And it seems there weren’t that year at all,
And by the will of God you are not old…
And your whispers are heard
And the only one word: “t o l i v e”.
QUOTE FROM THE LIBRETTO
(AUTHOR A. ALIŠAUSKAS)
13 – magical, frightening and shrouded in mysticism. It is a number that has once brought death and rebirth, a struggle between good and darkness. With 13 a transformation is experienced when the end of everything becomes a new beginning.
State ensemble “Lietuva” presents the premiere – oratorio “13”. The project is dedicated to the historically significant date – January 13, 1991, honoring those for whom we are free today. The music for this project was created by the internationally renowned Latvian composer Ēriks Ešenvalds, whose works are known and performed all over the world. Together with the ensemble “Lietuva” choir, dancers and the national instrument orchestra, there are many more performers on the stage such as the state choir “Vilnius”, the Vilnius University Chamber Orchestra and well-know soloists – actors Vladas Bagdonas and Vytautas Rumšas alternately, a folklore singer Rasa Serra, an opera soloist Jovita Vaškevičiūtė, the youngest soloist of the project Teodoras Lipčius and others. The premiere, sponsored by The Kazickas Family Foundation, took place on 14 January at the National Kaunas Drama Theater.
Emotionally strong oratorio “13” – the story is told through the eyes of a child, mother and father. The historical narrative is strengthened by storytellers-actors. How does a small child feel when he sees death and the bonfires burning right here?
“Historical memory remains through the future, through our children. Therefore, the oratorio looks at the child’s gaze – we seem to convey to him what we have experienced, what we have witnessed. After all, the children were in the square with their parents, watching through the windows or on the streets. We need to know, remember and value our history, and we have chosen to reflect those events through one family’s experience”, – says the director Leokadija Dabužinskaitė, who also has created the ensemble’s Baltic mystery “Gods and Humans”.
Reflection is created through text, music and modern choreography. For some it would mean a return to that night, for others – a deeper perception of what Vilnius, Lithuania and its people lived. The musical works in the oratorio “13” are connected by common emotional themes.
“The oratorio will sound different than usual. There are many theaters and their manifestations here, and the program itself is like a performance. That form is changing in the world, we will no longer see only a standing and singing choir, which is typical for a concert oratorio performance. In terms of content, the works will merge into a single narrative, and each part of the oratorio will have its own purpose. It is a historical, deeply influential program with experiences of struggle, but bright and hopeful music”, – says the director L. Dabužinskaitė, awarded the Knight’s Cross by the President for her merits to Lithuania.
Oratorio composer Ē. Ešenvalds has won the Latvian Grand Music Prize three times and gained international recognition, and his works are performed by such world ensembles as the Boston, Birmingham Symphony Orchestras, American choirs and many others.
2023-2024 the program is scheduled to be repeated on the occasion of January 13th.
The Kazickas Family Foundation
State ensemble “Lietuva”
State choir “Vilnius”
Vilnius University Chamber Orchestra
Vladas Bagdonas / Vytautas Rumšas
Teodoras Lipčius / Gabrielė Butkaliuk, Nojus Skorupskas
Osvaldas Petraška / Saulius Vasiliauskis
Jovita Vaškevičiūtė / Aistė Benkauskaitė
Director – Leokadija Dabužinskaitė
Composer – Ēriks Ešenvalds
Author of the libretto – Arnas Ališauskas
Chief conductor – dr. Egidijus Kaveckas
Scenographer – Gintaras Makarevičius
Choreographers – Leokadija Dabužinskaitė and Aušra Krasauskaitė
Costume designer – Olga Filatova-Kontrimienė
Projection designer – Vaclovas Nevčesauskas
Light designer – Darius Malinauskas