11. June
at 21.00
Kongresni trg (Congress Square) - Ljubljana



SNG (Slovene National Theatre) Maribor Symphony Orchestra
RTS Choir (Choir of Radio Television of Serbia)
Croatian Radiotelevision (HRT) Choir

Conductors: Slaven Kulenović, Bojan Sudjić

Alina Yarovaya, soprano
Aljaž Farasin, tenor
Nikola Pajanović, violin


Mykola Vitaliyovych Lysenko (1842–1912)
Taras Bulba – Overture

Henryk Wieniawski (1835–1880)
Polonaise de concert, Op. 4

Antonín Dvořák (1824–1884)
Slavonic Dance in G minor, Op. 46, No. 8

Eugen Suchoň (1908–1993)
Wedding Scene (Scene 3) from the opera Krútňava (The Whirlpool)

Bedřich Smetana (1824–1884)
Jeník’s Aria from the opera The Bartered Bride

Marjan Kozina (1907–1966)
Bela krajina (Symphonic Scherzo)

Stevan Mokranjac (1856–1914)

Ninth Garland (Songs from Montenegro)
Final song from the Second Garland (From My Fatherland)
Final song from the Fourteenth Garland (Songs from Bosnia)
Opening song from the Tenth Garland (Songs from Ohrid)
Final song from the Fifth Garland (From My Fatherland)

Pancho Vladigerov (1899–1978)
Bilyana (Allegro comodo), from Seven Bulgarian Symphonic Dances, Op. 23

Jakov Gotovac (1895–1982)
Final Song and Kolo from the opera Ero the Joker

Alexandra Pakhmutova (1929)
Belovezhskaya Pushcha

Nikolay Rimsky-Korsakov (1844–1908)
Marfa’s final Scene and Aria from the opera The Tsar’s Bride

Alexander Porfiryevich Borodin (1833–1887)
Polovetsian Dances from the opera Prince Igor

The gala opening of the 31st International Festival Imago Sloveniae is dedicated to the 15th anniversary of The Forum of Slavic Cultures, an international foundation, a non-profit and non-government organization, whose idea emerged in the cultural circles at the turn of the 21th century (the FSC was officially founded in 2004). The central commitment of the Foundation is implementation of joint cultural, educational and research projects that promote Slavic cultural heritage and creativity.

The musical evening, ready for this special occasion, is a »sound panorama« of Slavic traditions and their transition to artistic – operatic and symphonic – music. The programme is designed to include works representing all thirteen Slavic countries, although due to some constraints the representation of nations in some cases is only indirect (related to folklore templates). The evening in such a free design is conveniently named Slavic Rhapsody.

Alina Yarovaya was born in Lugansk (Ukraine) and completed her studies at the Donetsk S. S. Prokofiev State Academy. She has attended master-classes given by Montserrat Caballé, Leon Rosenberg, Diana Zola, Richard Bado, Anna Margulis, Anatoly Kuznetsov, Badri Maisuradze and Irina Maslennikova. She was a diploma-winner at the Elena Obraztsova International Competition of Young Opera Singers (St. Petersburg, 2009) and 2nd prize-winner at the International Molodaya gvardiya Competition of Patriotic Song (Krasnodon, Ukraine, 2002). From 2005 to 2009 she was a soloist at the Donetsk National Theatre of Music and Drama, where she prepared and sang several leading roles in operas and classical musicals, including the role of Susanna (Le Nozze di Figaro). Her repertoire also includes Musetta (La Boheme) and Marfa (Rimsky-Korsakov’s The Tsar’s Bride). From 2009 to 2011 she was a Bolshoi Theatre of Russia Young Opera Programme artist. In February 2010 she made her Bolshoi Theatre debut in the role of Second Lady in Mozart’s Die Zauberflöte. In october 2010 she took part in the new production of Don Giovanni, singing the role of Zerlina (conductor Teodor Currentzis). In april 2012 she performed the part of Sophie in the production of Der Rosenkavalier (conductor Vassily Sinaisky). In the season 2014/15 season she was a regular soloist with the Bolshoi Theatre opera company. Her roles with Bolshoi include Pamina, Despina, Xenia (Boris Godunov), Frasquita (Carmen), The child (L’enfant et les Sortilèges) and others. In the spring of 2010, she took part in the tour of the National Philharmonic Orchestra and Moscow Virtuosi in Russia, Belorussia, France, China and USA with Vladimir Spivakov. With the Musica Viva Chamber Orchestra, she sang soprano solos in Haydn’s Stabat Mater, W.A. Mozart’s C-minor Mass and Antonio Vivaldi’s Gloria e Imeneo at the Tchaikovsky Concert Hall and the Moscow International House of Music.

Aljaž Farasin completed his singing studies with »Summa cum laude« honors at Music Academy in Ljubljana (with Prof. Vlatka Oršanić). He made his stage debut in 2009, singing Sempronio in Haydn’s Lo speziale (The Apothecary) at the Slovenian National Theatre (Opera) in Ljubljana. He soon added to his repertoire the roles like Tamino, Don Ottavio, Nemorino, Rinnucio, Camille (The Merry Widow), Alfred (Die Fledermaus), Ecclitico (Il Mondo della Luna). In 2012, he started expanding his repertoire with operas by Verdi, Puccini, Tchaikovsky, Janáček, Massenet, Bizet and Gounod. As a leading soloist of the Opera Company of the Slovenian National Theatre in Ljubljana, he appeared in numerous performances of Verdi’s La Traviata (Alfredo), Rigoletto (Duca di Mantova), Nabucco (Ismaele), Macbeth (Macduff), Puccini’s La Bohème (Rodolfo) and Madama Butterfly (Pinkerton), Janáček’s Katya Kabanova (Boris), and Bizet’s Carmen (Don José). He also performed various roles in the German repertoire: Salome (Narraboth), Fidelio (Jaquino), Der fliegende Hölander (Der Steuermann). In the season 2015/16 he made his debut at the Croatian National Theatre in Rijeka as Alfredo in La Traviata and started an extensive collaboration with the Rijeka Opera Company, where he was recently engaged as the principal soloist. Besides Duca, Rodolfo, Don José and Pinkerton he sang the roles of Lenski (Eugene Onegin), Werther (Werther), Fenton (Falstaff), Roméo (Roméo et Juliette), and the title role in Gound’s Faust, which he also recorded for Naxos, alongside Carlo Colombara, Lucio Gallo, Marjukka Tepponen, Diana Haller and others, Ville Matvejeff conducting. With the Rijeka Opera Company he also recorded Il Ritorno del Marinaio (the role of Niccolo). In 2015 he sang Don José in Carmen on tour in Japan together with Veselina Kassarova in the title role. In the same year he made his debut as Godefroy de Vaudemont in Iolanta in the Opera of the National Theatre in Prague. In January 2018 he appeared as Boris in Katya Kabanova in Opera de Rennes, and in September the same year as Don José in Carmen on a tour in Belgium and Netherlands. He also performed at concerts and in various opera productios with Sumi Jo, Veronika Dzihoeva, Maida Hundeling, Tibor Bogany, Loris Voltolini, Nikša Bareza, Jan Latham-Koenig, Jaroslav Kyzlink, Ricardo Casero, Alberto Martinolli, Stephano Pellegrino, Uroš Lajovic, Marko Letonja, Daniel Lipton, Alexandar Marković and others.

Nikola Pajanović was born in 2000 in Ljubljana. He started playing violin at the age of six. As an eight-year-old, he participated in the Euritmia Povoletto International Competition (Italy) and won the Gold Award. In 2016, he was the finalist of the Slovenian selection for the Eurovision Contest of Young Musicians, and at the national selection in 2018 he was chosen to represent Slovenia at this prestigious competition. In the final stage in Edinburgh, he appeared with the BBC Scottish Symphony Orchestra and won the second prize. In 2016, he performed Paganini’s Concerto No. 1 with the SNG Maribor Simphony Orchestra. He appeared in the Music Youth Series, in the Young Virtuosos Cycle (Festival Ljubljana) and at independent recitals in Tuscany and Belgrade. In 2017, as a laureate of the Kocian Competition, he performed Beethoven’s Violin Concerto accompanied by the Symphonic Chamber Orchestra of Pardubice. He is working with pedagogues such as Igor Ozim, Zakhar Bron, Ana Chumachenko, Vadim Gluzman, Viktor Tretyakov, Stefan Milenković, Ning Feng, Benjamin Ziervogel, Gordan Nikolić, Vesna Stanković and Volodja Balžalorsky. He is currently a student of the third year at the Academy of Music in Ljubljana in the class of Prof. Gorjan Košuta.

Slaven Kulenović is one of the leading young conductors in Slovenia. He has conducted the Slovenian Philharmonic Orchestra, Sarajevo Philharmonic Orchestra, RTV Slovenia Symphony Orchestra, Slovene National Opera & Ballet Ljubljana, Slovene National Theatre Maribor, the Romanian Radio Symphony Orchestra, Chamber String Orchestra of Academy of Music in Ljubljana, among others. He first studied piano with Prof. Dubravka Tomšić Srebotnjak at the Academy of Music in Ljubljana. He graduated in 2007 with »Summa cum laude« honors. He studied conducting with Prof. Milivoj Šurbek at the same academy. During his piano studies, Slaven Kulenović received the Prešeren Award of Music Academy for excellent performance of Mozart’s Concerto for Piano and Orchestra in C Minor K. 491. As a piano soloist and a chamber musician, he has performed in Germany, Austria, Italy, South Korea, Croatia, Bosnia and Herzegovina and Slovenia. He continued his musical studies in numerous master classes and conducting programs with distinguished artists and teachers (Mark Stringer, George Hurst, Wolfgang Dörner, Klaus Arp, Andrey Boreyko). He took part in the World Music Days 2015 in Ljubljana, Slovenia, as a conductor. He performed / conducted numerous first performances of distinguished Slovenian composers. Kulenović is currently teaching piano and chamber music at the Conservatory of Music and Ballet Ljubljana. He has been the chief conductor and artistic director of Symphony Orchestra Domžale – Kamnik since 2013, and since 2014 he has been entrusted with the artistic leadership of the Symphony Orchestra of the Conservatory of Music and Ballet Ljubljana.

Leading name among Serbian conductors, maestro Bojan Sudjić is the chief conductor of the RTS Symphony Orchestra and Choir, and executive and artistic director of the Music production of Radio Television of Serbia. Also, he is a full professor and chief conductor of the Symphony Orchestra at the Faculty of Music in Belgrade. From the very beginning, his work was distinguished by the exceptional breadth and diversity of music repertoires. Since 1992, Sudjić has been a permanent conductor of the RTS Symphony Orchestra and Choir, with whom he performed a great number of choral, symphonic and vocal-symphonic works (of which many were premiere performances). Most of these concerts were recorded for radio and TV, and they are the foundation of Sudjić’s extensive discography. He has worked with Belgrade Philharmonic Orchestra since 1989, and with this ensemble was on tour in China, performed at BEMUS Festival and conducted numerous concerts featuring, among others, Nigel Kennedy and Maxim Vengerov. In 1993, he dedicated himself to opera conducting, leading the ensemble of the National Theatre Opera in Belgrade, and performing as its conductor in 1999/2000 season. He was also general music director of the Belgrade Opera in 2004/2005. Maestro Sudjić became a guest conductor of the Royal Swedish Opera in Stockholm, in 1998, and a resident conductor in 2000. With this ensemble he performed more than 150 opera and ballet performances (including 10 premieres). He also enjoyed fruitful collaboration with the Finnish National Opera in Helsinki. Sudjić was a guest conductor of more than 40 orchestras, among which are the RTV Slovenia Symphony Orchestra, the Montenegrin Symphony Orchestra, the Croatian RTV Symphony Orchestra, the Zagreb Philharmonic Orchestra and the Rijeka Philharmonic Orchestra (Croatia), the Macedonian Philharmonic Orchestra in Skopje, The Bulgarian National Radio Symphony Orchestra from Sofia and the Plovdiv Philharmonic Orchestra (Bulgaria), the Budapest Symphony Orchestra (Hungary), the Rome Symphony Orchestra (Italy), the Novosibirsk Philharmonic, the Moscow Chamber Orchestra and The State Symphony Capella of Russia from St. Petersburg (Russia), the Helsinki Philharmonic Orchestra, the Turku Philharmonic Orchestra (Finland), etc. Under his conductor’s guidance, the students of Faculty of Music in Belgrade performed the demanding scores of Mahler’s 8th Symphony, Requiem(s) by Berlioz, Verdi and Mozart, Shostakovich’s 1st and 5th symphony, and other great works.

 The Choir of Radio Television of Serbia was founded in 1939 as a chamber ensemble with 18 singers led by Milan Bajšanski, regularly performing at public concerts and for the needs of the radio program. For more than seven decades, the choir (along with other ensembles of radio and television Music production) remains an important pillar of musical activity, contributing to the quality of musical life, especially cherishing Serbian musical heritage. The ensemble was led by Svetolik Pašćan, Borivoje Simić, Mladen Jagušt and Vladimir Kranjčević as chief conductors, along with significant guest conductors’ names. Since 2005, the artistic director and chief conductor of the ensemble is Bojan Sudjić, who began his career in 1985 working with the RTS Choir. The Choir has performed at all major festivals in Yugoslavia and Serbia, and has also accomplished successful tours in Poland, Czechoslovakia, Hungary, Romania, Bulgaria, Turkey, England, France, Germany, Austria, Switzerland, Spain, Italy, Greece, Morocco, Montenegro and Croatia. In addition to archiving concert recordings, the choir has also realised a large number of studio recordings, including the compositions of domestic authors and contemporary music. The main artistic aims of the choir include a regular performing of great vocal-instrumental works, mostly in collaboration with the RTS Symphony Orchestra, but also with other renowned symphonic ensembles in the country and region. In the last ten years of artistic activity, besides establishing more frequent performances of the chief works from the Baroque, Classical and Romantic repertoire, the RTS ensembles have kept their focus on interpretation and recording of Serbian music, as well as significant works of Russian music heritage (Tchaikovsky, Rachmaninoff, Gretchaninov, Stravinsky, Prokofiev, Sviridov, Metropolitan Hilarion and others). The RTS Choir is the winner of the most important domestic recognitions, as well as the awards at many world choral competitions.

Croatian Radiotelevision Choir was founded in the 1940s. Initially working as a chamber ensemble under Mladen Pozajić, it eventually developed into the first Croatian professional choir. During the last seventy years, its artistic identity was established by a number of eminent musicians. The Choir’s rich repertoire includes a cappella and vocal-instrumental compositions ranging from early Renaissance to the most recent works, while a special attention is given to the Croatian musical heritage. The choir earned its reputation through regular performances all over Croatia, but also in many concerts abroad, for instance in Rome, Moscow, Salzburg, Milan, Paris, Venice and Berlin. They cooperated with numerous eminent Croatian conductors (Lovro von Matačić, Milan Horvat, Pavle Dešpalj, Nikša Bareza etc.), numerous international guests (Claudio Abbado, Lorin Maazel, Igor Markevitch, Valery Polyansky) and a number of world-renowned soloists. The best artistic achievements of the Croatian Radiotelevision Choir include Schnittke’s Psalms of Repentance and Concerto for Choir, Rautavaara’s Vigilia, Papandopulo’s Passion of our Lord Jesus Christ and the Croatian Mass, Monteverdi’s Madrigali Guerrieri et Amorosi and Vespro della Beata Vergine, Bach’s St. Matthew Passion and St. John Passion, Haydn’s The Creation, Handel’s Messiah, Penderecki’s St. Luke Passion, Lutosławski’s Trois poèmes d’Henri Michaux (the piece was ordered and composed for the Zagreb Radio-Television Choir, today’s Croatian Radio-Television Choir), Kuljerić’s Croatian Glagolitic Requiem and the opera Animal Farm, and Tryptichon by Ivan Brkanović. The choir received the Milka Trnina Diploma for outstanding artistic achievements in 2004. In 2005, for the performance of the Croatian Mass under the direction of Tonči Bilić, recorded for the Cantus label, they won the Porin award for best album in the category of classical music. For the recently published recording, Croatian Music At Riva Dei Schiavoni, the choir with it’s conductor Tonči Bilić won three Porin awards. In 1998, at the initiative of their chief-conductor Tonči Bilić, they started working more consistently on a cappella works and compositions with minimal instrumental accompaniment. The effort resulted in the concert cycle Sfumato, with the aim to present the works of Croatian musical heritage, masterpieces and rarely performed classical compositions, as well as the most recent works for choir music from Croatia and abroad.

The SNG Maribor Symphony Orchestra is a central orchestra of the northeastern part of Slovenia. The rich history of the orchestra is intertwined with the activities of the Maribor Opera House, which has undergone numerous transformations caused by political and cultural changes (the disintegration of the Habsburg Monarchy, the collapse of Nazism, the independent Slovenia). Two years after the independence of Slovenia in 1991, the orchestra began to perform under the name of the Maribor Philharmonic, and continued its activity until November 2004. Afterwards, the concerts were organized under the label of SNG Maribor. This practice, after the construction of the Great Hall of SNG Maribor, was established as a constant. The orchestra is an indispensable part of the concert program as well as of the institution’s opera and ballet production. Under the guidance of a number of internationally acclaimed conductors from Slovenia and abroad, the orchestra performs various symphonic and operatic repertoire, ranging from Baroque to the contemporary music.

Vstop prost. *In case of rain the concert will be in the hall of Marjan Kozina, Slovenian philharmonic.

In collaboration:


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