Zoran Djerić, Serbian National Theatre: So far, our “Bella Ciao” clip has had 2 million views and 50,000 comments!

As soon as we get the opportunity, we will return to rehearsals and realize our plans, which, principally, are centered around the celebration of the 70th anniversary of the SNP Ballet.

Despite the state of emergency and the epidemic because of which we are self-isolating, we will continue to share stories and news about developments in the political, diplomatic, economic and cultural scene in Serbia and the region. We will interview and record the statements from selected persons from the world of economics and diplomacy, as well as public figures.

Bella Ciao for the entire world – SNP Novi Sad

How did you organize the SNP’s activities during the current period?

The administration of the Serbian National Theatre, which the largest national cultural institution in Vojvodina with the highest number of employees, immediately started to adhere to the Serbian Government’s decree and the instructions of the Provincial Secretariat for Culture, Public Information and Relations with Religious Communities. We formed a crisis headquarters and two teams – a security & emergencies team and a team to monitor and implement security measures in art and work units.

All rehearsals and activities of our Ballet, Opera and Drama departments were discontinued and other activities were gradually reduced. Due to the fact that, in the meantime, a state of emergency was introduced, we left only on-duty staff (security and maintenance), who are strictly adhering to the introduced measures.

But the Theatre’s work did not die down. Online and phone communication with and between the theatre staff, who are now confined to their homes, did not stop. We started broadcasting recordings of our plays, as well as videos that were especially made for the current situation in our world and in our theatre company. I would particularly like to mention the video clip in which our Orchestra performs their version of “Bella Ciao”, conducted by Andrea Solinas, a guest conductor from Italy. So far, the clip has had 2 million views and 50,000 comments. It was also aired on the Radio and Television of Serbia (RTS), as well as the media in Germany and Italy, where it received an outstanding reception.

We will continue to work in a similar spirit. In addition to plays, we will also broadcast recordings of repertoire that has been realized in the previous period at the SNP, and we will make special feature stories about our activities.

Festival performances also lie ahead of us as we have been invited to participate in almost all national festivals here. They are now postponed but we do hope they will take place at a later date. Of course, we will participate in the 2021 European Capital of Culture programmes. Furthermore, we have several exceptional projects that we would like to implement next year.

How are you spending your private time during the pandemic?

I am constantly communicating with my closest associates, family and friends. I keep track of what’s going on and preparing to return to the Theatre.

Photo: Branislav Lučić

What will you do first after the state of emergency is cancelled?

We planned to do a lot and we set many things in motion. As soon as we get the opportunity, we will return to rehearsals and realize our plans, which, principally, are centered around the celebration of the 70th anniversary of the SNP Ballet. We have an important premiere coming up – Stevan Hristić’s ballet „Ohridska Legenda“(The Legend of Ohrid), choreographed by Vladimir Logunov. In terms of our Drama Department, and if everything goes according to plan, we have a few big plays to stage (Dostoevsky’s „Crime and Punishment“ and Shakespeare’s „The Tempest“ and „The Two Gentlemen of Verona“). The Opera Department plans to stage a premiere of Mozart’s „Don Giovanni“. If possible, we are finally going to fully implement the Creative Europe project called „Cross Opera“.


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