First Edition June-August: From Concerts for Babies to World-Class Performers

This summer marks the debut of a new platform in the field of musical art, initiated by the creative team of KotorArt and the Tivat Music Festival Foundation under the direction of Ms. Andrea Orlando Tripović, supported by the Tivat Cultural Center and its director Mr. Goran Božović. This artistic and educational platform aims not only to host a high-quality music festival during the summer months but also to curate content throughout the year in the domains of participatory art and audience development, as well as the preservation and enhancement of local heritage.

TMF has five main objectives: to develop audiences for music art through carefully crafted and high-quality programs; to strengthen the capacity of the local music scene at the level of the Municipality of Tivat by gathering, presenting, and collaborating with various profiles of music professionals (composers, performers, music writers) and amateurs from Tivat, as well as by initiating the establishment or revival of various music ensembles; to position Tivat as a unique artistic center of the Bay of Kotor by generating potential for professional and amateur musicians from the Bay of Kotor, through initiatives for the formation of the Boka chamber ensemble and the City choir, as well as by presenting some of the most significant national, regional, and international artists of today, and promoting local young talents; to support and promote female creativity; to draw upon local heritage, primarily the poetic work of the distinguished Tivat poetess Maja Perfiljeva (1941-2019), in the domain of musical interpretation of her oeuvre through various genres and forms (art songs, choir, chamber music, pop music).

This year’s festival program is scheduled from mid-June to mid-August 2024. In addition to local partners (Tivat Cultural Center, Luštica Bay, Porto Montenegro, Montenegro Sotheby’s Realty, Henley & Partners, Caritas Kotorske Biskupije, Župa Tivat, and others), the Festival’s programs are planned in partnership with a number of national, regional, and international organizations such as Jeunesses Musicales Croatia, the Italian Cultural Institute from Belgrade, the Italian Embassy in Montenegro, Deutsche Welle, the Youth Symphony Orchestra of Eastern Bavaria, the ThinkYoung Belgian organization, the organizations BUNT and Kulturanova from Serbia, as well as KotorArt.

The festival will dedicate special attention this year to young artists originating from Montenegro, who are also ambassadors of the Festival worldwide. These include Petra Radulović, a soprano born in Kotor and currently engaged in the Hanover State Opera, who is building a highly successful international career, and Sava Vemić, a bass originally from Belgrade with roots in Durmitor, who captivates audiences of the world’s most prestigious opera houses with his voice and talent.

The opening of the first Tivat Music Festival is planned for June 28 in the main hall of the Tivat Cultural Center, featuring a gala opera program with the participation of the Dubrovnik Symphony Orchestra, conductor Samra Gulamović, and soloists soprano Valentina Elizabeta Šilje and tenors Bože Jurić-Pešić and Tomislav Jukić. Special guests of the concert will be soprano Petra Radulović and bass Sava Vemić.

Programs for the youngest

As one of the cornerstones of the entire Tivat Music Festival, opera art will also be present at concerts tailored for the youngest audience members. In collaboration with the professors of the Vasa Pavić School of Music and Ballet in Podgorica, as a prelude to the Festival, a performance of the children’s opera Snow White by the students of this school is planned for June 18. The Visoko C Artistic Association from Serbia is recognized for performing operas adapted for children and staging original operas for different age groups of children. From July 17 to 23, they will perform in the center of Tivat, on the promenade of Porto Montenegro, and in Luštica Bay, presenting three operas to the youngest audience members: The Tortoise and the Hare, The Ant and the Grasshopper, as well as the opera for babies Little Bee Dana. In addition to the opportunity to get acquainted with various operas for children, the youngest audience will also have the chance to participate in interactive workshops for music and dance organized by the Artish:Lab association for babies and parents. These workshops are based on a doctoral research project on how music and movement influence the psychomotor development of children up to 3 years old.
In addition to the youngest audience, adults will also have the opportunity to familiarize themselves with opera art through the series Opera Stories, featuring two programs showcasing well-known operas such as Giuseppe Verdi’s La Traviata and Gaetano Donizetti’s L’elisir d’amore. The concept of this series is designed to bring opera works closer to the audience in a simpler, more intimate version, with narration about the opera’s plot and performances of the most beautiful and important arias.

Opera Concerts and Recitals

A grand opera concert titled An Evening of Opera Arias will take place on July 25 in the main hall of the Tivat Cultural Center. On this occasion, the audience will be introduced to two of the aforementioned successful young Montenegrin opera artists with international engagements – soprano Petra Radulović and bass Sava Vemić, who will host two renowned figures from the world opera scene in Tivat: tenor Benjamin Bliss and mezzo-soprano Nina Van Essen. This vocal quartet will be accompanied by the festival orchestra, under the baton of experienced Croatian opera conductor Mladen Tarbuk.

Three opera recitals will take place in Gornja Lastva from July 22 to 24, featuring sopranos Antonia Vučinović and Ljiljana Lišković from Tivat.

American and Italian Artists as Guests

A special experience will be the concert on August 2 titled California Dreaming, where music from the Baroque to Rock will be presented at Porto Montenegro, featuring an orchestra composed of Montenegrin and American musicians under the baton of the internationally acclaimed conductor Nir Kabaretti, alongside violinist Gilles Apap, an authentic star of the global music scene. Apap, once a protégé of the incomparable Yehudi Menuhin, was described by Menuhin as the “true violinist of the 21st century.”

Another program, representing a special curiosity and one of the highlights of the first TMF, will be held on the island of Our Lady of Mercy on July 16. In Montenegro, excerpts from the operas La Circe and Coriolano will premiere in concert, for which the libretto was written by Don Krsto Ivanović. A native of Budva and Canon of the Church of St. Mark in Venice, during the 17th century, he was a librettist for operas performed not only in Venice but also in Vienna and Piacenza. With the support of the Italian Embassy in Montenegro and the Italian Cultural Institute in Belgrade, along with the world-renowned Roman ensemble Mare Nostrum (Latin – Our Sea, i.e., the Mediterranean) and the aforementioned works of our author, a creator insufficiently known to the Montenegrin public, the program will draw attention of both professional and the broader public, to Don Ivanović himself, the artists, and the Festival, as well as to the new position of Tivat on the musical map of Montenegro and the region.

Jazz Concerts

As one of the artistic strands woven into the fabric of the inaugural TMF program, the sound of jazz music will permeate the entire Festival. A performance by the internationally acclaimed JM Jazz World Orchestra is scheduled, marking the conclusion of its European tour with a show on July 17 following its appearance at the Dubrovnik Summer Festival. Following this, the Aureum saxophone quartet from Austria will take the stage in collaboration with the Austrian Embassy as part of a mini-tour in Montenegro. One of the most interesting concerts for the local audience will certainly be the composer Ivan Marović’s showcas on July 30 in Gornja Lastva. Marović, a native of Tivat who has resided in Berlin for the past few years, is already familiar to the audience as a versatile and innovative musician, traversing a wide spectrum of genres ranging from classical to jazz and rock.

Regional Musicians – WBYO on July 28

In addition to the mentioned orchestras, another notable concert is scheduled – the Western Balkan Youth Orchestra (WBYO) at the pier in Luštica Bay on July 28. The work of this orchestra is supported by the European Union through the Creative Europe program, Deutsche Welle, and numerous other partners. This summer, the orchestra will be staying in Montenegro for a residency, before embarking on a significant tour of the Balkans and Germany.

Premiere Presentation of New Ensembles:

Boka Enseble – Premiere Concert on August 5

The festival has initiated the creation of a new musical ensemble, with the aim of ​​cultivating musical talent among professional musicians from the Bay of Kotor. The Boka Chamber Ensemble will unite musicians who hail from or are active in the Bay area, offering a glimpse into the artistic richness of this region and promoting Tivat as a destination for such future gatherings. The ensemble includes: Nenad Jovanović, violin professor from the Tivat Music School; prominent musicians from Herceg Novi, cellist Željko Ivović and pianist Marina Mikić, with oboist Nela Drašković from Kotor joining them in several compositions. They will present music by composers from the Bay, the region, and around the world.

Closing: City Choir of Tivat – Premiere Concert on August 12

In alignment with one of its objectives, TMF, in collaboration with the Tivat Cultural Center, has supported the establishment of a new city vocal ensemble, the City Choir of Tivat, under the direction of Prof. Andrea Orlando Tripović. The ensemble will make its debut at the Festival’s closing on August 12 in the main hall of the Tivat Cultural Center, with choirs from other Bay towns as guests. A delightful highlight for the audience will be the premiere performance of Bokeljska Noć by Maja Perfiljeva, arranged for choir for the first time.
Young artists will also be featured in the program segment known as Ports of Art, dedicated to busking artists, who will convert public spaces into vibrant art hubs accessible to everyone throughout the Festival.