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The history of opera in the city of Rijeka dates back to the first half of the 19th century. The turning point was opening of the Teatro Comunale on 3 October 1885. The inaugural performances of Aida and La Gioconda featured famous names—Medea Borelli, Clotilde Sartori and Mary Guttenberg. Ever since, numerous renowned opera artists have made guest appearances on the stage of the Rijeka Opera Theatre. In the beginning these included the young Giacomo Puccini and Pietro Mascagni, Enrico Caruso, Arturo Toscanini and Beniamino Gigli.

Today’s Opera Company in Rijeka was established in 1946 as part of the Croatian National Theatre in Rijeka, alongside the Ballet, Croatian Drama and Italian Drama companies. The Opera Company consists of a symphony orchestra, chorus and ensemble of soloists. Besides the wide-ranging operatic and ballet repertoire, the Rijeka Opera Symphony Orchestra is also dedicated to an extensive programme during its concert season. Throughout its history many distinguished Croatian and international conductors (Boris Papandopulo, Lovro von Matačić, Ivo Malec, Vladimir Benić and, more recently, Nikša Bareza, Vjekoslav Šutej, Ivan Repušić, Tibor Bogányi, Marco Boemi, Philipp von Steinaecker, Jan Willem de Vriend, and Ville Matvejeff, the orchestra’s principal guest conductor since 2014), soloists (Sumi Jo, Maria Guleghina, Dunja Vejzović, Elena Moșuc, José Carreras, Yusif Eyvazov, José Cura, Carlo Colombara, Lucio Gallo, Giorgio Surian and Luis Chapa, among others) and instrumentalists (Federico Colli, Dan Zhu, Monika Leskovar, Enrico Bronzi, Michail Lifits, Aljoša Jurinić, Goran Filipec, Petrit Çeku, and others) have collaborated with the Rijeka Opera and its orchestra. In 2018 Yordan Kamdzhalov was appointed chief conductor. The orchestra has also a prolific recording schedule. Recent projects include Boris Papandopulo’s Piano Concerto and Violin Concerto (cpo) and Suppè’s Il ritorno del marinaio (cpo).

Role: Choir 
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