29. OCTOBER 17.00


From October 28, 2022, to January 15, 2023, Liepāja Concert Hall Great Amber will host the exhibition 100 years of the Liepāja Opera. The exhibition is created in cooperation with the Liepāja Museum and dedicated to important moments in the cultural history of Liepāja. The fall of 2022 marks a hundred years since the founding of the Liepāja Opera, which started its creative journey with a stunning production of Charles Gounod’s Faust.

Since its founding, the Liepāja Opera was a professional collective with an orchestra led by conductor Arvīds Pārups and soloists who would go on to create memorable moments in Latvian opera music, as well as a ballet troupe and a keen audience. 

The first opera-makers called their compositions favola in musica, or a tale in music, and the creators of the exhibition attempt to bring back the glorious past of the Liepāja Opera with the motto Rivivere una favola in musica! – Reviving a tale in music.

The design of the exhibition 100 years of the Liepāja Opera is created by artist Kristians Brekte with a concept by Dr. art. Vēsma Lēvalde. The exhibition will present replicas of opera costumes, programs and posters, music scores, stage design sketches, photographic evidence, artists’ correspondence and personal accessories, as well as audio recordings that offer a broader understanding of the rich history of the Liepāja opera. The exposition includes materials from the collection of the Liepāja Museum, archive of the Liepāja Theater, collection of the Museum of Literature, Theatre and Music, the Latvian National Museum of Art, as well as materials from private collections. 

In its golden age, the 1920s–1940s, the stage of the Liepāja Opera was graced with the powerful voices of many influential soloists – Mariss Vētra, Alberts Verners, Arturs Priednieks-Kavara, Miķelis Fišers, Jānis Gulbis, Teodors Brilts, Erna Kukaine, Olga Freifelde, Helēna Cinka, Amanda Liberte-Rebāne, Alīda Vāne, Elfrīda Pakule, Aleksandrs Kortāns, Alfrēds Tiltiņš, Aleksandrs Viļumanis, Ādolfs Kaktiņš, and many more. Here, the career of the accompanist of the Liepāja Opera, later on world-famous conductor Arvīds Jansons, was started, and the Opera also hosted many other famous directors, conductors, and composers. 

The repertoire included world-renowned operas, operettas, and ballets alongside original productions (J. Kalniņš’ opera Ugunī, W. Hahn’s ballet The Little Match Girl, O. Karl’ Meldermeitiņa. Alongside exceptional performers, the Liepāja Opera was also a creative hub for brilliant scenographers (Ēvalds Dajevskis, Edgars Gūtmanis, Albīns Dzenis, Valters Uzticis, Dailis Rožlapa), ballet performers (Alberts and Ņina Kozlovskis, Alma Zālīte, etc.), and it was the birthplace of great musical and vocal traditions. 

The first operas were performed in Liepāja as early as the 1780s, and, prior to World War II, productions by Liepāja citizens had reached artistic excellence, however, after the musicians’ troupe was let go in the 1960s, opera was never re-established as an active tradition in the culture life of Liepāja. Since Liepāja now has its own acoustic concert hall Great Amber, there is hope that the tradition of opera can be renewed, since it once marked our city as a bright destination on the culture and music map of Europe and even the world. Events of the Opera centenary will traditionally be catered to all – children, adults, musical connoisseurs, and even those who are yet to discover the experience of the favola in musica.

Concept by: Dr. art. Vēsma Lēvalde

Scenography: Kristians Brekte

Opening: October 29, 5 p.m.

Admission: free

Opening hours: Mon–Fri 11 a.m.–5 p.m., Sat–Sun 10 a.m.–3 p.m.


Civita Nova 1

Organized by:

Lielais dzintars sadarbībā ar Liepājas muzeju

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