by Maria IVANOV
Even though a small country, the Republic of Moldova is rich in people related to the arts. These people periodically come together, united by their shared beliefs and aiming at promoting the artistic field they are active in. This is how a series of festivals were born, designed, on the one hand, to encourage local artists, and on the other hand, to draw the attention, at national and international level, to the fact that our art is valuable and deserves to be celebrated.
In 2016, for example, Art Fest Cuhnești, a festival with a distinct and poignant voice, was created by sculptor Alexei Vidraşco and musician Alex Calancea. Every year, this event brings together sculptors, painters and poets. For a week, the resident artists create works of art, whereas concerts are organized at the weekend; the concerts host public presentations of the sculptural works created. Paintings and sculptures are presented in exhibitions, poetry recitals are organized. Thus, during the concerts, all the branches of art come together; in addition to the three listed above (poetry, painting, sculpture) enter the stage: theater (short plays), music (classical, folk, rock, folk), film (this year, the film “Wedding in Bessarabia” was screened, a courtesy screening by – OWH Virgiliu Mărgineanu), local tradition (the students of the Cuhnești Arts School perform traditional dances).
In 2022, this festival was designed at the district level and was called Art Fest Glodeni. During the week of residence, participants were invited to several locations in the Glodeni district with tourist potential, serving as a source of inspiration for the artists, and in the evening, in each location, concerts were organized.
Festivalul Lupilor/ Wolves Festival will have its second edition this year, predictibly a very valuable one, not just for the musical world. The festival was founded in 2021 by The Media Show Group and musician Alex Calancea, who is also the founder of the Lupii lui Calancea / Calancea Wolves project. Festivalul Lupilor brings most unusual musical fusions into the spotlight, such as funk music, rock in combination with folk music; the fusions of Lupii lui Calancea / Calancea Wolves with Surorile Oșoianu/ Oșoianu Sisters, the fusion of Lupii lui Calancea / Calancea’s Wolves with the Lăutarii/ Rhapsodists’ National Folk Music Orchestra, with the group Plăieșii, with the Ansamblul Etnofolcloric „Ștefan Vodă”/ Ethno-folkloric Ensemble “Ștefan Vodă“/, then a fusion with classical music – Lupii lui Calancea / Calancea’s Wolves and Andreea Bretan, The Symphony Orchestra “Serghei Lunchevici” with Mihail Agaviță and even with rap, having a concert with Paraziții and Guz & Kapushon this year. This festival is conceived as a “pilgrimage”, as the „wolves” change their location for each new fusion experience, performing on different stages in the Republic of Moldova, but also in Romania. This year, for example, the last concert will take place at the Roman Arenas in Bucharest. In addition to music, this festival also involves crafts workshops, pottery and painting masterclasses, sand and water painting masterclasses, ballad recitals. It is a festival that spans a duration of 3 months, just as the events themselves take place at weekends in June, July and August.
DescOPERĂ Festival also centers on music, classical music in this case. This year, the fifth edition of the festival is due. Everything takes place in an informal space, at the foot of a rocky formation, in the village of Butuceni within the Orheiul Vechi Reservation. During the 2-3 days, voices that are representative for our country, such as Valentina Naforniță or the orchestra of the National Opera and Ballet Theatre Maria Bieșu, but also guests from other countries, such as Ljubica Vranes from Serbia, who honored us with her presence this year, or the Austrian conductor Friedrich Pfeiffer, who is also one of the initiators of this festival, will be present on stage.
A festival of music and dance is the Marțișor Festival. It has been organized each spring for more over 55 years, at the Nicolae Sulac National Palace. The festival lasts one week and invites music and dance ensembles from the Republic of Moldova and from abroad. This event celebrates, in particular, the traditional symbol of the „mărțișor”.
The IA Mania Festival, founded in 2013 by Nata Albot, has as its central objective the Romanian blouse, ia, the traditional garment and the promotion of the art of embroidery. But in addition to this, the festival also includes a mural art contest, entitled Cai verzi pe pereți/ Green Horses on the Walls. Therefore, this festival is a mixed one, bringing together embroidery, painting, music and dance. It takes place every summer in the village of Holercani.
These festivals can also be regarded as business cards of our country, because taken together, they highlight our artistic identity!