Pianist Ratimir Martinović, one of the founders of KotorArt and the coordinator of this year's program, emphasizes that the entire festival is confirmation of the highest artistic and production standards. "It also proves a high awareness of social responsibility through the care of the existing and the creation of the new cultural heritage, the care of the younger generations, and the overlap of the current social themes with art. KotorArt is both attractive and accessible to local and regional guests, and tourists from other spoken areas and distant destinations. And finally, the festival is an affirmation of Montenegro as an important point on the cultural map of the world and at the same time the affirmation of art and culture as important catalysts of the positive discourse of the Montenegrin society," said Martinovic.
The festival begins with the XVII edition of the International Perast Klapa Festival on June 28 at the Square of St. Nicholas in Perast. "Peraški đardin klapske pjesme” (Perast Garden of Klapa Song) is a title that symbolically combines the programs of the International Festival Klapa Perast 2018. In Perast's garden, our festival tree has been growing for 17 years, bringing together all branches from the deep and much older roots of the cultural heritage of Perast, Boka, and Montenegro," said the program director of the festival, Milan Kovacevic, highlighting the specialty of this year's festival is the emergence of new and younger klapa groups.
He added that fostering cultural heritage, along with chaplain singing, remains the foundation of this year's program.
The Kotor Festival of Children's Theater will be realized under the slogan "The Way around the World", bringing together theatres and troupes from 29 countries. "As part of the theater program, viewers will have the opportunity to view 18 performances, and the prizes will be decided by an expert jury, the jury of the city of Kotor and the children's jury. Children and parents will also enjoy literary, musical, visual, educational-theoretical and children's play-creation programs. This year, we have special programs for young people. The Festival continues with publishing activities and presents the new book of "Ćuk" editions - the book of poetry "Trema" by Dejan Đonović," said the director of the festival, Petar Pejaković. The co-organizer of the Kotor Festival of Children's Theater is the Cultural Center "Nikola Đurković", and the Golden Sponsor is the Tourism Organization of Kotor.
Through a four-day symposium on "Apocalypse Today?", VIII KotorArt Square of the Philosophers will provide the debates of the leading philosophers of the region, led by program editor Srećko Horvat. The festival will welcome the famous Slovenian philosopher and theoretician of psychoanalysis Alenka Župančič, Croatian philosopher and translator Boris Buden, as well as well-known writers Aleksandra Savanović and Andrej Nikolaidis. After each lecture at the Cinema Square, a film screening will be held at Cinema Boka, in cooperation with the Culture Center "Nikola Đurković" and the Montenegrin Cinematheque.
"Today, it is almost impossible to go to coffee or dinner with friends without discussing the possibility of an apocalypse; the disappearance of the world. From wars to refugees, from ecological catastrophe to nuclear war, we are increasingly living in the atmosphere of fear and lust for the worst today. Although the notion of the apocalypse is often used for further intimidation, this year's Square of the Philosophers will address the multiple meanings of the apocalypse and try to find out the hope for the survival of the human species, but also of the planet, from today's pessimism," Horvat explained.
XVII KotorArt Don Branko's Music Days combines several program ideas and guidelines for this year's edition, explains the director of this section of KotorArt, pianist Ratimir Martinović: "The dedication to the current theme of ecology and environmental protection will be featured through the concerts of the Festival Orchestra and Rambo Amadeus, as well as the premiere of his composition "Passion of Stela", the festival order. The festival also brings the premiere of the film by Kotor director Dušan Vuleković on the topic of the ecological state of Boka, which is also one of the orders of the festival," said Martinovic. In collaboration with the Institute of Marine Biology, a series of piano concerts with ecological lectures of marine biologist Vesna Mačić will be held under the British franchise "ClimateKeys". At the final evening of the festival, on August 13, the audience will be presented with instruments and installations generated from waste collected in Boka Bay. The goal of this activity is a clear message that one of the tasks of art is to create a more beautiful, cultural, ecological and creative everyday life.
Young local artists at the beginning of their professional career will be featured on several concerts. Among them are the new KotorArt talents including guitarist Nađa Janković and pianist Andrija Jovović. The Chinese musical production for children "Bach is Riding a Camel" is intended for the youngest audience of Kotor Art and represents the way of music through space and time.
Don Branko's Music Days will also include a series of five concerts with the support of TO Kotor titled "Jazz Pockets", featuring local and regional jazz musicians as well as over 100 accompanying "Ports of Art" programs in Kotor, Luštica Bay and Porto Montenegro.
Violinist Roman Simović will host two evening shows with his friends at the end of July in Luštica Bay and the Church of St. Spirit in Kotor. The famous director and musician Emir Kusturica will be presented for the first time in Montenegro with the “No Smoking Orchestra”. On August 6 on the Coca-Cola Stage, the Three dives from Croatia - Tereza Kesovija, Radojka Šverko, and Gabi Novak - will perform for the Kotor Summer Scene. Nemanja Radulović with his Double Sense band is scheduled for July 16, while Vlatko Stefanovski and the Rock Symphony will perform on July 23.
"The artistic peak of the whole festival is expected through two evenings with the most famous world pianist Judy Vang, who will perform with the famous violinist Leonidas Kavakos in the Church of St. Spirit. At the Coca-Cola Stage, the audience will have the opportunity to enjoy the greatest percussionist of today, Martin Grubinger," Martinović pointed out.
From this year, Don Branko's Music Days will cooperate with the leading regional ticket service provider, Gigs Tix, so tickets for all music programs that are not free of charge will be on pre-sale from this week at over 50 locations in 23 places in Montenegro at the Tobacco S Press facilities, as well as the entire Gigs Tix network in Serbia and via the Internet.
The total budget of this year's KotorArt International Festival amounts to 556,000 euro. The festival is held under the auspices of the Kotor Municipality and the Ministry of Culture of Montenegro, which provides a total of 450,000 euro (Kotor Municipality 300,000 euro, Ministry of Culture 150,000 euro). The festival is also supported by numerous sponsors including Luštica Bay, Porto Montenegro, Capital Plaza, Coca-Cola and others.