One-off musical celebrates seminal Latgale figure

Latgale’s founding father – statesman, educator, clergyman and writer Francis Trasuns was remembered in a once-only premiere performance of the literary-musical play ‘Francis’ at the Cultural Embassy Gors in Rezekne last Thursday, October 30, marking the culmination of his 150th birthday remembrance this year.

As local poet and author of the show Anna Rancāne explained, there were “several Francis’, three of them. Everyone has these parts of themselves that argue. No surnames here. Just a personality by the name of Francis,” she said.

“He was like the builder of a church. Only his church was Latvia. And he realized he laid language into the foundations of the nation. Alas, that meant the forfeiture of something for the sake of the Latgalian unity,” she said.

“He was a true statesman with a broad vision,” Rancane continued. “There are memories preserved how other deputies from elsewhere respected him, they would call him the ‘king of Latgale’. He was truly one of the most popular politicians in Latvia” she described the member of the 1st and 2nd Saeima assemblies who stands barely-noted anymore amongst other founding political figures.

The musical play is not scheduled to ever be performed again. It was based on the speeches of Francis Trasuns speaking to the two Saeima assemblies of which he was an elected member, as well as his diaries and well-known facts.

The cast included dancers from the Dziga choreography group, the mixed choir of the Rezekne musical high school as well as masters of drawing in the sand-arts.

Prior to the performance a book of Trasuns’ speeches was also presented to the public.

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