10. June
at 21.00
Slovenska filharmonija (The Slovenian Philharmonic) - Ljubljana


We would like to inform you that due to the poor weather forecast, the opening concert of the International Festival Imago Sloveniae and Summer in Old Ljubljana has been moved to the Slovenian Philharmonic.
Free tickets will be available at the Slovenian Philharmonic from 7.30 pm.

Conductor: Jakob Barbo

Pia Novak, soprano
Gaja Sorč, soprano
Grega Jezeršek, tenor
Gregor Ravnik, tenor
Rok Zaletel Černoš, violin


Bedřich Smetana (1824–1884), Overture from The Bartered Bride
conductor: Jakob Barbo

Giuseppe Verdi (1813–1901), De’ miei bollenti spiriti, Alfredo’s aria from La Traviata
soloist: Grega Jezeršek

Aleksandra Naumovski Potisk, Moje hrepenenje [My Longing]
soloist: Gaja Sorč

Aleksandra Naumovski Potisk, Izgubljen [Lost]
soloist: Gaja Sorč

Giacomo Puccini (1858–1924), O mio babbino caro, Lauretta’s aria from Gianni Schicchi
soloist: Pia Novak

Peter Iljič Čajkovski (1840–1893), Kuda, kuda vi udalilis, Lensky’s aria from Eugene Onegin
soloist: Gregor Ravnik

Peter Iljič Čajkovski (1840–1893), Valse Scherzo, Op. 34
soloist: Rok Zaletel Černoš

Gabriel Fauré (1845–1924), Pavane, Op. 50

Giacomo Puccini (1858–1924), Tra voi belle, brune e bionde, Des Grieux’s aria from Manon Lescaut
soloist: Grega Jezeršek

Giacomo Puccini (1858–1924), Si, mi chiamano Mimi, Mimì’s aria from La Bohème
soloist: Gaja Sorč

Giacomo Puccini (1858–1924), Intermezzo from Manon Lescaut

Giacomo Puccini (1858–1924), Quando m’en vo’, Musetta’s aria from La bohème
soloist: Pia Novak

Franz Lehar (1870–1948), Dein ist mein ganzes Herz, Prince Sou-Chong’s aria from The Land of Smiles
soloist: Gregor Ravnik

Giuseppe Verdi (1813–1901), Libiamo, ne’ lieti calici, Brindisi from La Traviata
soloists: Gaja Sorč, Pia Novak, Gregor Ravnik, Grega Jezeršek

The opening of 36th International Festival Imago Sloveniae and Summer in Ljubljana Old Town is dedicated to creating opportunities for the next generation of artists. The festival will open with a gala concert featuring performances by the finest young Slovenian singers Pia Novak, Gaja Sorč, Grega Jezeršek, and Gregor Ravnik joined by exquisite young violinist Rok Zaletel Černoš. They will be accompanied by the Symphony Orchestra of the Slovene National Theatre Maribor under the baton of exceptional young conductor Jakob Barbo. The concert programme will honor the 100th anniversary of the death of famous composers Giacomo Puccini and Gabriel Fauré,  and 200th anniversary of birth of Bedřich Smetana. The concert will features also premieres of two pieces by Aleksandra Naumovski Potisk, who in recent years has rapidly established herself as one of the central Slovenian composers of the new generation.

Jakob Barbo has worked with the Symphony Orchestra of the Academy of Music Ljubljana, where he conducted during the 2017/2018 Tutti subscription season concerts, and prepared a Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart program with the Slovenian Philharmonic Orchestra for his master’s concert in the 2021/2022 season. He chiefly conducts opera productions at the Slovene National Theatre Opera and Ballet Ljubljana, Glasbena Matica Ljubljana, Slovenian Chamber Music Theatre, Cankar Centre, the of Music, Cultural Centre Janez Trdina, and others. He graduated from the Academy of Music in Ljubljana under Marko Letonja and Simon Dvoršak. During his studies, he also trained at the Mozarteum in Salzburg with professors Reinhard Goebel and Bruno Weil and at the Vienna University of Music and Performing Arts under Johannes Wildner.

Young soprano Pia Novak‘s most recent significant achievements include first place and a gold plaque, as well as a special award for the best performance of a Slovenian composer’s piece (national competition TEMSIG, 2019), participation in the finals and second place (Alida Vane Award Singing Competition, Latvia, 2020), first place and a gold award (international competition IMMC Maribor, 2021), and first place and a gold plaque, with special awards for the best program and performance of a novelty (international competition Aegis carminis, 2021). Pia has received the “Mayor’s Recognition of the Municipality of Lendava” (2020) for her contribution to the cultural field and the Škrjanec Award (2021) from the Conservatory of Music and Ballet for her academic achievements. She is currently studying at the Academy of Music and Performing Arts in Mannheim.

Exceptional young Slovenian soprano Gaja Sorč performed in numerous projects with various excellent ensembles. She won her category at the Musica Goritiensis 2021 international competition. She participated in many projects of the Academy of Music, including the roles of Papagena (The Magic Flute, W.A. Mozart), Flora (The Turn of the Screw, B. Britten), Mini Opera, and Mini Opera II. She debuted as the Hop Princess in the eponymous operetta by Radovan Gobec, sang the lead in Aleš Makovac’s Julia, and performed the roles of Nella and Lauretta (Gianni Schicchi, G. Puccini) at the prestigious Berlin Opera Academy, as well as the roles of Minka and Tina in the opera House of Mercy by Tomaž Svete. She completed her vocal studies at the Academy of Music in Ljubljana. She regularly attends masterclasses with top professors and is an active member of the Slovenian Chamber Music Theatre.

The exceptional young tenor Grega Jezeršek’s first foray into the world of opera was Don Curzio in Mozart’s opera The Marriage of Figaro in the accompaniment of the Young Ljubljana Soloists Orchestra. Having achieved top placements at international competitions, he was accepted into the Berlin Opera Academy, where he performed as Alfred in Strauss’s Die Fledermaus. The next step of his international career took him to perform with ADADS (Accademia Dell’Arte Dello Spettacolo Milano), as Alfredo in their production of La Traviata at Teatro Sociale in Busto Arsizio. Jezeršek has since showcased his amazing talent in both orchestral concerts and chamber ensembles, delivering numerous performances across Slovenia and Croatia.

Extraordinary Slovenian tenor Gregor Ravnik has been receiving the highest awards from his youth and throughout his undergraduate and graduate studies at the Academy of Music in Ljubljana, including top placements at TEMSIG Slovenian national competitions for several consecutive years, special awards, the highest number of points in his category at the international competition in Herceg Novi, and scholarships for participation in the German international festival Oper Oder-Spree. He also received the student Prešeren Award from the Academy of Music and placed highly in the finals of the international singing competition Virgilijus Noreika in Vilnius. Since his 2014 solo role at the world premiere of the opera War and Peace by Larry Coryell, he has been invited to play numerous leading roles in a wide range of opera productions.

Rok Zaletel Černoš, the first Slovenian violinist to participate in the prestigious International Tchaikovsky Competition in Moscow last year, was admitted to the Ljubljana Music Academy at the age of 16 as an exceptionally talented student. During his studies, he received numerous awards including the esteemed Prešeren Award and performed several solo performances with notable orchestras such as the RTV Slovenia Symphony Orchestra, the Slovene National Theatre Maribor Symphony Orchestra, Vivaldi and Mendelssohn Chamber Orchestras etc. He auditioned for the Gustav Mahler Youth Orchestra and performed in Europe’s most important halls, including the Musikverein, Elbphilharmonie Hamburg, Alte Oper Frankfurt, Luxembourg Philharmonic, Semperoper Dresden, and Madrid Auditorio. He is currently completing his master’s degree and finishing his studies at the University of Music and Performing Arts in Vienna.

The main instrumental ensemble of Slovenia’s Podravje region, the Symphony Orchestra of the Slovene National Theatre Maribor, evolved in the Maribor Opera House, which has been active since 1919. Just two years after Slovenia declared its independence, the orchestra was formed under the name Maribor Philharmonic and soon began to organize its first independent symphonic concerts, which have since become a regular staple. Today, the Symphony Orchestra of the Slovene National Theatre Maribor is an indispensable of the SNG opera and ballet Maribor. Under the batons of many internationally recognized conductors from Slovenia and abroad, the orchestra masterfully recreates musical-theatrical works and instrumental music of a variety of genres, encompassing Baroque, Classical, and Modern compositions from the 19th and 20th centuries, as well as the most current symphonic works.

Aleksandra Naumovski Potisk is not only an exceptionally active pianist, but also an exceedingly fruitful composer, who first came to the attention of Slovenian audiences in March 2017, when her first children’s opera titled “Glasbena Hiša” (Musical House) premiered at the Slovenian Philharmonic (in coproduction with Cona 8, The Slovenian Philharmonic, and SNG Opera and Ballet Maribor). Her next children’s opera Martin Krpan, which premiered at the Brechthaus in Berlin in 2017, counts fifty performances. In November 2018, her first ballet for children titled “La Fontainove basni” (La Fontaine’s Fables) premiered with a top-tier ballet ensemble at Ljubljana’s Cankarjev Dom. In 2021 she won the SpevSLAM competition and saw the premiere of her opera “Mehurčki” (Bubbles). At the invitation of the Slovenian Embassy, her cantata “Misijonar,” which she wrote for the bicentennial of noted missionary Dr. Ignacij Knoblehar, was performed on the 30th Slovenian Independence Day at the Basilica of the Twelve Holy Apostles in Rome. In March of 2023, her Concertino for Clarinet and Chamber Orchestra, Op. 14, with the meaningful subtitle “Ljubljanske Vedute” (Vedutas of Ljubljana), premiered at the illustrious Cankarjev Dom cultural centre. This year, our programmes will premiere a selcetion of her works, two of which will be performed at this Opening Concert.

Admission free.

In case of rain, the concert will be held at the Slovenian Philharmonic Hall. 

General sponsor:


The event is part of the June in Ljubljana Festival.





In collaboration with:

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Izdelava spletne strani: Pozitiven Design, Oblikovanje: LUKS Studio