Wednesday, 13 December 2017 | News today: 13

Valentin Svetozarev: We brought great theatrical product in Bitola!

The European Association of Shakespeare festivals held a regular conference in Craiova, Romania, where it was decided the Bitola Shakespeare festival this year to become a full member due to its efforts and success in the realization of the extensive and varied program that celebrates and presents the works of Shakespeare in this part of Europe, Svetozarev says

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Another edition of the theater festival Bitola Shakespeare festival was held. What are your impressions?

Svetozarev: This year’s Bitola Shakespeare Festival brought a very interesting and varied program, which the theater ensembles from several countries presented to us. I would, especially, like to emphasize the great artistic quality of them all separately. This year our dear guests were theaters from Israel, Russia, Serbia, Poland, the US and, of course, Macedonia. The interest of the audience was huge and all that makes us to be satisfied with what we as theatrical product have managed to bring in Bitola and, certainly, we are committed to going a step further next year, first of all, I’m referring to the quality of the offered program.

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At the opening ceremony you as director instead of a protocol speech you performed a Radiohead song on stage. It has, undoubtedly, moved the boundaries and expectations of the audience. Whose idea it was the unusual opening of the festival?

Svetozarev: The idea for the opening ceremony came spontaneously. Sometime earlier this year I and the actors of the famous Petersburg theater Vera Komissarzhevskaya talked about some joint project. We wanted it to be not as big in volume as the legendary Romeo and Juliet with which four years ago we opened the festival, and a year before the Ohrid Summer but something smaller, and yet significant and valuable. Above all, it was the idea of active participation of the renown Bitola band Foltin, which was an active participant in the musical-stage performance, which we called Shakespeare4ever. I can say that I was the main coordinator of the months of creative communication and I eventually plucked up courage to participate in this performance. That’s how it happened. I am, particularly, happy that there is a huge interest our musical stage performance to tour Russia because, let us not forget that the guests from Russia, just like our actors, are great and popular theater names in their country.

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The festival held its fourth edition June 23 -July 1 as a full member of the European Association of Shakespeare festivals. What does that mean for the festival?

Svetozarev: The European Association of Shakespeare festivals held a regular conference at this year’s edition of Shakespeare Festival in Craiova, Romania. There, the art director of the Bitola Theatre and Bitola Shakespeare Festival, Blagoj Micevski, presented the previous editions of the festival and informed the representatives of the European festivals about the history and the concept of the Macedonian festival. He also expressed a desire to organize the annual conference of the Association at the festival in Bitola next year, which would allow the other members to closely learn about the opportunities and the atmosphere of the festival in Bitola.

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On the proposal of two representatives, and by voting, it was decided at the conference Bitola Shakespeare Festival this year to become a full member due to its efforts and success in the realization of the extensive and varied program that celebrates and presents the works of Shakespeare in this part of Europe.

We are, especially, proud and happy that the Association has recognized the quality of this festival and that it will become an important place on the European map of Shakespeare festivals in future. A special segment of their website, which will represent our festival, is underway, and with great pleasure we can note that even during this fourth edition the interest for future edition has visibly increased.

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We receive letters of intent for guest performances from England, Greece, Georgia, Poland and so on. And we hope that through the Association we will have a more direct access to performances from significant European directors. It also creates opportunities for joint applications with other festivals for projects financed by the European Union.

The European Association includes festivals from Poland, Czech Republic, Serbia, Germany, France, Armenia and others.

By: Nevena Popovska