We invite you to the IV Festival of music and arts of the Ketler dynasty reign time in the Duchy of Courland and Semigallia "Vivat Curlandia!"

This year, from July 20 to July 21, the festival of music and arts of the Ketler dynasty, the Duchy of Courland and Semigallia "Vivat Curlandia!" will be held for the fourth time in a row in Bauska Castle, Bauska Cultural Center and Bauska Church of the Holy Spirit. The festival will feature works of the Medieval, Renaissance and early Baroque periods, which will be performed by musicians from Latvia, Lithuania, Korea, Switzerland, Austria, Spain, Italy, Russia, the Netherlands and United Kingdom. The highlight of the festival will be the historically informed production of opera "La Dafne" (1608) by Marco da Gagliano in historical lightning with candlelight.

The program of the Bauska Festival "Vivat Curlandia!" will take place in the appropriate historical surroundings - the music will be performed on period instruments, in the costumes of that time, at the concert venues with the atmosphere of those times. For two days of the festival, Bauska will turn into a magnificent celebration of early music, which will delight listeners with 11 music performances designed to show the richness of the Medieval music from and to refute the myths about the “dark Middle Ages”. The festival is organized by the most competent researcher of early music in Latvia, conductor Māris Kupčs in cooperation with the Museum of the Bauska Castle and the Bauska Cultural Center.


This year the festival “Vivat Curlandia!” will be opened on the 20th of July by one of Europe’s most recognizable medieval music ensembles of new generation - the Rumorum from Switzerland, that will come to Latvia a week before the upcoming concert and especially for “Vivat Curlandia!” in Bauska will prepare the program of medieval music “Tenperantia”.

The festival program will continue with a surprise: a medieval music ensemble Eloqventia (Spain) will come back to Latvia. The artistic director of the festival Māris Kupčs says: “This ensemble proves that medieval music can sound utterly modern, bright and exciting. Those listeners who had luck to attend Eloqventia’s concert at the festival “Vivat Curlandia!” two years ago were deeply impressed and gave highly emotional reviews. I am glad that we can listen to these musicians again.” Eloqventia performance will be followed by a concert of an equally bright duet. A well-known singer in Europe, mezzo-soprano Romina Basso and an award-winning guitar virtuoso Alberto Mesirca (Italy) will visit Latvia for the first time and present to Bauska residents and guests their program “Sì dolce è'l tormento” (“How sweet the torment is”), which with the help of baroque music masterpieces will embody a journey through human passions.

The long-anticipated highlight of the festival – production of opera "La Dafne" by Marco da Gagliano with candle lightning will immerse the audience into the realm of 17th century opera, music, production, costume and emmanate the aesthetics of that time. Production casts young soloists of the European Opera Academy (EOA), baroque orchestra Collegium Musicum Riga, baroque choir Collegium Choro Musici Riga, conductor Māris Kupčs as well as a historic gesture and rethorics expert, harpist Katerina Antonenko (United Kingdom/Russia).

The first day of the festival will end up with the concert program “Lost Paradise” (“Zaudētā Paradīze”) organized by the Bauska Castle and performed by the Bauska Castle historic dances ensemble Galms, ensemble Trakula and the children's choir of the Vecumnieki school of music and arts Via Stella. This year the festival program includes a novelty – on the first day before the festival opening concert at noon families with children are invited to a story in music about historic instruments, where young listeners will learn how such music instruments as fidel, violin, recorder, harpsichord, lute and other appeared.

To ensure access to the festival to everyone interested, this year admission to all the concerts and events of the second day of the festival will be free. On July 21, all interested are invited to the Bauska Church of the Holy Spirit to a program devoted to the 17th century music, which will be performed by young actively soloing sopranos Anete Viļuma and Ieva Pļaviņa. The festival will also host the VI Fencing Tournament "Ius Gladii" or "The Right of the Sword", during which it will be possible to watch the knights’ fights as well as to take part in shooting crossbows. This will be followed by the chamber music program “La Donna” created by soprano Ilze Grēvele-Skaraine,  who will be accompanied by baroque violinist Agnese Kanniņa, baroque cellist Māra Botmane, lutist from the Netherlands Talita Cumi Witmer, as well as harpsichordist Liene Madern-Stradiņa. Soon after, actress and singer Elīna Avotiņa together with the flutist Ieva Nīmane will present their concert program “Sonetti di vita”. The marathon of 11 events of the festival will end with the program “Vibes of Purcell” performed by early music group Neymann Ensemble (Latvia, Austria, Italy). Continuing the tradition of devoting a concert to a baroque composer who is little performed in Latvia, Neymann Ensemble will present the history in music of one of the most famous English composers of all time, Henry Percell, who celebrates his 360th anniversary this year.

Bauska town has been chosen to become home to “Vivat Curlandia!” festival since the castle built in Bauska by the Kettlers, Dukes of Courland and Semigallia, at the end of the 16th century today is the only extant monument in Latvia illustrating secular architecture as well as applied and decorative arts of the Nothern Renaissance and Mannerism periods.

Tickets for the events of the first festival day are available at “Biļešu paradīzes” points of sale across Latvia and online as well as at the Bauska Castle Museum’s ticket office. Entrance to the events of the second day of the festival is free.

Festival is organised with the support of the Bauska Municipality, State Culture Capital Foundation, Bauska Castle Museum, Musica Baltica.

Laura Šarova

“Vivat Curlandia!” festival producer
Riga Early Music Centre


For additional information:
+371 25714770


Created – Hofmanstudio