The Slovenia Times

ABBA's Legacy Takes the Stage in Mamma Mia! Musical


The rights for the Slovenian production of the musical - a less common theatre genre in Slovenia - were bought by Prospot, a company led by Slovenia's former skiing star Jure Franko.

Before Ljubljana, Prospot's production has already seen opening night in Belgrade, Serbia, while another production is to follow in the upcoming days in Zagreb, Croatia. All three productions were directed by Serbian director Jugo Radivojević.

Slovenian Mamma Mia! features many acclaimed Slovenian artists, among them Alenka Godec, Damjana Golavšek and Gojmir Lešnjak - Gojc. Leading roles will be played by aspiring young actors Lea Bartha and Matjaž Kumelj.

The translation of 23 ABBA hits was provided by acclaimed singer-songwriter Tomaž Domicelj, who said "these are not quickly written commercial lyrics, they are mostly texts that helped inspire the quartet and also settle accounts among them".

Musical is a relatively new theatre genre to Slovenian cultural scene. While they have been a part of theatre repertoires for decades, Slovenia has only seen an increased number of productions in the past few years.

The Ljubljana Festival and the MGL theatre house are currently the only Slovenian institutions putting on musicals.

Artistic director of the Ljubljana Festival Darko Brlek thinks one of the reasons for the lack of musicals on the Slovenian theatre scene is a lack of educational facilities, expertise and even infrastructure.

To make a good musical, one must find a good ensemble, the members of which master singing, dancing and acting at the same time, MGL head Barbara Hieng Samobor told the STA.

A musical also requires high production costs, which are not always easy to cover, musical producer Gorazd Slak added, even though musicals in Slovenia regularly sell out.

"In an auditorium like MGL's, which can only accommodate some 330 spectators, one cannot really talk about big profits and market opportunities when it comes to musicals. The investment is more psychological - a happy spectator will return to the theatre," Hieng Samobor also said.

Nonetheless, Brlek recognizes a market niche in Slovenian musical theatre: "However, adequate infrastructure and staff need to be established for its success...We also need to take into account that a musical is more successful when it is delivered in a native language and focuses on domestic themes."


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