The next Saaremaa Opera Festival takes place from July 20–25, 2021.




Ticket refunding period has been over. All purchased tickets are automatically valid for summer 2021 performances on the same terms and seats, you don’t need to do anything.

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Gioachino Rossini


Tue, 20.07.2021  Kuressaare Castle Opera House / 20.00

Croatian National Theatre Zagreb

Opera in three acts

Chief conductor of the theatre: Marcello Mottadelli

Director: Max Emanuel Cenčić

Premiered at Croatian National on April 12th 2019


Two hundred years after its world premiere on 24 September 1819 at Naples, the opera ensemble of the Croatian National Theatre in Zagreb is producing Gioachino Rossini’s „La donna del lago“ (The Lady of the Lake), composed for the libretto of Andrea Leone Tottola, for the first time.

This three-act opera achieved enviable success at its premiere but over the next hundred years it became completely forgotten. In the shadow of the fight by the rebels against the Scottish crown, three men are in love with Elena, the daughter of the king’s main rival: the warrior Rodrigo, Malcolm, a brave supporter of the rebellion, and King Giacomo V disguised as Uberto.

After his military and political triumph, the king offers the hand of his daughter Elena to the man she does not love.

Famous Croatian counter tenor Max Emanuel Cenčić is staging Rossini’s opera in Zagreb in a co-production with the Opéra de Lausanne and taking one of the leading roles – that of Malcolm.
The part was originally written for a mezzosoprano and this is the first time that a man is performing in this role.

„Psychoanalysis, humor, romance and eroticism … Intelligent, minute-to-minute detailing is a multi-layered entity with a wonderful finishing touch. Great show you shouldn’t miss!“

– Večernji list

Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart


Wed, 21.07.2021  Kuressaare Castle Opera House / 20.00

Croatian National Theatre Zagreb

Opera in two acts

Conductor: Nikša Bareza
Director: Krešimir Dolenčić.
Set and costume design: Simon Bejer (Australia)
Choreographer: Leo Mujić

Premiered at Croatian National Theatre in Zagreb on November 22nd 2018

The last opera by the genius composer Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart is a remarkable work that unites all the best features of one of the greatest composers in history who in the form of fairy tales told the story of the struggle of good and evil, the victory of love and sincerity over intrigue, evil and death. The Magic Flute is one of the pinnacles of operatic art and is a challenge for both performers and the public.

Based on the German libretto of Emanuel Schikaneder, it was premiered on September 30th 1791 in Vienna, just two months before Mozart’s death.

The director – Krešimir Dolenčić, as a Fulbright scholar,taught acting to students of singing and graduate students at Rice University in Houston, after which he was invited to teach at the Trinity College of Music in London. He has directed 45 opera premières on the stages in Croatia, Slovenia, England, United States and China. In China, Shanghai (for Verdi’s year 2000.) and Beijing (for opening of Beijing festival 2003.) he directed the world biggest opera production ever since, Aida, with 2800 participants on stage, and cast from eight countries in the theatre-stadium for 55.000 people. Many of his opera works have been on the repertoire for several years, and some have been performed on the stages more than a hundred times in almost 20 years.

“Who was the best? Nobody! Everyone was the best. Indeed, you should see and hear the Zagreb Magic Flute, where everyone feels good, and the audience leaves lighted up. Rarity.” – Jutarnji list

Gaetano Donizetti


Thu, 22.07.2021  Kuressaare Castle Opera House / 20.00

Croatian National Theatre Zagreb

Opera in two acts

Conductor: Marcello Mottadelli
Stage director, set designer, costume designer: Pier Luigi Pizzi
Premiered at Croatian National Theatre in Zagreb on February 14th, 2020

At the heart of the opera is the quarrel between two well-known and influential families, Ashtons and Ravenswoods, whose mutual disputes take place in times of political turmoil and struggle for power.
The love of two youngsters from opposing families is driving a series of unlucky events that will eventually end in deaths of two lovers. Intrigues, false letters, doubts and rivalry are some of the exciting elements of Donizetti’s masterpiece.

The whole work exudes the virtuosity of the musical and vocal structure by places Donizetti among the greatest opera composers of the first half of the nineteenth century.

Pier Luigi Pizzi is an legendary italian set designer, director and costume designer born in Milan in 1930. Since 1951 he has worked as a set designer and costume designer, collaborating with drama and opera performances. Presented in the most important theaters and festivals of the world, he has received prestigious international awards, including the title of Officier des Arts et des Lettres in France, of the Great Official for the Merit of the Italian Republic and in 2006 by Commandeur de l’Ordre du Mérite Culturel , the highest honor in the cultural field of the Principality of Monaco.


Thursday, 22.07.2021 Kuressaare Castle Midnight Lounge/ 23.30


Five fascinating human-sized puppets, a luminescent opera soprano, and a shadowy figure tell the tale of a world gone horribly wrong. A dramatically rendered, contemporary song-cycle imagines what little is left after an unavoidable global climate-catastrophe have struck in this sensual and moving puppet-dystopia.

Sew Flunk Fury Wit creates enigmatic music dramatic performances in a hard to categorize hybrid genre of hyper-surreal human sized neo-puppetry, poetic dramatic worlds and seductive soundscapes of new composed opera and electronica.

Giacomo Puccini


Fri, 23.07.2021 Kuressaare Castle Opera House / 20.00

Croatian National Theatre Zagreb


Opera in three acts

The stage director: Andrea Cigni
Set designer: Dario Gessati
Costume designer: Valeria Donata Bettella
Light designer: Fiammetta Baldiserri

Performance of Croatian National Theatre Zagreb

The great Italian composer Giacomo Puccini wrote the opera Madama Butterfly at the end of 1903. He also recorded the time when he put off the pen: it was December 27, 1903, shortly before midnight. Although he believed in the success of the opera, at the premiere on February 17, 1904, in Milan Scala, at the end of the performance, there were numerous clerics and general disapproval.

But Puccini remained convinced of the quality of his work. The performance in Brescia in May 1904 gave him the right and then began the triumphal journey of this opera on the Italian and world stages.

After more than fifteen years of last production, this immortal opera comes back to the stage of the Croatian National Theater. It’s produced in co-production with Fondazione Arena di Verona.


Sat, 24.07.2021 Kuressaare Castle Opera House / 20.00

Soloists, opera choir and symphony orchestra of Croatian National Theatre Zagreb

Chief conductor of the theatre: Marcello Mottadelli


Sun, 25.07.2021 Kuressaare Castle Opera House / 14.00

JUKU! is a funny family musical, with a libretto by Leelo Tungal, is based on the popular Estonian joke character Juku and focuses on the relationship between fathers and sons. The stage director is Andrus Vaarik, conductor Jüri-Ruut Kangur and mezzo-soprano Juuli Lill is in the title role.