Ceremonie otwarcia Europejskich Stolic Kultury 2024 już za nami!

The opening ceremonies of the European Capitals of Culture 2024 are already behind us!

In January and early February, the European Capitals of Culture 2024 were inaugurated with unique events: Bad Ischl in Austria, Tartu in Estonia and Bodø in Norway. Read what makes this year's capitals of culture stand out and what they offer to viewers and guests throughout the year.

Bad Ischl, Austria

Culture is the new salt

The January opening ceremony in Bad Ischl - a spa town located in central Austria, in an area famous for salt mining - began with a procession of 23 people of light, symbolizing the 23 towns of the Salzkammergut region, which is celebrating the title of ECoC this year. The people of light were accompanied by 23 brass musicians who performed a work composed and arranged by the legend of Mnozil Brass, Leonhard Paul (Austria). After the speeches opening the year of the title, the city received the award. Melina Mercouri in the amount of EUR 1.5 million. The opening events included elements typical of Austria and the Salzkammergut region, emphasizing that the European Capital of Culture is a project created primarily thanks to the involvement of local communities. Internationally renowned artist Christoph Sietzen (Austria) began with a drum solo, followed by a yodel performance by Hubert von Goisern with 1,000 singers under the direction of the choir by Susanna Fabian (Austria). The Ebensee fashion school impressed with its collection of paper costumes. An internationally renowned LGBTIQ+ icon, Tom Neuwirth aka Conchita Wurst, returned to the Salzkammergut with a moving performance. The culmination of the opening ceremony was a spectacle of bodies dancing in clouds of powder, "Powder Dance", prepared by choreographer Doris Uhlich as a symbol of celebrating physical diversity and individual beauty.

You can read more about the events in the year of the title at: https://www.salzkammergut-2024.at/en/home/

Tartu, Estonia

Arts of survival

On January 26, Estonia's second largest city, Tartu and southern Estonia, inaugurated the year of the title of European Capital of Culture. The grand opening under the slogan "All Is One!" A year full of 1,000 events has begun. An audience of thousands gathered in the heart of the university town on the banks of the Emajõgi River. The show, in which over 100 actors, dancers and musicians take part, was opened by the President of Estonia Alar Karis, the representative of the European Commission Kadri Simson and the mayor of Tartu Urmas Klaas.

In his inaugural speech, President Alar Karis emphasized that Tartu has been the center of Estonian culture and spirit for centuries. “I hope that the spirit of those on whose shoulders we stand will powerfully carry the title of European Capital throughout the year

Culture both here in my hometown and throughout the rest of Estonia.”

The Mayor of Tartu referred to President Lennart Meri and his concept of an affirmative Europe. “President Meri said that the precondition for a functional European Union is consent. Yes to differences, which in turn is yes to strength. I believe and hope that the year of Tartu and southern Estonia as European Capital of Culture will be the year of saying "yes" throughout Europe. The mayor emphasized the main theme of Tartu 2024, the Art of Survival, which talks about freedom and strength in diversity.

Opening performance "All Is One!" focused on the importance of being with loved ones and building bonds. Moreover, it showed the past, present and future of Tartu through dance, song and visual arts. Estonian artists, Trad.Attack!, Sander Mölder, Lonitseera, and many other actors and dancers took the stage together with children and the elderly. In total, over a hundred people performed on stage.

The ceremonial opening day began with a children's disco for kindergarten groups. A warm-up party in Tartu's town hall square set the pre-ceremonial mood with electronic music. After the grand opening, a ceremonial street procession led crowds to the Estonian National Museum for an open-air event.

European Capital of Culture Tartu 2024 is the main event in Estonia this year. The year-round program in Tartu and southern Estonia presents over 1,000 events inspired by the artistic concept of Arts of Survival, i.e. knowledge, skills and values ​​that will help us lead a good life in the future.

More at: https://tartu2024.ee/en

Bodø, Norway


The opening ceremony in northern Norway (February 3) was prepared in cooperation with Nordland Theater. The spectacular event centered around the port of Bodø, with a specially built floating stage. The set design referred to the island character of the Norwegian coast and was made largely of natural materials. Almost the entire structure allows for the reuse of its elements. The organizers turned out to be very well prepared both in terms of ensuring safety and resistance to unforeseen weather phenomena. Even though the day before, the storm Ingunn devastated the coast and destroyed many elements of the scenography, the event took place without any damage.

During the opening events, the moving and difficult topic of persecution of the indigenous Sámi population was strongly discussed. The crowd gathered together to follow the mobile story, also with scenography. The importance of the event was emphasized by the presence of the Queen of Norway, Sonja.

After the main ceremony, concerts were held in many places in the city center, including non-obvious ones: including: a Ukrainian singer performed in a shopping mall, and an opera performance took place in a clothing boutique. The whole city celebrated until late at night.

Facts about Bodø2024

→ Bodø is the first European Capital of Culture north of the Arctic Circle.

→ Bodø2024 is the largest cultural project in the history of northern Norway.

→ Only two other Norwegian cities, Bergen (2000) and Stavanger (2008), have already held the status of European Capital of Culture.

→ The Bodø2024 program (called ARCTICulation) aims to tell new stories from the Arctic. Its structure reflects the five seasons and the pulse of the Arctic.

→ About 1,000 events are planned for the title year.

→ The three themes selected for Bodø2024 reflect Bodø and Nordland's identity: Nature Art, Fish and Ships and Transformation.

More at: https://www.bodo2024.no/

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