Dubrovnik Summer Festival (also known as Dubrovnik Summer Games) are one of the most famous festivals in all of Croatia and the region. They were first organized in 1950 in an effort to add to the cultural offering of the city of Dubrovnik. Dubrovnik was always at the forefront in regards to culture and intellectual offerings when talking both about Croatia and the region itself. Many of the famous citizens of Dubrovnik’s were famous artists, most notably Marin Držić and Ivan Gundulić who are seen as giants for Croatian literature.
Dubrovnik Summer Festival takes place every year between the 10th of July and 25th of August. Above all, its purpose is to celebrate performance art and artists in a breathtaking setting of beautiful squares, buildings, forts and many other locations that serve as a perfect setting for shows and performances. The Dubrovnik Summer Festival consist of four major programs:
The drama program is centered around theatrical performances of notable Croatia and European writers. The most famous and mainstay performances include plays and theater shows written by the likes of Držić, Gundulić, Goethe, Shakespeare, Goldoni etc. The impressive location of the Lovrijenac fort is used as the sight for Shakespeare’s Hamlet, as it perfectly depicts the location described in the epic drama. The harbor plays the location of the Goldoni’s Fisherman’s Quarrell and city squares hosts other shows, ranging from comedies to Greek tragedies.
The music program hosts the best composers, groups, and soloists from all around the world that come to Dubrovnik to celebrate the art of music. As with the drama shows, Dubrovnik offers a vast array of attractive locations that add to the experience. One of the most famous ones is the Rectors Palace Atrium that offers an amazing acoustic location for musical performances.
The opera program hosts opera troupes from around the world. The first operatic performance was carried out in 1951 by the Sarajevo Opera and in the next decade, it was centered around guest group performances. In 1971, the first opera was staged in the Rectors Palace Atrium and that proved to be the best way to put opera and the Dubrovnik Summer Games together. The great acoustics of the Palace allow the operatic performances to reach their full potential.
The ballet program is centered around the terrace of the Revelin palace, where the ballet groups perform their shows. Over the years the Dubrovnik Summer Festival has been the host to a vast number of ballet groups that helped to enrich the offering of the festival.
So if you find yourself in Dubrovnik during the summer months of the year be sure to take in one of the shows in order to get the best out of your stay.