Ljubljana Festival opens with tribute to pop song lyrics

Ljubljana – The 70th Ljubljana Festival, one of the most high-profile festivals in the country, will open in Congress Square with tonight’s tribute to the Slovenian poets who have contributed lyrics for some of the most memorable Slovenian pop songs, especially in the 1960s and 1970s.

The Summer Night concert coincides with the 60th anniversary of Slovenian Pop Song, a festival that has produced some of the best Slovenian Golden Oldies.

Twenty-three songs will be sung by 13 singers, including Lado Leskovar, 80, who won his first award at the Slovenian Pop Song festival in 1963 with Malokdaj Se Srečava (We Rarely Meet).

The singers will be accompanied by the Symphony Orchestra and the Big Band of RTV Slovenija under the baton of conductor Patrik Greblo.

The concert is dedicated to acclaimed poets, such as Gregor Strniša, Miroslav Košuta, Svetlana Makarovič, Frane Milčinski Ježk, Ciril Zlobec, Milan Dekleva, Milan Jesih, Elza Buda and Dušan Velkaverh.

The concert goers will get a chance to hear V Ljubljano (To Ljubljana), a song Marjana Deržaj (1936-2005) sang in 1965 whose lyrics were penned by Makarovič.

Another classic, Leti Leti Lastovka (Fly Fly Swallow), will also be sung; the 1973 song was originally sung by Edvin Fliser with lyrics written by Strniša (1930-1987).

The Ljubljana Festival brings over 80 classical music concerts, opera and ballet performances until 8 September, when it closes with a Vienna Philharmonic concert.

One of the highlights will be Verdi’s Requiem, as well as concerts by established sopranos and tenors, including Anna Netrebko, Yusif Eyvazov and Placido Domingo.

The London Royal Philharmonic Orchestra will also give a concert, while US actor John Malkovich will play the theatre piece The Music Critic.

Orchestras from more far-away countries will also be featured, including the Thailand Philharmonic Orchestra, and as practically every year, Slovenian singer Vlado Kreslin will give a concert, and so will the band Laibach.