteen editions of the festival provided the public of Craiova and specialists with the best acts of the national and European lyrical area: representative shows with a genuine value, performed and held by renowned artists from Romania and abroad, ranging from established interprets (vocal soloists, ballet soloists and actors) to world-famous directors, scenographers and choreographers: George Zaharescu, Matsumoto Miwako (Japan), Gianfranco Pastine (Italy), Nicolae Urziceanu, Nicolae Andreescu, Emil Iuraşcu, Eleonora Enăchescu, Vasile Martinoiu, Maria Slătinaru Nistor, Florin Fărcaş, Daniela Bruera (Italy), Paolo Deanesi (Italy), Viorel Gomboşiu, Pompei Hărăşteanu, Mihai Ungureanu, Florin Diaconescu, Sorina Alb-Gaşpar, Lucia Cicoară, Yoshiyuki Tanigawa (Japan), Alexandru Kopeczi, Cristiana Popescu, Iuliu Mare, Iulia Chircoşa, Nicolae Busuioc, Ştefan Hathazi, Gheorghe Mogoşan, Sorin Drăniceanu, Stelian Negoescu, Cristina Simionescu, Gabriel Alexandrescu, Emilian Barteş, Boris Materinco (Moldova), Valentina Calistru, Corneliu Calistru, Leonardo Quadrini (Italy), Gaetano Soliman (Italy), Giuseppe Visciglia (Italy), Veronica Fizeşan, Sever Barnea, Mircea Sâmpetrean, Mirela Zafiri, Gabriela Hazarian, Ionel Voineag, Teodora Ciucur, Pier Giorgio Calabria (Italy), Gheorghe Roşu, Ştefan Ignat, Ivanka Ninova (Bulgaria), Tamas Ferkay (Austria), Nadejda Babinzeva (Russia), Cosmin Marcovici, Isabelle Radigon (France), Adrian Mărcan, Jurg Bredebuhl (Germany), Vadim Munster (Germany), Ivan Konsulov (Bulgaria), Marta Nemes, Vicenţiu Ţăranu, Tatiana Spiridonova (Bulgaria), Marius Ţeicu, Silvia Kerim, Migry Avram Nicolau, Antonio Sarnelli de Sylva (Italy), Voicu Enăchescu, Francisc Valkay, Gunther Mayr (Germany), Bertha Granados (Mexico), Leonard Dumitriu, Carlo Prato (Italy), Joan Grimalt (Spain) Marius Hristescu, Modest Cichirdan, Florian-George Zamfir, Lucia Millan Barranco (Spain), Georgi Dimitrov (Bulgaria), Diana Țugui, Rareș Zaharia (France), Adriana Dumitriu, François-Robert Girolami (France), Francesco Ommassini (Italy), Ioan Cherata, Cristian Mogoșan, Arabela Tănase, Alina Rece, Alexandru Iosub, Carmen Roibu, Dragana Radakovic (Serbia), Nicoleta Colceiar, Gheorghe Stanciu, Marius Budoiu, Florin Ormenișan, Răsvan Drăgănescu, Renata Vari, Nikola Kitanovski (Serbia), Jangwon Seo (South Korea), Inga Jakhutashvili (Georgia).
The 1st edition of the festival took place during June 16 – July 11, 1992, on the scene of the “Elena Teodorini” Lyrical Theatre and the following shows were performed: Giacomo Puccini’s “Madame Butterfly”, Giuseppe Verdi’s “Rigoletto”, Pietro Mascagni’s “Cavalleria Rusticana”, Gaetano Donizetti’s “Lucia di Lammermoor”, Giuseppe Verdi’s “Il Trovatore”, Gioacchimo Rossini’s “Overtures, arias and duets from operas”, Gioacchimo Rossini’s vocal-symphonic “Stabat mater” (first audition), Gioacchimo Rossini’s opera buffa “The Barber of Seville” (premiere).
The 2nd edition took place 4 years later, during October 3-28, 1996 and provided music enthusiasts from Craiova with the opportunity of watching Giuseppe Verdi’s “Aida”, Giacomo Puccini’s “Tosca”, Ruggero Leoncavallo’s “Pagliacci”, Giacomo Puccini’s “La Boheme”, Giuseppe Verdi’s “Rigoletto”, Boris Asafyev’s ballet “The Fountain of Bakhchisarai”, Leo Delibes’ ballet “Coppelia”, Giuseppe Verdi’s “Nabucco”.
The 3rd edition took place on the following year, from November 10 to November 22, 1997, when the public of Craiova could watch Gioacchimo Rossini’s opera buffa “The Barber of Seville”, Giuseppe Verdi’s “Il Trovatore”, Pietro Mascagni’s “Cavalleria Rusticana” and Ruggero Leoncavallo’s “Pagliacci”.
The 4th edition. After a 5 year recess, the festival tradition is resumed during October 14-30, 2002, with the following shows: Giacomo Puccini’s “Tosca”, Georges Bizet’s “Carmen”, Giuseppe Verdi’s “La Traviata” (premiere), Giuseppe Verdi’s vocal-symphonic “Messa da Requiem”, Carl Orff’s cantiones profane “Carmina Burana” and the closing “Festival Gala”, with arias, duets and overtures from famous operas.
The 5th edition of the festival developed during October 13-26, 2003, including the following performances: Giuseppe Verdi’s “Il Trovatore”, an Extraordinary Concert of the “Oltenia” Philharmonics of Craiova (Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart’s Great Mass in C Minor and Johannes Brahms’ A German Requiem), Giuseppe Verdi’s “Nabucco”, Georges Bizet’s “Carmen” (premiere), a Classical Ballet Show of the Tokyo-based Grazia Ballet company and a Choral Concert of Religious Music within the “Madona Dudu” Bishop Cathedral.
The 6th edition, from October 14 to November 4, 2004, provided the public of Craiova with the following performances: Giacomo Puccini’s “Madame Butterfly” (premiere), Pietro Mascagni’s “Cavalleria Rusticana”, Ruggero Leoncavallo’s “Pagliacci”, Gaetano Donizetti’s “Lucia di Lammermoor”, a Choral Concert of Religious Music and, a premiere for the “Elena Teodorini” Festival, an operetta performance: Ralph Benatzky’s “The White Horse Inn”.
The 7th edition of the “Elena Teodorini Festival (October 3-20, 2005) includes for the first time a wide range of performance styles, such as opera (Gaetano Donizetti’s “Lucia di Lammermoor”), operetta (Johann Strauss II’s “The Gypsy Baron”), and the acclaimed musical for children (Laurentiu Profeta’s “Peter Pan”). The festival also included other two performances: Carl Orff’s cantiones profane “Carmina Burana” and an “Opera Night”, with arias, duets and overtures from famous operas.
The 8th edition took place between October 5 and October 21, 2006, including Giuseppe Verdi’s “Falstaff”, Marius Teicu’s musical for children “The Sleeping Beauty”, Gaetano Donizetti’s “Don Pasquale” and Franz von Suppe’s operetta “Boccaccio”. Like its previous edition, the festival marks a new premiere, inviting, for the first time, a whole choir for the performance of a choral concert: the “Preludiu” Choir of Bucharest. The suggestively entitled “Opera Gala”, already a tradition, was reprised at the end of the festival.
The 9th edition took place during October 3-18, 2007 and provided music enthusiasts with five shows: Giuseppe Verdi’s “Aida” (a new premiere directed by Tamas Ferkay – Austria), Johann Strauss II’s operetta “Die Fledermaus”, Florimond Herve’s operetta “Mamzelle Nitouche” (premiere), Jacques Offenbach’s “The Tales of Hoffmann” (entirely performed by the Opera of Brasov) and the “Opera Gala” at the end.
The 10th edition (jubilee) took place during September 27 – October 13, 2008 and proposed the following shows: Giacomo Puccini’s “Tosca” (premiere), “Spanish Fiesta” (an extraordinary music and dance show), Giovanni Battista Pergolesi’s opera buffa “La serva padrona” (performed by Solisti di Napoli – Italy), “Love Hospital” (national arias and romances by the mezzo-soprano Oana Andra, accompanied by the pianist Alexandru Petrovici). The festival ended with a top-flight show by the National Opera of Plovdiv (Bulgaria): Giuseppe Verdi’s “Simon Boccanegra”.
The 11th edition took place during October 1-14, 2009, proposing the following shows: Giuseppe Verdi’s “La Traviata” (premiere), the Opera Gala, Gaetano Donizetti’s “Don Pasquale”, “El amor” (dance show) and “Dance with me” (dance show).
The 12th edition took place from September 29 to October 19, 2011 and was opened by Bela Bartok’s opera “Bluebeard’s Castle” (full show performed by the Hungarian Opera of Cluj Napoca). Other performances: Gaetano Donizetti’s “The Elixir of Love” (performed by the “Simfonietta” State Philharmonics of Vidin, Bulgaria), Franz Lehar’s operetta “The Merry Widow”, Marius Teicu’s musical “Little Dorothy” (premiere) and Giacomo Puccini’s “La Boheme”.
The 13th edition. The most recent edition of the “Elena Teodorini” International Festival took place between October 10 and November 14, 2013 and was dedicated to the Giuseppe Verdi Bicentennial, as it was opened on the very day of birth of the great composer, with the premiere of “Othello”. This has been the most fruitful edition of the festival, including a Session of Scientific Lectures entitled “Giuseppe Verdi – 200 Years from his Birth”, Laurentiu Profeta’s musical for children “Peter Pan”, Giuseppe Verdi’s “Il Trovatore”, the French Music Night (performed by the Symphonic Orchestra of the Oltenia Philharmonics), Dumitru Capoianu’s musical for children “Cinderella”, Giuseppe Verdi’s “A Masked Ball”, “Good evening, Mr Wilde!” (a musical comedy after Oscar Wilde’s “The Importance of Being Earnest”, music by Alexandru Iosub), Marius Teicu’s musical for children “Little Dorothy”, Giuseppe Verdi’s Nabucco”, the Maria Callas Opera Gala, theElena Teodorini International Singing Contest – inaugural edition and Josef Bayer’s ballet “The Fairy Doll”.