To commemorate the Day of the State (coronation of King Mindaugas of Lithuania)
In honor of the 30th anniversary of the restoration of Lithuania's independence
Every year on the 6th of July, the community of the National Museum of the Palace of the Grand Dukes of Lithuania invites everyone to meaningfully celebrate the State Day (the coronation of King Mindaugas of Lithuania) and annually offers an exclusive program of events. To commemorate the essential date of Lithuanian history, marking the beginning of our country's historical statehood, the Palace Museum has previously presented Lithuanian history in 3D format, Justinas Marcinkevičius' drama “Mindaugas”, and almost four centuries later revived the first opera in Lithuania – “Il ratto di Helena”.
In 2020 the Museum of the Palace of the Grand Dukes and the Lithuanian National Opera and Ballet Theatre (LNOBT) plan to jointly celebrate the State Day and invite the public and foreign guests to listen to the work from the golden fund of opera, which has a prominent Lithuanian plot line. In the Great Courtyard of the Palace of the Grand Dukes it is planned to perform the concert version of the opera “I Lituani” by Amilcare Ponchielli, a famous Italian opera composer, teacher of Giacomo Puccini and Pietro Mascagni, who lived in the second half of the 19th century. This famous romantic opera is based on a libretto by the famous Italian writer Antonio Ghislanzoni, inspired by Adam Mickiewicz's historical poem “Conrad Valenrod”.
In 1874 the La Scala theatre in Milan presented the premiere of an opera, that recounted Lithuanian fights for right to be independent in the 14th century. This opera became a symbol of the Italians' own struggles for freedom, and the name of Lithuania was inscribed in the chrestomathy of world opera literature.
“I Lituani” was planned to be staged in Lithuania in 1939. Unfortunately, the Second World War and the occupation of Lithuania hindered the premiere of this work. "I Lituani" was first presented in 1981 at the Lithuanian Opera of Chicago, with a libretto perfectly translated and edited into Lithuanian according by Stasys Santvaras. Various historically unfounded inserts by A. Gizlanconi were deleted from it: Lithuanians were mostly dissatisfied with the fact that the author of the libretto, who lacked more accurate knowledge of Lithuanian history, gave the name of Vytautas (which he found in the poem by Mickiewicz) to the traitor of Lithuanians...
An impressive celebratory production of the opera "I Lituani" was presented in 2009 at the Trakai Island Castle, commemorating the 1000th anniversary of the name of Lithuania (conductor R. Šervenikas, director J. Jurašas, designers M. Navakas and A. Jacovskytė, lighting designer D. Malinauskas).
In 2020, on the 6th of July, celebrating the 30th anniversary of the restoration of Lithuania's independence and commemorating the State Day (Coronation of King Mindaugas of Lithuania), the Palace Museum and the Lithuanian National Opera and Ballet Theatre invite you to listen to a concert performance of this opera in Lithuanian. Participating in this performance together with the soloists are also the chorus of the LNOBT (artistic director Česlovas Radžiūnas) and Symphony Orchestra of the LNOBT (chief conductor Ričardas Šumila). “I Lituani” shall be conducted by maestro Gintaras Rinkevičius. It is hoped that the staged version of the opera “I Lituani” by the famous Italian romantic composer A. Ponchieli will be performed in the Great Courtyard every year and in the future it will become a beautiful tradition.
During the event, a safe distance of 1 meter will be ensured between the spectators' chairs and all safety measures will be observed.