Valentina


Arturs Maskats (*1957)

Opera by Arturs Maskats in two acts
Libretto by Liana Langa
First performed at the Latvian National Opera on 5th December 2014

In Latvian language with German and English surtitels

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Conductor Modestas Pitrenas
Stage-Director Viestur Kairish
Set and Costume design Ieva Jurjane
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VALENTINA, the first opera by the internationally celebrated Latvian composer Arturs Maskats, celebrates a legendary figure - the film historian Valentina Freimane, born in 1922. The opera revisits a dramatic period in the history of Latvia - 1939 to 1945 -, a chapter that was crucial not only for the country’s culture and political future but also for the coexistence of Latvia’s different ethnic groups. Valentina Freimane spent her childhood in Riga and Berlin, where her father worked as a lawyer for the UFA film studios and her mother was an influential member of society and on intimate terms with the film greats of the time. On their return to Riga the family succumbed to the holocaust. Valentina Freimane’s parents and husband were murdered; Valentina herself survived the war in hiding.

Freimane lives and works today in Berlin and Riga. Her autobiography, “Adieu, Atlantis!”, detailing her life during the war, appeared in 2010. Arturs Maskats, born in 1957, has this to say of the eponymous heroine: “The biography of Valentina Freimane is inseparable from that of Latvia and Europe and opens up a fresh perspective on a period of history shot through with colour and contradiction. The most dramatic moments in her life story coincide with momentous events such as the country’s loss of independence, an experience that left Latvians physically and emotionally drained. Yet VALENTINA is more than simply a political work; shimmering through the events depicted is a story of profound sentiment and great love.”

Guest performance of the Latvian National Opera, Riga
World premiere at the Latvian National Opera, 5th December 2014