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The final Liepāja International Star Festival concert will air on March 23, 2024, with a breathtaking performance of Giuseppe Verdi’s “Requiem”, a monumental composition, and a sacred masterpiece by the Italian opera genius, that like no other shows his brilliance as both a melodic virtuoso and a master of grand-scale musical drama.

The performance will bring together the Liepāja Symphony Orchestra, the State Academic Choir “Latvija” and an international array of soloists – Serbian soprano Marija Jelić, Ukrainian tenor Oleksandr Chuvpilo, English contralto Claudia Huckle and Latvian National Opera soloist, bass-baritone Rihards Mačanovskis, all of them under the baton of Atvars Lakstīgala.

Our audience met Marija Jelić first in the summer of 2022 in the concert garden “Pūt, vejiņi!” singing at the gala opera concert “Liepāja Summer”. Conductor Atvars Lakstīgala hailed the Serbian opera diva as one of Europe’s rising stars. She has won the hearts of audiences and critics in many countries around the world.

Sharing the stage with Marija, the expressive Ukrainian tenor Oleksandr Chuvpilo, who is a soloist and singer of the Academic State Operetta Theatre in Kyiv performing a versatile repertoire. He has made several guest appearances in Latvia, including at the Operetta Festival in Ikšķile, and enjoys great acclaim both at home and abroad.

In 2013, English contralto Claudia Huckle received the Brigitte Nilsson Memorial Prize at the prestigious Plácido Domingo Young Vocalist Competition “Operalia”. She studied at the Royal College of Music in London, the New England Conservatoire, the Curtis Institute of Music, and is a graduate of the Domingo-Cafritz Young Artist Programme at the Washington National Opera in the USA. The Liepāja Symphony Orchestra has already met Claudia Huckle jointly performing Gustav Mahler’s ambitious Symphony No.2 “Resurrection” at the opening of the orchestra’s 139th concert season in 2019 at the Great Amber Concert Hall under the baton of Maestro Gintaras Rinkevičius.

Bass-baritone Rihards Mačanovskis has been a soloist of the Latvian National Opera since 2003. In 2012 and 2014 he was awarded the Best Opera Soloist category by the company “Latvijas Gāze”. He also received the Paul Sachs Recognition Award in 2013 and was nominated for the 2013 Grand Music Award for his outstanding performance of Peter Tchaikovsky’s Romances with pianist Mārtiņš Zilberts.

Giuseppe Verdi’s Requiem, often hailed as another Verdi Opera. This extraordinary composition pulsates with the profound contrasts, dramatic tension, and harmonic synergy of solo voices, ensembles, and chorus. Verdi composed his Requiem as a poignant tribute to the Italian novelist, poet, and patriot Alessandro Manzoni (1785-1872). Far more than a mere reflection of eternal light, it stands as a timeless and thought-provoking dramatic opus.

The 32nd Liepāja International Star Festival will take to the stage of the Great Amber Concert Hall in Liepāja next spring, from 9 to 23 March. Tickets for the festival are available at “Biļešu paradise” box offices.

The Liepāja International Star Festival was first introduced in 1993 by Imants Resnis, former artistic director of the Liepāja Symphony Orchestra, under the title of the International Pianist Star Festival. The festival has welcomed pianists from all over the world – Europe, Asia, North and South America, Australia. Such prominent names as Julian Joseph, Mikhail Voskresensky, Freddy Kempf, Noriko Ogawa, Robert Mitchell, Cristina Ortiz, Dmitri Bashkirov, Stanislav Igolinsky, Brigitte Angerer, Lazare Berman, Rolando Luna, Chano Dominguez, Eldar Djangirov and many others are among the performers.

Since finding its home in the Great Amber Concert Hall in 2016, the Liepāja Symphony Orchestra has transformed the festival into a multi-dimensional celebration. What was once primarily a haven for pianists has blossomed into a magnetic gathering, drawing not only exceptional pianists but also captivating singers and virtuosos mastering a variety of instruments. The festival, now more alluring than ever, has expanded its embrace, captivating a broader audience with its diverse and enchanting musical offerings.