The ambient as an aesthetic stimulus of drama action
Split Summer Festival is an international music and stage manifestation that includes a drama, opera, dance and concert program.
This year’s 68th edition of the Split Summer Festival was opened on July 14 with a premiere of Giuseppe Verdi’s opera ‘Simon Boccanegra’ performed by the soloists, choir and orchestra of the Croatian National Theater Split, conducted by maestro Ivo Lipanović and directed by Krešimir Dolenčić. The Festival concludes on the 14th of August.
Along with the Dubrovnik Summer Festival, it is the largest, oldest and most representative national theatre festival held in ambient spaces.
The festival was founded by Conductor Silvije Bombardelli in 1954 and opened with the comic opera Ero s ona svijetaby Jakov Gotovac.
He recognised the characteristics of the natural environment, which itself becomes a catalyst for the triggering and development of dramatic action.
The festival is traditionally held from mid-July to mid-August at the HNK premises in Split and many cultural and historical sites in the area, such as Peristyle of Diocletian’s Palace, Meštrović’s Castle, Meštrović Gallery Lobby, Carrara’s Field, Diocletian’s Palace cellars, St. Duja’s Cathedral, Sustipan, Prokurative, and the Split squares.
In recent times other Dalmatian towns Trogir, Stari Grad, and Supetar, have been included in the program of the Split summer.
In the first years of the festival, the main organisers of the program were the Split Theatre and the Split Philharmonic.
Later, the program expanded, and the participation of renowned theatres, ensembles, and theatre and music artists from Croatia and abroad enriched the program.
Since 1984, the prize has been awarded for the best achievements in the drama and music program. From 1984 – 89 the award was called Marul, and since 1990, Judita. Organisers also added the Peristil award in 2000.
Since 1958, in the framework of the Split summer, art performances, painting, sculpture, photography, and those more closely related to theatre performances, such as scenography and costume design, have taken an important place of their own. Poetry recitals and book presentations also have their own unique program.
The festival nurtures cooperation and exchange of plays with the Dubrovnik Summer Games. On the occasion of the 50th anniversary of Split Summer, the monograph Split Summer 1954-2004 was published.