RIGA - "I try not to think just of beauty and technique. I aim for lots of feeling and colors and heart... an operatic role must do something to my inside world and I want [the audience] to come with me 's to cry with me and fly with me. I want to take [them] into my world," Latvian opera legend Inesse Galante once said in an interview with Classic CD magazine.
Galante, a Riga native who has been singing opera since her childhood and is now widely regarded as one of the finest singers Latvia has to offer, will feature prominently in the upcoming 3rd annual "Summer-time" international music festival. She will take the lead role in four of the festival's nine events scheduled to take place between Aug. 11 and 17.
The Summertime music festival will host a wide range of events including opera, jazz, Russian folk, salsa and even Turkish whirling dervishes. Almost all of the events will take place in Dzintari concert hall in Jurmala, about 30 minutes outside of Riga.
The opening event will be an Aug 11 performance by the Latvian National Symphony Orchestra, under the leadership of renowned French conductor Kirill Karabits, with an extended solo performance by Galante. Karabits has just ended his second season as Principal Guest Conductor of the Strasbourg Philharmonic, after building a name for himself as the Associate Conductor of the Orchestre Philharmo-nique de Radio France from 2002-2005. He has worked with symphonies in Hungary, Germany, Australia, Brazil, England and Japan.
The next day, Galante will sing with Sergejs Jegers in the Riga's Dubulti Evangelical church, which will be the only performance not held in Dzintari.
Also on Aug. 12, the Mingus Big Band from the U.S.A. will play their characteristic tribute to Jazz legend Charles Mingus. Mingus was famous for having forged his own style of music out of hard bop, gospel and free jazz, and is regarded alongside Duke Ellington as the greatest composers of American jazz. The Mingus Big Band, originally the Mingus Dynasty Band, was formed shortly after his death to carry on his distinctive style of music. The Mingus tribute band has now been devoting tours and shows to his music for nearly 30 years.
The following day will see a continuation of the jazz theme with a performance by French violinists Laurent Korcia and Nemanja Radulovic titled "Jazz via Classics."
The festival will then turn from wild American jazz to hearty Russian folk songs, with the Moscow Virtuosos and the Terem quartet on Aug 14. The Terem quartet was one of the first bands to overthrow Soviet folk music by harking back to the ancient Russian Skomorokh traditions in a style that fits in with modern musical tastes. Aug. 15 will see Galante returning to the stage with Russian singers Irina Dolzhenko, Sergej Larin and Anatoly Safiulin for another day of Russian folk songs.
Immediately following Galante's show will be the first-ever performance by Turkish Whirling Dervishes in Latvia. The Whirling Dervishes are a famous religious sect who show their devotion to God by spinning in complicated patterns, an act that is meant to symbolize the formation of the universe and the reciprocal love between mankind and God. A group of musicians called a "saz," who play the reed flute and a number of other traditional instruments, will play alongside the hypnotically twirling dancers.
Aug. 16 will feature a Swedish jazz quintet called The Real Group. The Real Group has sold more than 500,000 of their albums and played more than 3,000 live shows since their formation at Stockhom's Royal Academy of Music in 1984.
The final day of the festival will see many of the best bands return to the stage. The first will be a repeat performance by the Latvian National Symphony Orchestra, this time under the guidance of conductor Aleksandr Vilumanis, playing a rendition of Tchaikovsky's Piano Concerto No.1. There will also be repeat performances by many of the Russian folk artists and The Real Group.
At the close of the festival, a wild after-party will take place with the 12-member Cuban salsa group Maraca. The group is led by energetic flutist and composer Orlando Valle Maraca. Their jazzy salsa will flood the concert hall and provide an upbeat conclusion of the festival.
Summertime music festival
Dzintara concert hall, Jurmala
Tickets 4 - 50 lats, www.bilesuserviss.lv
More information: www.hbf.lv