News / Objavljeno: 2/12/2024

"Snow Queen" in co-production with Osijek's National Theater soon on stage

"Snow Queen" in co-production with Osijek's National Theater soon on stage

For the first time in history, the premiere of a ballet – and a Croatian one at that, by Davor Bobić – brought together two Croatian national theaters. As part of the co-production project K-HNK, forces from Osijek and Split will join together and bring forth, already on Friday, February 16th – the ballet 'The Snow Queen,' based on the famous fairy tale by H. C. Andersen, whose 150th anniversary of death is celebrated worldwide next year.

Such a significant event deserves attention and commitment. The Osijek National Theater recognizes this and, among other things, on Saturday, February 10th, gathered key figures related to the premiere for a round table discussion. At the forefront is composer Davor Bobić, followed by choreographer and director Svebor Sečak, conductor Stjepan Vuger, and Osijek's ballet master Vuk Ognjenović. They spoke specifically about ballet art. At the same time, artistic directors Vladimir Ham and Vicko Bilandžić focused on the importance of collaborations like this, without which neither of these theaters could afford such a premiere.
Maestro Bobić wrote the music with a particular passion, as highlighted by ballet master Ognjenović right at the beginning. The first discussions about the ballet took place 10-15 years ago. In the meantime, the ballet ensemble of CNT Osijek has grown a bit. However, it still - as the only one among the national houses - does not have professional status, which Vuk Ognjenović has been addressing for years, hoping it will be resolved.
Nobody on the panel hid their happiness about collaborating with the Split theater. The spark and initial agreements arose between Vladimir Ham and composer Bobić during his candidacy for the position of artistic director, with Split's artistic director Vicko Bilandžić joining the talks through the K-HNK program.
In a joking manner, Vladimir Ham, the artistic director of Osijek's HNK, mentioned that Split came to Osijek where it was 'thin,' Bilandžić added that Split also gains a lot from this collaboration. Independently, they would not have staged this ballet.
"It is important for the cultural bloodstream of both cities to have an orchestra and a ballet ensemble. I am delighted to witness the flash of ballet in Osijek," emphasized Bilandžić, aware that this is an artistic risk for both houses, which needs to be taken to support and present Croatian authors. "Much thanks goes to the financiers of Osijek and Split, as they do not allow their cities to become provinces," said Bilandžić, considering this co-production "the most meaningful so far." Vladimir Ham added that this is the most expensive production in Osijek. For this reason, nothing was left to chance. They played it safe in the selection of collaborators - from Svebor Sečak, the flagship of the national ballet, to the young Stjepan Vuger, whom the director of the Opera, Ladislav Vrgoč, also awarded the flagship title, but of conducting.
Not only a choreographer and director but also a former national ballet champion, now a university professor and scientist, Svebor Sečak set the ballet Licitar Heart in Osijek in 2005 and later La Fille mal gardée raising the ensemble to the level where it is today. He approached this performance holistically since ballet combines sports, culture, and science.
The significance of what is happening in Osijek and Split is perhaps best illustrated by the fact, as stated by Svebor Sečak, that in the last 100 years, around 15 titles by domestic authors have premiered in Croatia. Both Sečak and Bobić were educated in the former Soviet Union, faithful to tradition but still accepting contemporary trends. This performance will include ethnic elements but also grains of classical ballet. Choreographer and director Sečak contacted artist Zdenko Bašić, aiming to combine different aesthetics and, with the help of stage and costume designer Neven Mihić, create a world of illusions.



Text: Narcisa Vekić / Osijek National Theater (HNK)
Photo: Kristijan Cimer

Tagovi: Snježna kraljica 2024, K-HNK