Zhani Ciko: Without the kindness of Defence Minister, Mr. Arben Imami and Chief of General Staff, Major General Gjunkshi, who have opened the doors not just once to work together, this deed would not have had sense. Thanks to this cooperation we can say that the show has dimensions that the public will appreciate.
19 June 2012
In the framework of the planned activities on the occasion of the 100th Anniversary of Independence, under the auspices of Prime Minister of Albania, Mr. Sali Berisha, on the evening of the 18th of June, at the Opera and Ballet Theatre (OBT) was performed the premiere of the opera “Skërnderbeu”, of the distinguished composer Prenk Jakova. This deed was performed on the OBT’s stage by the Italian stage-manager Carlo Saletti and concert master Zhani Ciko. According to organizers, it returns to the Albanian fans after 40 years, keeping intact the period of the events, on 1443-1444.
Present at the first night was Prime Minister of Albania, Mr. Sali Berisha, the Speaker of the Albanian Parliament, Ms. Topalli, members of the government, representatives of diplomatic corps accredited in Tirana, and many citizens.
For the realization and staging of this opera performed over 200 artists, soloists of the National Theater of Opera and Ballet, NTOB Symphonic Orchestra, artists of the National Ensemble, the choir of the University of Arts, children’s choir of the Artistic Lyceum “Jordan Misja”, selected military of the Armed Forces, as well as instrumentalists of the Wind Orchestra of the Armed Forces. The role of Skënderbeu was entrusted to the famous American tenor Roy Stevens, who was very happy that he will incarnate our national hero, while stage-manager Carlo Saletti followed the whole music of the deed that Jakova composed based on the booklet of the famous poet of the ’60-70 Llazar Siliqi. This production aims to show a human figure of the Albanian national hero, as much as to maintain its mythical dimension when we talk about the warrior and leader against the Ottoman march towards Europe.
The director of Opera and Ballet Theatre, Zhani Ciko, who is at the same time the concert master in this production, thanked all the collaborators who helped in realizing the staging of this great deed, making possible the conception and maximal approach of the era of our national hero to its dimensions. A great merit in realizing the staging of this opera has also the cooperation with other institutions, because OBT alone could not have realized the opera without their help and cooperation. In this aspect, an extraordinary contribution was also given by the Ministry of Defence. “Without the kindness of the Defence Minister, Mr. Arben Imami and Chief of General Staff, Major General Gjunkshi, who have opened the doors not just once to work together, this deed would not have had sense. Thanks to this cooperation we can say that the show has dimensions that the public will appreciate”, - said Master Ciko.
On the other hand, the renowned conductor of the Wind Orchestra of the Armed Forces, LTC Halim Teqja, said that in the framework of the 100th Anniversary of Independence, the Armed Forces and Ministry of Defence have become promoters of a wide variety of activities including the art and culture field. “With the staging of the opera ‘Skërnderbeu’ of Prek Jakova, after more than four decades, the Armed Forces contribution is palpable, not only with logistical support means, but also with the artistic forces. Our participation with a group of 11 musicians at the final moment of the opera “Skënderbeu”, not only adds emotions, beauty and performance to this deed, but at the same time it also continues to strengthen the contribution that the Wind Orchestra of the Armed Forces, in cooperation with the Opera and Ballet Theatre, have consistently given”, - said among other things the military conductor Teqja.
For realization of this deed participated 35 selected representatives of the Armed Forces, of whom 11 instrumentalists of WOAF, 21 military personnel from the Commando Battalion of Land Forces, skilled and physically prepared, and 3 military of the Security Battalion. The participation and their contribution to the realization of this great deed of Albanian opera testifies once again not only the excellent cooperation between the Ministry of Defence and the Center of Culture, Media and Defence Publications of the Armed Forces with the main institutions of art and culture in the country, but also for the possibility that our military structures might be involved to realize promotions of this kind, even in other areas.