Part of the exhibition “From That Opera” by MO Museum and Vilnius City Opera (VCO) has arrived in Klaipeda. The exhibition at the “Svyturys BHouse” offers a behind-the-scenes look at the opera, the history of VCO over a decade, and the role of Hollywood actor and director Dexter Fletcher in his dream musical. As in Vilnius, the exhibition in the port city is accompanied by live meetings with the soloists and their performances. On the opening night of the exhibition in Klaipeda, designer Juozas Statkevicius shared stories and memories of the “bohemians”, director Dalia Ibelhauptaite sent greetings from Los Angeles, and the evening was closed with the melodies of Ieva Prudnikovaite’s voice.
The highlights of the exhibition have been specially selected and will be on display until 29 August. During the summer, Klaipeda will also host additional events dedicated to this exhibition, with talks by opera soloists and live performances. Upcoming guests include Jeronimas Milius, Rafailas Karpis, Jovita Vaskeviciute, Ieva Prudnikovaite and others.
A long-standing partnership
“Professionalism and attention to the viewer are among the most prominent values of MO and VCO. These qualities, as well as passion for our work and inexhaustible creativity, are the daily companions of our business. We value our long-standing friendship with MO Museum and VCO, and each year we strive to help the Lithuanian art and culture world grow. We are delighted that the seaside gastro bar is a second home for exceptional art exhibitions from the capital. It has become a summer tradition for us, and we are exhibiting our third exhibition here,” Rolandas Virsilas, the head of “Svyturis-Utena alus”, congratulated the event.
“This is the third year that the MO exhibitions have travelled to the seaside thanks to the great patronage – Svyturys. Every time we think which exposition can be relevant and interesting for the residents and guests of the port city. “From That Opera” is an interdisciplinary exhibition, that can be discovered by opera, theatre or visual arts lovers”, said Milda Ivanauskiene, Head of MO Museum, at the opening event.
Delighting in Klaipeda and abroad
According to Dalia Ibelhauptaite, founder and director of VCO, the exhibition is being reborn: it is coming to the seaside for the summer, and later it is planned to exhibit the most striking fragments abroad.
“It is symbolic that our exhibition in Klaipeda is at the “Svyturys BHouse”. It was they who believed in us and our vision from the very beginning of Bohemians in 2006. For 14 years now they have been the main patron of 15 different opera productions. When I think about it today, I realise what an incredible journey it has been. I did not expect that our coming together to prove that young people can do something, and that opera can be different, would become a project that has been going on for over a decade. I didn’t expect that opera would become a way of life for many of our audiences, or that we would be able to change the attitude towards a very traditional art form in Lithuania. The past decade has been a golden decade for Lithuanian opera. Not only did a group of young soloists come along, but they also managed to break onto the international stage! They have become the best in the world – it’s wonderful to be able to say that out loud. For our little Lithuania, this is a very significant thing. I hope that our example will inspire young people to achieve their goals – there are many talented people in our country. This is exactly the kind of VCO journey that we have put together in this exhibition,” said director Dalia Ibelhauptaite at the opening of the exhibition.
On the opening night, visitors had the opportunity to get a closer look at the idea of the exhibition, its birth and to hear first-hand the unheard stories of the Bohemians. The presentation was attended by Alge Gudaityte, the curator of the exhibition, Mindaugas Meskauskas, the author of the photographs, and Milda Ivanauskiene, the head of MO Museum. This was followed by a conversation with VCO costume designer and haute couture designer Juozas Statkevicius and opera soloist Ieva Prudnikovaite.
Backstage at the opera and costumes by J. Statkevicius
The exhibition gives visitors access to a space that is not accessible to every viewer – the backstage of an opera house. The original “From That Opera” installations in Klaipeda are spread across the space, covering all floors of the “Svyturys BHouse” building. The visual narrative is extended by photographs by Mindaugas Meskauskas and specially created video projections by artist Rimas Sakalauskas.
Visitors are invited to see Juozas Statkevicius’ created costumes up close and see the indispensable attribute of the make-up room – a mirror, where you will see R. Sakalauskas’ visual fantasy.
Guests will also have the opportunity to get a closer look at the portraits of the VCO soloists created by photographer M. Meskauskas using the exclusive wet collodion technique. Among the installations, Hollywood actor and director Dexter Fletcher will be discovered by the visitors, having unexpectedly fulfilled his secret dream of playing the role of Sweeney Todd!
The exhibition “From That Opera” combines theatre and fine art, opera art, set and costume design, photography, video projections and animation. It was held at MO Museum in Vilnius on the occasion of the centenary of professional Lithuanian opera and the tenth anniversary of the Bohemians’ creative activity. It presents an exceptional decade in the history of Lithuanian opera, from 2006 when the Bohemians company developed into the second professional opera theatre in Lithuania – Vilnius City Opera (2012). Once looking like young people who came from the wrong opera house, today they are the most famous opera companies not only in Lithuania, but also in the world, always with unconventional solutions that bring opera closer to contemporary life.
There are more events coming up this summer
During the exhibition period, Klaipeda will also host several events and meetings with opera soloists. In July, we will invite you to a conversation about the non-traditional musical in Lithuania, and in August, you will have the opportunity to get to know famous opera soloists from Klaipeda region better.
The meetings will be moderated by Julijus Grickevicius, Head of LRT Kasika. The talks will be followed by performances by the soloists. More information about the events and their exact dates will be published on MO calendar:
Highlights of the soloists' arias in the exhibition e-guide
The exhibition’s unique soundtrack complements its narrative. Here you can hear the most striking arias of the “Bohemians”. The e-guide complements and enhances the experience of getting to know the soloists and can be played on your phone at any time here:
A wide-ranging team has contributed to the creation of the exhibition “From That Opera”. Dalia Ibelhauptaite is the director of the exhibition, curator – Alge Gudaityte, architect – Ieva Cicenaite, photographer – Mindaugas Meskauskas, author of the video projections – Rimas Sakalauskas, light artists – Eugenijus Sabaliauskas and Andrius Stasiulis, scenographer – Elvita Brazdylyte and designers – KlimaiteKlimaite. The exhibition is funded by the Lithuanian Council for Culture and “Svyturys-Utenos Alus”.
The exhibition “From That Opera. Fragments of the exhibition in Klaipeda” will be open throughout the summer – until 29 August at “Svyturys BHouse”, Kūlių vartų str. 7, Klaipeda.