Meadow blooms music
On Saturday, June 13 the Nature’s Concert Hall award-winning environmental music project heads into the meadows this year to honor the yellow-blossomed meadow pea-vine (Lathyrus pratensis) and the botanists who study it in the Kurzeme gulf coast’s Engure district – specifically the Rūši meadows of Smārde county near the Milzukalns hill (next week it will move to another site in far northeast Vidzeme’s Alūksne district).
The music has lots of added educational value, as visitors (urged to bring extra outdoor gear for comfortable seating) learn about the honored species and its place in the biodiverse universe of the meadow, which occupies exactly 1% of Latvia’s natural territory. Various (more than twenty) information stands, creative labs and interactive workshops are there to supplement the musical and visual performance, which lasts from 19:00 until midnight.
Here's a preview of the stellar musicians rehearsing for the unique performance.
Rock island line
On Saturday at 22:00 on Alūksne’s Fortress Island the first-ever Rock’n’Sport festival will host pagan folk-metal legends Skyforger, who will showcase their new album dedicated to our historic Baltic bro’s – the ancient Prussians. Oh, yeah, not to mention cello trio Melo-M and Estonia’s electronic rock band Epoche, a real alternative metal-tinged mélange in the ruins of a lake-bound medieval fortress.
All day long during the festival the speedboat championship ‘Eight-hour endurance run at Alūksne’ will be buzzing by.
Midsummer previews and rural community theatre
At 21:00 Saturday in the visually spectacular and breathtakingly olfactory rhododendron groves at the University of Latvia Botanical Gardens the men’s folklore group Vilkači will present their album “Jānis” in honor of the upcoming shortest midsummer holiday night that always needs a seasonal repertory reminder in the form of a CD.
Meanwhile Saturday and Sunday at the Ethnographic Open-Air Museum Latvia’s Festival of Small-town and Rural Amateur Theatre Troupes will show their volunteer thespian achievements to the dramatically inclined in the lovely outdoor setting.
Cellomania, sunny choir-works and academic vocal contest
The international Čello Cēsis festival debuts this summer on Saturday at the Vidzeme Concert Hall, and will feature the Latvian Dream Team of the National Symphony Orchestra and an actual cello being built onsite.
Meanwhile at Rēzekne’s Gors a preview of the VIII Nordic and Baltic Song Festival will welcome the sun with the pearls of maestro conductor Imants Kokars’ career. A veritable cavalcade of conductors and choirs will be crowding the stage at Latgale’s so-called ‘Embassy of Culture’ venue.
Then on Sunday at the Conservatory of Music the 4th International Vocalists’ Contest named after the music university’s founder Jāzeps Vītols will cluster the top talents into a similar powerhouse line-up, which will be on view live-streamed on the LSM.lv portal.
More metal is available Friday at Riga’s Nabaklab, student radio NABA’s own venue, where a new compilation of Latvian metal will be celebrated by a host of the heaviest acts in the land.