Historic Latvian opera has special Berlin performance

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The Cultural Program of the Presidency of the Council of the EU hosted its centerpiece guest performance by the Latvian National Opera (LNO) production Valentina at the Deutsche Oper Berlin Tuesday night.

The LNO staged the two-act opera, written by composer Arturs Maskats and librettist Liāna Langa under the joint patronage of the Minister of Foreign Affairs Edgars Rinkēvičs and Germany’s Federal Minister for Foreign Affairs Frank-Walter Steinmeier.

The opera is about cultural legend and film historian Valentīna Freimane’s life during World War II between 1939 and 1944 and features “remarkable mementos of Latvian history and culture” representing the various ethnic groups that live here, says the Cultural Program’s press release.

Freimane arrived with her parents on the eve of the war’s outbreak and lived through the trauma of losing them and her husband in the Holocaust and herself being forced into hiding from the occupation authorities.

The now 92-year old scholar of the cinema arts is expected to be in the audience at the Deutsche Oper tonight.

The costs to the state of Latvia for putting on the show in Berlin were reported to have totaled €405,919. Tickets cost between €21 and €76 euro.

The world premiere was held last December at the LNO in Riga. This is the only guest performance of the LNO this season and its first in Berlin in over a year-and-a-half’s time.

Watch an excerpt from last night’s general rehearsal below.

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