Ljubljana Festival taking off with trip around globe
Sfera Mundi, which was created specifically for the festival, pays tribute to Ferdinand Magellan's expedition from 500 years ago, when his fleet of five ships set out to become the first to circumnavigate the globe.
The story about the daring adventure is told from the perspective of Magellan's slave Enrique, who in fact was the first to travel around the globe, having been born in the Philippines before being sold into slavery.
"The expedition featured people from different parts of Europe. Many were Italians, Portuguese and Spanish, then Greeks, Germans, English and others. Of the five ships that set out, only one returned," theatre director Carlus Padrissa has said, noting that the journey had been troublesome.
"It's a very interesting story. This was the first great European scientific adventure," he has told the press before the world premiere.
Moreover, Padrissa noted that the show aimed to highlight the fact that we all live on the same planet, which makes the setting of the piece, a 20-metre ship constructed from light tubes, "our planet, which travels through space".
In addition to the ship, the stage will be dominated by a ten-metre figure of a giant representing Magellan. Theatre and film actor Boris Ostan will act as the giant's voice and Croatian mezzo-soprano Irena Parlov, who will be placed at Magellan's heart, will sing Enrique.
Apart from the Slovenian Philharmonic Orchestra, Slovenian ballet dancers will be among the 200 artists on stage, of whom 25 will be members of La Fura dels Baus.
By the end of the summer, when the festival officially ends with a concert by the Amsterdam Royal Concertgebouw Orchestra, it will provide visitors with several highlights, including a concert by the Munich Philharmonic Orchestra, violoncellist Natalie Clein and the La Scala Philharmonic Orchestra.
Following the official end of the festival, Slovenia's Laibach will also perform with the Lviv Philharmonic Orchestra in early September.