Riga will open the European Capital of Culture year in mid-January with a
week-long celebration, featuring concerts, exhibitions and various
other cultural events throughout the city. Riga’s regional partner
during the European Capital of Culture year, Sigulda, will also host
several events. Throughout 2014, Riga will host a wide range of cultural
events as part of its extensive European Capital of Culture program.
Riga’s 2014 cultural program will host a string of events sure to
attract the world’s attention. The Swedish city of Umea is the second of
the two European Capitals of Culture in 2014, as both cities intend to
cooperate on various cultural events throughout the year.
On January 15, the Museum of Natural History will open a special exhibition called "Amber through the ages"
The exhibition will be the first stop along the "Amber Road" project.
It will throw light on Baltic amber, demonstrating its natural forms,
richness of tones and its significance in terms of the world’s amber
deposits. The exhibition will stress the uniqueness of amber as the
first material from Latvia which reached neighboring cultures in ancient
Europe. Visitors will learn more about natural amber, its application
in a wide variety of spheres, the economic potential of amber thread in
particular being a highlight.
On January 16, the official opening of the exhibition of kinetic art called "From Johansons to Johansons"
will be held at the new Latvian National Library building. The project
is a dialogue between different periods of history – the 1920s, 60s and
70s and the first decade of the 21st century. The "From Johansons to
Johansons" exhibition of kinetic art brings together seven Latvian
artists from different generations, each known for innovation, telling
the story of Latvian art and cultural values, as well as contemplating
how our fates have been affected by history. Curated by Ieva Astahovska
and organized by the Center of Contemporary Art, the artists represented
will be Gustavs Klucis (1895–1938), Kārlis Johansons (1890–1929),
Valdis Celms (1943), Jānis Krievs (1942), Artūrs Riņķis (1942), Gints
Gabrāns (1970) and Voldemārs Johansons (1981).
On January 17 at the "Arsenāls" exhibition hall, an exhibition called "1914"
will be open. "1914" is an art exhibition dedicated to World War I and
reflects on three eras: the one that collapsed as soon as the war
started, the one during the war itself and the third, representing the
present. "1914" will combine the visual art testimony of different
countries about WWI and show how it has defined Europe’s historic,
social and cultural development over the last century. The exhibition is
being put together in partnership with the national museums of art of
Lithuania, Estonia, Finland, Poland, Hungary, the Czech Republic,
Slovakia, Slovenia, Croatia and Serbia.
Also on January 17, a multimedia concert performance of Richard Wagner’s "Rienzi. Rise and Fall"
will be held at the Latvian National Opera. Composed in Riga between
1837 and 1839, Richard Wagner’s opera "Rienzi" is inextricably linked to
the Latvian capital. The Latvian National Opera will show this
multimedia production, turning it into one of the European-level events
inaugurating Riga’s year as European Capital of Culture. More than just a
staging, the production will entail a re-working of the opera,
integrating it into a completely new envisioning by the director.
January 18, at the Riga Central Market, six "Riga 2014" program
chapters will be presented in the market’s pavilions and open areas, as
well as at the "Spīķeri" creative quarter and the Riga International Bus
Furthermore, an all-day event on January 18 called ''Taste and Feel 2014!''
will be held in participating cafes, restaurants and other venues
throughout the city, while a special light-show will be held on the
banks of the Daugava River from 7:00 p.m.
Meanwhile, on January
18, from 12:00 to 18:00, anyone will be able to join the event during
which books will travel from the old library building to the new one by
being handed from one person to the next. The event, called ''Chain of Booklovers''
will also serve as the official unveiling of the new Latvian National
Library building ''Gaismas Pils'' (''The Palace of Light'') to the
public. This path of books will cross the River Daugava, symbolizing the
fundamental values which have for many generations developed the core
of Latvian culture, and which are immortalized in books. Following the
hand-carried delivery of books, at 6 p.m. in the "Palace of Light", the
opening for „A Nation’s Bookshelf”
will be held, made up of selections from readers donated to the library - books that changed their lives.Check out the Opening Event programme and latest news at the www.riga2014.org cultural portal.