25 YEARS OF HARD WORK AND SUCCESS
Madlenianum Day – Thursday, January 26
Giacomo Puccini's opera Turandot
Since the previous jubilee, proudly celebrated with the three-volume edition of the luxurious Monograph of the Madlenianum, presenting our work in the first 20 years, with the new director Andreja Rackov and his strengthened team, we have continued our long-established aspirations to present our city attractive and supreme-quality contents that will satisfy picky taste of our audience. Still engaging world artists and discovering new young talents, we have contributed to the rich cultural life of Zemun, as well as our capital city. In time of the corona virus, the theatre had a short cease in performing, but even then we had an online season, broadcasting our best productions from previous years every day. As soon as the conditions allowed it, we again returned to the stage to welcome our faithful audience, staging new titles. We are proud to have our entire audience returned to our theatre and to face a regular need for a ticket more for our plays. From this season we are an Institution of Culture, believing that the competent state authorities will recognize the effort and quality, as well as the contribution of the Madlenianum to the cultural life of the country. Such work, splendour and success would be impossible if it was not for our dedicated Mrs. Madlena Zepter, the founder and donor, whose faith in beauty and persistence in the intention to leave something to her city, proved not to be a dream, but a vision that has its own justification, and to which we are eternally grateful. As Nicholas Payne, director of Opera Europa, put it: “It required the vision of a prophet; creative imagination of the artist; the strategic plan of a general; determination of a devotee; the love of a true patriot."
Like every year, Madlenianum Day will be celebrated on January 26 beginning at 19:30 with performing our latest premiere, this time in co-production with the National Theatre in Belgrade, Giacomo Puccini's opera Turandot, recalling the first premiere performed on our stage, the Secret Marriage opera. Just like back then in 1999, Jasmina Trumbetas Petrovic is again on the stage, this time as Princess Turandot, while Janko Sinadinovic will make his debut in the role of Calaf, and the ballet role of the ghost of Princess Lou-Ling will be interpreted by Olga Olcan.
In the last five years, we, before all, have established a close cooperation with the National Theatre in Belgrade, creating together 3 successful opera co-productions and one ballet; we continued our cooperation with the St. Petersburg Opera, which became a permanent guest on our stage with its marvellous operatic visions and w a superb ensemble, and they did not cancel their guest visit even in the time of the corona virus. We have continued our successful cooperation with the New Belgrade Opera, staging baroque operas on our stage, established close cooperation with the National Theatre from Nis, the Youth Theatre of Novi Sad and the National Theatre of Subotica, exchanging performances with them. We have strengthened an international cooperation, establishing cooperation with Belarusian theatres and hosting their ensembles twice, and being their guest once with our play Dolce vita. We have continued our cooperation with the Timișoara Opera, which had a very notable guest visit last season with their opera Tosca, and we will reciprocate this season with the Parisian Life operetta. Our performances have been successfully toured abroad – Dictionary of the Khazars ballet has reached South America. We increased our presence at important festivals both in the country and abroad, and brought awards from many of them. On both of our stages, we have staged plays never before performed in our country, along with dramatizations of cult novels, such as Emile Zola's Nana. In the last five years, we have premiered: 5 operas, 2 operettas, 1 musical, 2 ballets, 12 dramas, 7 of them on the Large Stage and 5 on the Small Stage, as well as 2 music-stage concerts. At the end of last season, we celebrated the 100th performance of the musical Les Misérables.
Thanks to the Madlenianum, our famous tenor Zoran Todorovic and a baritone Zeljko Lucic returned to the Belgrade stage, giving masterful concerts for the openings of 23rd and 24th seasons of Madlenianum. In the midst of the corona pandemic, one Maria Guleghina, an opera diva with an enviable world career, performed on our stage, but also our Xenia Jankovic, who achieved a successful foreign career, all within the framework of close cooperation with CEBEF, within the framework of BEMUS. Our young and talented opera singers left our stage to conquer the world’s ones: Sava Vemic, Marko Pantelic, Aleksandra Jovanovic... We are looking forward to their returning to our productions.
On Thursday, 26 January 26, at 19:30, the opera Turandot, of a young and talented director Mario Pavlo del Monaco and under the conducting baton of Stefano Romani, will be again performed on our stage. After its two premieres, the play received positive reviews from the professional public and enthusiasm of the audience as well. Jasmina Trumbetas Petrovic is to sing the title and very demanding soprano role. Among the titles Jasmina Trumbetas has sung at Madlenianum are: The Secret Marriage, Two Widows, Cosi fan tutte, Madam Butterfly as well as Manon Lescaut in co-production with the NT. Opposite her, the "Pucciniesque poetic" and lyrically gentler slave Liu will be Snezana Savicic Sekulic, who has had her first operatic role right on our stage as one of the two widows Karolina, also successfully and impressively performing in classical and modern operas such as: The Tales of Hoffmann, Angelica, Don Giovanni, and even in a contemporary opera of a local author, Mandragola. This time, Janko Sinadinovic, will be in the role of Prince Calaf this time. Vladimir Andric and Darko Djordjevic, who we all remember from the operas: La Traviata, Madama Butterfly, Mandragola and Manon Lescaut, have the interesting roles of the servants Ping and Pang, while Darko Djordjevic has performed in The Tales of Hoffmann as well, and Vladimir Andric in the operas The Wise Man, Rita, Angelica, but also in the musical Les Misérables and our audience can see him in the Parisian Life operetta.
In February, we are paying a visit to St. Petersburg, at the invitation of their secretariat for culture, due to closer cooperation between our two cultures. The people of St. Petersburg want to return the hospitality that our theatre gave to their ensemble, wishing our ensemble to perform at their place as well. On this occasion and on the occasion of future plans, the artistic director of the Opera and Ballet Andreja Rackov says: "The St. Petersburg Opera, as well as its artistic director Yuri Alexandrov, have been our partners for decades and have always brought a new wave of art and freshness with their guest appearances at our House or directing performances in our production. We have been very happy to accept this year's invitation to be their guests and to further deepen and expand cooperation with all relevant institutions in St. Petersburg. Regardless of the current geopolitical turmoil, we believe that cooperation with foreign partners, including Russia, being one of the cradles of culture in the world, should not be interrupted, because art has always managed to find its way through all the adversities that have happened."
In March, we are paying new guest visits, the drama play Zanka with a guest performance in Vienna, and Casanova against Don Juan and What If We Had Our Time Again? in Novi Sad. On the occasion of the jubilee, the drama director Ana Radivojevic Zdravkovic said: "Ms. Madlena Zepter has been showing with her Serbian theatre mission what should be done for your close ones, for your nation. Her theatre is first of all defined as a place where the performances are created to make us better people after seeing them.”
We have always been thinking about our audience. After establishing online purchase, the value vouchers are also new in our theatre. Now you can treat your loved ones or your clients with the pleasant atmosphere, allowing them choose the play and the date by themselves. Vouchers worth RSD 3.000, 2.800 and 2.400 are divided according to genre and stage and are valid for two people. You can use them up by the end of this season and the value code shown on the voucher can easily be exchanged for tickets online or at the box offices in Zemun and Belgrade.
The Opera and Theatre Madlenianum has always tried to open its doors to young and talented creators, who, alongside top professionals with an international reputation, have become serious artists. It has always been our premise that the artists engaged with us feel good and "cosy", what many of them publicly talk about, praising both the excellent working conditions and the dedicated organizational and technical team led by the managers. The audience is the second pot on our scale of appropriate values and we will always be trying to make them feel safe in our house and let them make the best memories of what they have seen at us. That is why we continue under the slogan The Place of Encounters, for all those eager for deep scripts, excellent music, interesting plots, attractive staging and art that arouse emotions.