29th MBZ started with the grand openings for adults and children!

Entering the world of the 29th Music Biennale Zagreb was exciting, new and fairytale-like. Excellent artistic combination – a collaboration between the young, but artistically expressive composer Sara Glojnarić, and the director Rene Medvešek – was accompanied by the ensemble consisting of great musicians from different music constellations, along with the resident ensemble of the Zagreb Puppet Theatre. Come, hear and see this energetic fairytale Frog the Queen at repeat performances on Sunday for the 11 am or 6 pm. 

“Although it did not appear so, the prince's hearing took him impeccably the right way, and he, bless him and his kingdom, completely surrendered himself to the guidance of that too often neglected sense, just as we should do following his example. Let us, therefore, listen well to what the legend says: do not turn a deaf ear – listen well and trust your hearing.” —Rene Medvešek, director

The opportunity to open this year's Biennale with a premiere of a new opera was given to the composer Martyna Kosecka, whose excellent 5-minute opera won the previous 5 Minute Opera Competition. This young Polish composer and conductor, residing in Iran, is herself the artistic director of a contemporary music festival in Tehran. As a textual starting point and an inspiration for the opera Klothó she chose fairytales, legends and fables. The adventure of composing a large form, writing the libretto in a foreign language and working with a large number of artists and collaborators on two different locations reached its peak at the Zagreb premiere to be followed by performances at the Croatian National Theatre Ivan pl. Zajc in Rijeka.

“We hope that the audience will share their interpretations among themselves as we were doing while working on this opera. What does this myth, figure, noise or silence mean to you? How does it relate to other symbols, impressions and feelings?” —Krzysztof Cicheński, director

“(In the heart of my composing…) increasing importance is given to sonorities of non-academic derivation and to the dirty, violent sound of a prevalently metallic origin coming from rock and techno music.”

—Fausto Romitelli

Prominent Italian composer Fausto Romitelli was an indispensable part of the Italian music scene and culture. As a student of Franco Donatoni and later on a collaborator of the French spectralist ensemble L’Itinéraire, Romitelli tore down the barrier between art music and popular music. Distortion, saturation, and psychedelic rock were part of his musical universe; blended distorted colorations of acoustic and electric instruments as well as accessories such as harmonica create a hallucinatory atmosphere.
In his last piece, An Index of Metals, Romitelli worked across a variety of media to create their unexpected but powerful syntheses, and left us with a musically and visually impressive work. It is an inspiring merge of theatrical, instrumental and electronic elements that requires complete immersion of both the artists and technical collaborators on the project. The forerunners of the Croatian contemporary music performances, the members of the Cantus Ensemble (formed 15 years ago as a Biennale's project), led by guest conductor Adriano Martinolli, presented the MBZ performance of Romitelli's Index at the heart of the city, the Zagreb Youth Theatre.

The first festival day will undoubtedly leave a long-lasting echo, paving a way for other great artists and art projects we have in store for the coming week!