The end of summer in the European Capital of Culture, in addition to the rich programme of the Kaleidoscope of Culture, will also mark the beginning of a new season on the theatre stage, which brings joy to the residents of Novi Sad, as well as numerous visitors to the city who are eagerly awaiting the return to the theatre halls and the curtains to rise.
The season behind us in the oldest theatre in Serbia, the Serbian National Theatre, ended with laudable numbers – 18 premieres and more than 60 thousand satisfied visitors, as well as numerous awards. The SNP Drama Department closed the season spectacularly with the play Mephisto, directed by Haris Pašović. Last season, and in the year of the ECoC title, the Youth Theatre celebrated a significant jubilee – the 90th anniversary of the existence of this cultural institution. Novi Sad theatres enter the next season with great expectations and announce excellent performances in a city where culture is a way of life.
The SNP Theatre Season Begins with an Open-Air Programme
The next, 162nd season of the Serbian National Theatre will be officially opened on 29 August on the plateau in front of the Theatre, which will be transformed into an open-air stage, and we are expecting a multimedia programme directed by Sonja Petrović. During the hour-long programme, attendees will have the opportunity to watch segments of performances that marked the past season. We will see young Aljoša Đidić playing the title role in the play Mephisto, Bojana Milanović and Branislav Jerković in a scene from the play Middlesex, a scene from the multi-award-winning play At the Eternal Faucet, as well a scene from the opera spectacle Aida. The audience will also be delighted by the segment in which Anna Karenina and Vronsky, played by prima ballerina Ana Đurić and ballet champion Andrej Colceriu, will perform a dance of fatal love.
The Director of SNP Drama Department Milovan Filipović announced the premiere of the play Why Are You Sleeping on the Floor for 17 September, based on the novel by Darko Cvijetić and directed by Kokan Mladenović. ‘This is a great challenge because it is a co-production of three theatres (NP Sarajevo, GNK Gavela Zagreb, and SNP Novi Sad). We will perform texts by Jovan Vava Hristić, Velimir Lukić, Momo Kapor, and Gogol, as well as a kind of reconstruction of our famous play Golubnjača. Autumn will mark the premiere of Macbeth, directed by Nikita Milivojević, and as part of the Kaleidoscope of Culture programme, we highlight the play Miss Julie, which will be staged on 10 September at 6 p.m., after which we suggest you head to the former Novi Sad promenade KORZO and enjoy an extraordinary open-air concert and the prominent artist Julian Rachlin performing at 8.22 p.m.
In the next season, the SNP Opera Department announced the spectacle Rigoletto on 7 September, and the title role will be played by our celebrated baritone Željko Lučić. Another opera treat will be the premiere of Carmen, directed by Ozren Prohić, on 29 September, and the Novi Sad theatrical autumn will also be enriched by the renewed opera Priest Ćira and Priest Spira. Until the New Year, as the director of the SNP Opera Sandra Milankov pointed out, the audience will see Tosca, Aida, and The Magic Flute for children, while by the end of 2022 we are in for a special surprise: the Opera Ball, which will be the first in the series and the beginning of a new tradition. ‘The diverse programme continues in 2024. We will listen to operas, operettas, musicals, and gala concerts,” said Milankov.
The 90-Year-Old Theatre Announces an Excellent Theatre Season
Last year, the Youth Theatre celebrated its 90th anniversary, and this important date coincided with the title of European Capital of Culture. What marked the theatre scene in the past season were the international festival for children and young people of Novi Sad Theatre Festival, as well as the premiere of Learned Mice and plays directed by Kokan Mladenović – Clockwork Orange and the street spectacle for children Gulliver’s Travels. Preparations for the next season are well underway, and the director of the Youth Theatre Mihajlo Nestorović announced that the season will begin on 1 September with the premiere of the artistic and stage spectacle SLET – Against the Wind in cooperation with the ‘Novi Sad – European Capital of Culture’ Foundation.
‘After that, also under the auspices of ECoC, there will be the premiere of the play Cat Claw, inspired by Banet Kerac’s comic of the same name. The beginning of November is reserved for the premiere of the play Furry Venus, inspired by Roman Polanski’s film. At the end of the year, together with the Serbian National Theatre, we are staging Gogol’s Auditor, and the premiere will be around the New Year holidays,’ Nestorović told Visit Novi Sad and added that during the next season, they will put the emphasis on performances of plays for children and favourite fairy tales and that from mid-December the audience can expect a rich New Year’s programme for kids.
‘What I have outlined as the path of our theatre are topics that concern young people: peer violence, drugs, alcohol, and the fight against those evils, ecology, family and relationships in it, musicals, comedies, and of course plays for children of all ages and puppetry as a theatre discipline by which we are still recognisable’, concluded Nestorović.
A New Season in the Novi Sad Theatre
In the next season, the Novi Sad Theatre also announces several premieres, and as we learned from Robert Lenard, the artistic director of this theatre, the month of October brings us the premiere of the Hungarian musical Benyowsky – A Freedom Lover, based on the life and adventures of the historical character Maurice Benyowsky, who turns from a captain into a Russian prisoner, and after escaping he even became the king of Madagascar. The music for this work was composed by the famous Hungarian composer Tibor Nagy Magnus, while the direction is by Margit Garajszki. Next year, in February, this theatre is preparing an adaptation of Antigone which will deal with women’s rights, directed by Roman Nikolić from Croatia, while the beginning of spring will be marked by the Šopalović Traveling Theatre by Ljubomir Simović. It will be directed by Margareta Taborosi, and the play is a co-production with the Academy of Arts in Novi Sad. The season will close with a trip underwater: Captain Nemo, based on Jules Verne’s famous novel, is coming to us in the form of a family musical that will primarily deal with urgent environmental issues. The music will be composed by David Klem and Ervin Erős and directed by Zoltán Puskás.
Author: Marina Marić
Photo: Jelena Ivanović, Filip Petronijević, Vladimir Veličković