Brussels launch of the Mérida International Classical Theatre Festival

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24 May 2018

The Mérida International Classical Theatre Festival launched its 2018 for the first time in the heart of Europe on 24 May at the Instituto Cervantes in Brussels. Festival Director, Jesús Cimarro, highlighted the importance of internationalizing the festival in what was his first presentation in Central Europe. “We have come to Brussels in our search for new audiences, we want you to feel the excitement of enjoying classical theater on a summer night in the Roman Theater of Mérida.”

EFA Secretary General, Kathrin Deventer, praised in her speech “the cultural heritage jewel that Mérida has with its theater and programme” and expressed EFA’s readiness to “devote all possible efforts to transfer the message of the festival internationally”. In addition, she praised the mixed financing model, with both public and private funds, that shows the way forward for other European festivals.

This festival, the longest in Spain and one of the oldest in Europe in the field of Greco-Roman theater, will be held in Mérida between June 29 and August 26 and will feature eight theater shows, one dance performance and parallel activities targeted at young audiences.

“We have a large loyal audience built up in the past fifty years, but in recent years we have been working to bring our programme closer to the young public and we have managed to lower the average age of the participants by fifteen years,” explained Cimarro. In this period, the number of spectators has increased from 52,000 to 168,000 and a lot of effort is put in a campaign to make the festival visible internationally.

Also artistically the festival commits to have first-rate artists each year – this year, among others, El Brujo, Diana Palazón, Agustín Jiménez and Richard Collins – and present world premieres, from adaptations of novels to unpublished texts written by contemporary authors. “All this in the attempt to combine the classic with the contemporary “, according to Cimarro.

The Minister of Culture and Equality of the Board, Leire Iglesias, stressed the double commitment of the festival both towards the local and the European. He also expressed the strong link between the cultural heritage of the Extremadura region and the festival, this gives the festival a unique identity and transforms it into the only Greco-Roman that is celebrated in four archaeological sites: Mérida, Medellín, Regina and Cáparra. A link that he described as “union of the material, the immaterial and the emotional,” through culture.

The mayor of Mérida, Antonio Rodríguez Osuna, said that it is “a pride for the city” to have this event in his city. He expresses his hopes that “it will soon be declared Intangible Heritage of Humanity by UNESCO, in the same way that Mérida is a World Heritage Site”.

Finally, the ambassador of Spain in Belgium, Cecilia Yuste, stressed the importance of internationalizing the festival, especially during the European Year of Cultural Heritage and affirmed the values ​​that we all have to defend as Europeans.

The presentation was concluded with a performance by the actor Fernando Ramos, who interpreted a monologue of Viriato’s work that was presented during the 2017 edition.

Find out more about this year’s festival on their website.


Extended deadline Festival Production Management Training 2019, apply by 18 June!

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16 May 2018

The Festival Academy, an initiative of the European Festivals Association (EFA), extends its application deadline until 18 June to allow more emerging festival production managers to apply for the Festival Production Management Training 2019.

The programme focusses especially on production management in terms of realising and implementing the vision of the artistic director and is set up as a long-term programme which explores all phases of producing an artistic work: 3 modules spread over a period of 1 or more year(s).

  • Module I: 16 to 19 January 2019 in Antwerp (BE), organized in partnership with deSingel International Arts Campus. A 4-day workshop with panel discussions, practical study visits and focus on the exchange of experiences, guided by experience production managers.
  • Module II: a practical, hands-on placement at a festival worldwide (minimum one week)
  • Module III: a 3-day concluding session

The programme does not stop with Module III on the cohort. All participants become part of the Alumni Network. After 13 Ateliers and 3 editions of the Festival Production Management Training the network counts today 500+ members from 70+ countries and all continents.
Apply through this link by 18 June 2018 to get a chance to attend this training programme and for all details visit the Festival Production Management Training website!

Leoš Janácek Internationnal Music Festival

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Leoš Janáček International is the top event of the classical music life in the city of Ostrava. Orchestra performances, chamber projects, recitals and concerts of jazz and music make up the festival.


The Fetival builds on the long tradition of the Janáček-themed festivals in Ostrava and the Moravian-Silesian Region.

In 1948, the 1st annual edition of the Janáček Musical Lachia Festival took place and this became the second oldest music festival after Prague Spring in the then Czechoslovakia. In 1950, the tradition of a music festival in Ostrava was started. The name of this festival changed several times and Ostrava Music Spring and Ostrava May became Janáček’s May in 1976, to which the epithet International Music Festival was added in 1990. In Hukvaldy, the Janáček Musical Lachia Festival was replaced by a new festival called Janáček’s Hukvaldy in 1993. In spite of differences between the aforementioned festivals, their objective was the same: to promote primarily the work and ideas of Leoš Janáček and the values of classical music in general, with an emphasis on Czech music.

Based on the results and success achieved and experience gained in the aforementioned festivals, among which particularly the Janáček’s Hukvaldy International Music Festival and the Janáček’s May International Music Festival were the most significant ones in the context of the festivals organised in the Czech Republic, the single following festival has now been founded by merging the festivals on the occasion of the 90th anniversary of Leoš Janáček’s death:

Leoš Janáček International Music Festival

Therefore, it is a new quality and not a new festival. The aim is to capitalise on all the accomplishments and not to create something completely new.

The festival designed in this way will become one of the most distinctive European festivals, bearing Janáček’s name and spreading the musical and intellectual legacy of this brilliant native of Hukvaldy.

The joint intention of the Moravian-Silesian Region, the Statutory City of Ostrava and the municipality of Hukvaldy was confirmed by the signing of a memorandum in support of the Leoš Janáček International Music Festival.


General Director

Jaromir Javurek

Artistic Director

Jaromir Javurek


T: +42 05 9748 94 21
28. října 124/2556,
702 00 Ostrava
Ticketing Website

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The Annual Nordic-Baltic Arts Festivals Conference

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7 May 2018

The Nordic-Baltic Festival Platform conference is the place for promoting artistic collaboration and exchange in the region as well as sharing knowledge and experiences.

This year’s conference, hosted by The Baltic Sea Cultural Centre, will focus is on the theme of “RELEVANCE”.

The Conference aims to bring together managers and artistic directors of festivals from all fields of art and culture to exchange ideas and best practices, make new connections and explore various possibilities for cooperation, and to visit some great performances in Gdansk.

All arts professionals are invited to save the dates for this year’s Conference and follow Nordic-Baltic Festival Platform and website for updates!

Several of our EFA members: Sweden FestivalsNorway FestivalsFinland FestivalsEFFE Hub EstoniaVilnius Festival have been working since May 2017 with the Nordic Baltic Festival Platform to trial a new innovative platform. This programme, under the start-up brand ‘Festivals on Demand’, will aggregate and archive live-streamed and recorded performances from festivals in the Nordic-Baltic region.

Find out more and share your festivals work to a wider audience –!

Please have a look at the pilot site here.

Read more about the advantages of this platforms for festivals and criteria to participate on this article.

Have a look at our news from last year’s conference by clinking this link.

Varna Summer Internationnal Music Festival 2018

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4 May 2018

A festival with impressive traditions since 1926, awarded with the EFFE label.

The program of Varna Summer IMF is structured in 6 modules with a genre variety.

– CORE PROGRAM (24 June – 5 July)
– MUSIC LAB (13 – 19 July)
– CROSSOVER (2 August –  2 November)
– BAROQUE MUSIC (17 – 19 September)

Highly appreciated musicians from Bulgaria and Europe will perform on the Varna stage.The opening is on 24 June with the Bulgarian opera prima Alexandrina Pendatchanska and conductor Piero Romano from Italy. The Core Program is in the tune with the Bulgarian Presidency of the Council of EU and European Year of Culture Heritage. This year the program is wide and besides classical music it features some of the best Bulgarian productions in the field of jazz, folklore and music theater. Highlights are the East-West Chamber Orchestra (Orchestra in-residence at the Yuri Bashmet International Music Festival with Sergei Krylov and Rostislav Krimer; Bulgarian National Radio Symphony Orchestra conducted by Mark Kadin and soloists Theodosii Spassov, kaval and Ilian Iliev, clarinet; the leading Bulgarian Jazz Band – Big Band of the Bulgarian National Radio; “Dragostin Folk National” Choir Ensemble; Pilekadone Quintet; Sinfonietta Orchestra-Varna with conductor Milko Kolarov.

On 24 June, a workshop will take place, organized jointly with EFA and the Bulgarian Festival Association (BFA). The EFA president Jan Briers and representatives of Bulgarian festivals, will discuss subjects related to better communication between festivals.

The module Academy will present the emblematic project of Prof. Mintcho Mintchev Beethoven Complete Sonatas for Piano and Violin. For the first time in Bulgaria within three concert evenings, the fame of Bulgarian performing art around the world – 10 violinists and 4 pianists, including Mintcho Mintchev, Svetlin Roussev, Albena Danailova, Mila Georgieva, Plamena Mangova, Evgeni Bozhanov will perform the 10 violin sonatas by Beethoven.

The Summer Music Academy itself will include three masterclasses:

Piano – with the legendary pianist Prof. Dmitri Bashkirov, who is today one of the most sought after piano pedagogues in the world, opera singing – with the famous tenor Emil Ivanov and violin – with the artistic director of the Academy Prof. Mintcho Mintchev, as well as the traditional Competition “The Violins of Mintcho Mintchev Fund “.

There will be excellent concerts in the module Varna Lab – the accent will be on Varna artists and their joint projects with internationally established musicians. Names such as “Stefan Zweig” Piano Trio featuring Bulgarian pianist Sibila Konstantinova, the “Dobri Hristov” String Quartet and friends, the flutist Ivona Nedeva with her new project are among the participants in the laboratory. This module will finish with the Balkan Youth Symphony Orchestra. We will also hear brand new names, young pianists, students of the artistic adviser of the festival Prof. Ludmil Angelov.

The module Crossover – summer mood on the outdoor stages in the city – in the Open-air Theater, the Inner Courtyard of the Archaeological Museum and on the very beach – the “Menthol” stage. We expect attractive programs by Hilda Kazasyan, Antoni Donchev Jazz Quintet and Patax Ensemble from Spain. The Grand Final will be with Ara Malikian and his “The Incredible Story of Violin” on 2 November 2018 in the Palace of Culture and Sports Varna.

The module Open-air Opera, Musical and Ballet includes 5 premieres of the Varna Opera – the musical „Zorro” and four opera productions. Undoubted favorite for connoisseurs will be “Der fliegende Holländer” by Wagner, co-production with the National Opera of Belgrade. The other opera productions are “La Gioconda” by Ponchielli, co-production with the Italian opera theaters in Modena and Piacenza and Puccini’s “Tosca”. This module ends with the ballet “Swan Lake” by Tchaikovsky – a new production of the Varna Opera.

The final module Baroque promises meetings with prominent European ensembles for early music: the elegant Italian ensemble Concerto de’ Cavalieri with Venetian Baroque masterpieces, Bach Beyond by Signum Saxophone Quartet and Baroque Concertos performed by the Bulgarian flutist Yavor Zhelev and string quartet.

For more info:


FB:  международен музикален фестивал “варненско лято”/ varna summer music fest

10 days left to apply for the Module I of the Festival Production Management Training 2019!

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4 May 2018

The Festival Academy, an initiative of the European Festivals Association (EFA) invites young festival and production managers from across the globe to apply hereby 15 May for the Festival Production Management Training in Antwerp, Belgium to take place from 16 to 19 January 2019.

A unique 3-module programme

The Festival Production Management Training is a format focusing especially on production management in terms of realising and implementing the vision of the artistic director. The training programme looks at the practical side of this process, with special attention given to working with artists. Participants meet and exchange with experienced production managers and artists, including set designers, light designers, conductors, choir leaders etc. The training is set up as a long-term programme of three modules spread over a period of one or more year(s).

Module I: 16-19 January 2019, Antwerp, Belgium: a 4-day workshop with practical study visits and focus on the exchange of experiences. Following two successful editions, The Festival Academy continues its collaboration with deSingel International Arts Campus where Module I will take place. deSingel is an arts site for theatre, dance, music and architecture, meant for a broad art-loving audience. As a contemporary and international-oriented arts campus, deSingel pays special attention to permanent arts education.

Module II: hands-on placement at a high-level festival (see the festivals which offered placements for the 2018 edition here)

Module III: a three-day concluding session (have a look at the 2016 edition here)

Application deadline: 15 May 2018

Procedure: submit your Application Form. For all details visit the Festival Production Management Training website!

Join a unique new network

All participants of the training programmes of The Festival Academy will become part of a unique global network of young festival makers and production managers that counts 528 alumni from 70 countries to date, after 13 Ateliers for Young Festival Managers since 2006 in Görlitz, Varna, Singapore, Izmir, Ljubljana, Edinburgh, Poznan, Beirut, Gwangju, Budapest, Chiang Mai, Merano and Johannesburg, one Atelier for Young Festival and Cultural Managers in Shanghai, 2017, and three editions of the Festival Production Management Training (2016, 2017, 2018).

European Festival of Performing Arts Timisoara

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5-13 May
The only platform dedicated to contemporary Romanian theatre in a European context


The European Festival of Performing Arts Timisoara – Romanian Drama Festival (FEST-FDR) is a yearly theatre festival organised by the Timişoara National Theatre with the support of the Ministry of Culture and the Timisoara City Hall. FEST-FDR is made up of two modules, equally represented in the programming: FEST explores performing arts in their diversity in Europe and beyond, while the latter, FDR, showcases the best of Romanian drama. FEST-FDR is the only platform dedicated to contemporary Romanian theatre in a European context. As of 2012, FEST-FDR is a member of the EFA.


Festival Director

Ada Hausvater

General Coordinator

Oana Borș


T: 004 0256 499 908
Str. Marasesti 2,
300086 Timisoara, judetul Timis

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