Vytautas Klova



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Opera in 3 acts
Libretto by Jonas Mackonis

Conductor Robertas Šervenikas
Director Eligijus Domarkas
Set Designer Henrikas Ciparis
Costume Designer Janina Malinauskaite
Chorus Master Česlovas Radžiūnas

Premiere at LNOBT: 5 May 1986
Premiere at Trakai Castle: 7 July 2001

"Pilėnai" is Vytautas Klova's first and most popular opera. Ever since its premiere in 1956, it has enjoyed unrivalled success with the public and received a number of renewed productions in 1978, 1986, and 1994. A token of Lithuanian historical epic, Pilenai is one of the mainstays of the Lithuanian National Opera and Ballet Theatre's repertoire. The opera was put on at various open-air events throughout Lithuania as well as repeatedly brought on tour. In 1994, it was revived as a joint production between the LNOBT and the Lithuanian Opera Company of Chicago. The song of Udrys and the Welcoming Chorus became the most popular excerpts from Lithuanian operas, sung as popular folk songs by many Lithuanians. "It's better to die free than to survive in slavery", sing the last defenders of Pilenai who came to symbolise Lithuania's freedom.

Each LNOBT Summer Season ever since the event was launched in the courtyard of Trakai Castle in 2000 has featured Pilenai to enormous audience success. Performed in a natural setting of the medieval castle, this well-familiar historic drama has acquired a fresh sound and look.

Approx. running time: 3 hours.