On 25 July, Young Like Vilnius, the Vilnius 700th anniversary festival, will get under way by uniting classical music performers for a true extravaganza. Numerous performers will get together in the green of Vingis Park to create an extraordinary spectacle and unexpected compositions. These talented performers will create a musical performance worth its weight in gold.Festival programme
For Vilnius’s 700th anniversary, listeners in Vingis Park will be given a special programme by the Lithuanian National Opera and Ballet Theatre symphony orchestra, conducted by Maestro Ričardas Šumila. Popular arias will be performed by opera stars Edgaras Montvidas, Kostas Smoriginas, Ieva Prudnikovaitė and Aušrinė Stundytė.
The orchestra will also play with pop music artists, so the festival will be a great opportunity to unite both areas of music. Outdoor concerts in Lithuania, where the weather is so unpredictable, are always a challenge for musicians, since climatic conditions are extremely important for the instruments. However, theatre people are academic music professionals who are used to playing in different places, so they will give the festival guests a wonderful programme and create a truly festive mood.
Performing with the Lithuanian National Opera and Ballet Theatre symphony orchestra:
Kostas Smoriginas is currently regarded as one of the world’s most promising bass-baritones. He studied at London’s Royal College of Music Benjamin Britten International Opera School, and also trained at the Royal Opera House in Covent Garden.
Smoriginas regularly performs principal roles at renowned European theatres in Great Britain, Italy, France, Germany and Belgium, as well as on stages in the United States, Venezuela, Chile and many other countries around the world. On 25 July, his fans in Vilnius will also have a chance to hear him sing.
Edgaras Montvidas has created and performed more than 40 roles at the English National Opera, the Royal Opera House in Covent Garden, the Cincinnati Opera, the Santa Fe Opera, the Dutch National Opera, the Aix-en-Provence Festival, and at the Geneva, Frankfurt, Lyon, Paris Opéra-Comique, Brussels La Monnaie, Strasbourg and other theatres.
He has been awarded the Medal of the Order for Merits to Lithuania and the Ministry of Culture’s Carry your Light and Believe badge of honour, and he was bestowed the Golden Stage Cross for the role of Werther in Werther (Vilnius City Opera) in 2009, and for the role of Alfredo in Traviata (Lithuanian National Opera and Ballet Theatre) in 2020. In 2023, the soloist was awarded the Lithuanian National Prize for Culture and Arts. Fans of classical music will soon have the opportunity to hear his talent free of charge at the Young Like Vilnius festival.
Aušrinė Stundytė began her career with the Leipzig Opera, but soon later, she was already singing at the most famous opera houses in Europe (in Austria, Germany, Holland, Finland, Poland, France, Belgium, Switzerland, Italy, Spain and Portugal), as well as at the Seattle Opera in the United States. In 2020, she became the star of the prestigious Salzburg Festival, where she played the lead role in Richard Strauss’s Elektra directed by Krzysztof Warlikowski, singing alongside Asmik Grigorian.
Stundytė’s performances do not leave anyone indifferent – audiences and critics alike are charmed by her professionalism, talent, charisma and new approach to opera. Performances on the biggest stages of the world have already become the soloist’s daily routine, and her latest works include an opera written especially for her based on Orgia, the drama by Italian filmmaker, writer and intellectual Piero Paolo Pasolini. All this makes Stundytė is a rare but very welcome guest in Lithuania. Now she is preparing to captivate the Lithuanian audience with her voice.
A singer who is gifted with special talent and charisma, Ieva Prudnikovaitė is one of Lithuania’s most prominent mezzo-sopranos. Prudnikovaitė is a graduate of the Lithuanian Academy of Music and Theatre (LMTA). The soloist has performed at the Lithuanian National Opera and Ballet Theatre, the Aalto Theatre in Essen, Germany, the Latvian National Opera, and the Staatstheater Braunschweig.
Prudnikovaitė has won the Operos Švyturys award for Opera Soloist of the Year, and was bestowed the Golden Stage Cross for her solo in Carmen.
The concert will be conducted by Maestro Ričardas Šumila, who is the chief conductor for the Lithuanian National Opera and Ballet Theatre. In 2014, Šumila was awarded the Golden Stage Cross in the young artist category for Hansel and Gretel (Vilnius City Opera), an opera for young people that he staged along with director Gediminas Šeduikis.
After the classical music part of the festival, there will be a chance to enjoy Lithuania’s most famous pop music artists appearing in unexpected duos. Performed by singers from different generations and different musical styles, the well-known songs are sure to make you want to sing along!
The culmination of the evening will be a concert by a popular foreign artist. The festival programme will be announced shortly.
Young Like Vilnius is a free music festival that is one of the most important events of 2023 celebrating the 700th anniversary of Vilnius. It was initiated by Vilnius City Municipality and curated by Go Vilnius, the tourism and business development agency of the City of Vilnius.