The Lithuanian play "Sun and Sea" is set on the beach, in the sand, where people, who we would typically encounter in such a public space (from middle-aged couples with children, to old people, to children and young people) through singing about seemingly insignificant and everyday things treat the problem of the climate crisis and ecological disasters in the booming capitalism.
Premiered in Lithuania in 2017, this performance attracted great international attention by participating in the 58th Venice Biennale (2019). Awarding the authors with the Golden Lion, the jury especially praised the experimental spirit of the piece and the criticism of contemporary society.
Although they come from different artistic backgrounds, the authors Lina Lapelytė (composer), Vaiva Grainytė (librettist), and Rugilė Barzdžiukaitė (director) insist on joint work characterized by a non-hierarchical approach. It always balances the fine line between documentary and fiction, reality and poetry, always questioning how theatre, music, and visual arts can intertwine.
"Cvijeta Zozorić" Gets a Beach
With several tons of sand instead of a traditional stage, the opera-performance "Sun and Sea" is recognizable by the fact that the space where it is performed is transformed into a real small beach.
It is also interesting that the audience watches the entire performance from the gallery, watching from a bird's-eye view the lives of the main characters sunbathing on the beach. Four consecutive performances mean that this one-hour performance is performed without interruption, and the audience can move around the gallery to follow it from different angles.
"Sun and Sea" will be performed in the "Cvijeta Zuzorić" Art Pavilion on October 7th and 8th in four sessions, starting at 6, 7, 8, and 9 p.m.
A Masterpiece for the Era of Climate Change
In his New York Times review, Joshua Baron described the performance as a "mosaic of consumer society, globalization, and environmental crisis", adding that we were given "a masterpiece for the era of climate change."
After the Biennale in Venice, The Guardian singled out this piece as one of the best of that year, while Igor Toronji-Lalić noted in his review for Spectator: "Rarely has the environmental message been so subtly, wittily, eloquently conveyed in a work of art."
After winning the Golden Lion, this exciting opera-performance went on a major world tour. So far, it has been successfully performed at numerous festivals and in prestigious art institutions in New York, Los Angeles, Rome, London, Helsinki, Santiago de Chile...
Strength, Don't Let Yourself Be Anyone Else's
This year's edition of Bitef, the 57th in a row, will be held from 3-10th October l. Under the slogan "Strength, Don't Let Yourself Be Anyone Else's", the festival audience will have the opportunity to watch nine plays in the main programme that come from Germany, Lithuania, Hungary, Sweden, Greece, Burkina Faso, Belgium, and Serbia.
The festival has traditionally been supported by the Secretariat for Culture of the City of Belgrade and the Ministry of Culture of the Republic of Serbia, as well as the Embassy of the Federal Republic of Germany, the Goethe Institute, and the Embassy of Greece. New Moment New Ideas Company, the festival's creative agency, is a partner and friend of Bitef. Festival partners this year are Generali Insurance Serbia, Erste Bank a.d. Novi Sad, as well as the friends of the Coca-Cola Hellenic Serbia festival, 1664 Blanc and Somersby, Rajićeva Shopping Center, and the Halo Creative team.