Song and dance festival opening event – rock opera 'Eglė'

Many years ago, the Lithuanian folk epic ‘Eglė, žalčių karalienė’ (Eglė the Queen of Serpents) inspired three prominent artists, composer Laimis Vilkončius, song author and performer Vytautas Kernagis and poet Sigitas Geda, for a joint experiment which is going to be present to the Lithuanian public and the country’s guests on the occasion of the 100th anniversary of the Restoration of Lithuania's Statehood.

Laimis Vilkončius recalls a truly remarkable story of creation of ‘Eglė’: "Sigitas Geda stunned us right from the start by taking us to a different world. He spoke about a conflict between the creatures of the Sea and the Earth as encoded in the Lithuanian epic ‘Eglė’ and recited the names of pagan Lithuanian goddesses. Right after the first meeting it was clear that we could expect not just a simple conversion of a Lithuanian fairy-tale poem into a theatre play but a much broader look at the questions of human existence and the meaning of survival".

The rock opera saw the stage thanks to the efforts of Maestro Gintaras Rinkevičius, Artistic Director and Chief Conductor of the Lithuanian State Symphony Orchestra, and his team. "‘Eglė’ is a perfected and mature work written with great talent, therefore I did not see any risk in taking it up", said Maestro Rinkevičius. The music of ‘Eglė’, composed by Laimis Vilkončius based on the impressive libretto by Sigitas Geda, is highly moving indeed. The rock opera has enjoyed great success among audiences and has been lauded by music critics as one of Lithuania’s best in the genre of all time. It comes as no surprise, therefore, that it has been selected to mark the Centennial of the restored State of Lithuania. Today's leading Lithuanian artists will present the spectacular stagings of ‘Eglė’ during the opening event of the Centennial Song Festival in the Vingis Park, Vilnius on 1 July 2018, and on 8 September 2018 at the Palanga Concert Hall.

Patron of the event: Saulius Skvernelis, Prime Minister of the Republic of Lithuania

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