Rijeka Summer Nights 2013

time: 30.06.2013. - 25.07.2013.
place: Rijeka, Croatia
These tenth anniversary Rijeka Summer Nights have a symbolic meaning: Rijeka's opening ceremony will also mark the occasion of Croatia's accession to the European Union.

The tenth anniversary deserves a look back at the phenomenon of Rijeka Summer Nights, at its beginnings, successes, results and a review of what the festival is today and what it strives to become.

To examine what exactly was, and if it ever was at all so revolutionary and new in the concept of the theatre and theatrical act, in the creation of summer cultural manifestations, in the interpretation of artistic motives of the authors and the discovery of cultural needs of various audiences of this very distinctive city of Rijeka.

The backbone of the programme that gathered united and encouraged everyone was and still remains our Croatian National Theatre Ivan pl. Zajc.

Rijeka's tradition of summer cultural manifestations

For decades, all along the Adriatic coast, summer manifestations have been taking place. Think of Dubrovnik's Summer Games or Split Summer, cultural mega-spectacles that have become trademarks of successful theatrical, concert and other cultural events and artistic achievements, with different authors and works, domestic and foreign, superior and average, with a wide range of audiences either looking for summer entertainment, or a demanding one, expecting extraordinary values and even the premiere audience wanting to appear and be seen in exclusive events. A melange of all this creates that familiar commotion and glamorous atmosphere of hot summer cultural nights in Croatia.

Thirty years ago, Rijeka was considered to be an industrial and a transit city, and was never thought of as a city of culture since it never existed on the imaginary cultural and artistic map.
However, older citizens of Rijeka surely still remember the very successful Opera Season Opatija – Rijeka - Pula that attracted numerous audiences to the Trsat Castle, Opatija's Open Air Summer Theatre and the Pula Arena, presenting famous (mostly) Italian operas of famous Croatian, Yugoslavian and foreign ensembles. On many occasions have the rain and dark clouds spoiled the enjoyment of opera fans since all the performances were held in open air!

We should also mention Rijeka's Summer of Culture and Rijeka in Trsat, manifestations that have preceded more or less successfully Rijeka Summer Nights.

(D.H., 10.07.2013)