In the opening programme Rijeka pays tribute to the workers, to the avant-garde and to the tradition of the region which surrounds it and at the same time recalls the fundamental social values on which modern Europe was built

The opening ceremony takes place in Rijeka’s port, the space that represents the strong identity of the city of Rijeka. In the history and present-day of the city, the port is a symbol of the modern and open Rijeka, and the values of the Port of Diversity are reflected in a harmony which is only possible in the port that accepts sails of all colours.

In the central artistic programme of the opening, Rijeka thematically gathers the important points of its identity in the Opera Industriale, created according to the musical original of the artistic duo JMZM – Josip Maršić (HR) and Zoran Medved (HR) from Rijeka, in an orchestration by the composer, maestro Fran Đurović (HR). On a large stage, located on the De Franceschi quayside in Rijeka’s port, more than a hundred performers perform, and a large part of the audience is also included in the programme.

With the sounds of industry and the sparks of welders, Rijeka symbolically and proudly expresses respect for the strength of the workers who have built and made it a modern city. With quotations that represent a homage to Janko Polić Kamov, the Rijeka’s greatest poet, an uncompromising artist who heralded the arrival of the European avant-garde, Rijeka seals his relevant European position. Also highlighted in the opening ceremony is the historical anti-fascist position of Rijeka, which reminds Europe of the basic social values on which it was built in the modern period, with the end of the last historical pan-European suffering. The powerful sound of electric guitars introduces the propulsive energy of Rijeka’s punk and rock scenes which in their heyday presented a rebellious and brave Rijeka. The programme is rounded off by the most powerful sound which since prehistoric times has driven away the winter – the bell-ringers with a huge noise announce a new period in which Rijeka, on 1st February 2020, enters as a European Capital of Culture.

The Opera Industriale, which develops laid down themes, live and with the help of a master track is performed by a mass of performers by combining the sounds of the city, industry and noise, performed on classical instruments, by choral singing, bell-ringer bells and with the active audible involvement of the audience. The sound, music and noise, effects that are created with the combination of light and darkness, the powerful symbols of Rijeka and Europe – are the essence of the attractive opening programme in Rijeka’s port.

In the programme DB Indoš – House of Extreme Music Theatre, with The Rumorists as the performers, performs on specific instruments – schachtophones and with musicians on two preserved pianos, guitars, bass, drums and saxophone. Also taking part in the performance is the particularly attractive Finnish choir of men who scream, rattle and shout – Mieskuoro Huutajat (FI). On the large stage, an additional mixed choir Jeka Primorja also performs under the leadership of Igor Vlajnić (HR) and an orchestra of string and wind instrument players on cellos, double basses, clarinets, trumpets and trombones. Also included in the performance is an ensemble of 25 Rijeka guitarists and a workers’ orchestra of grinders, welders and sparks. Part of the audience also participates by ringing, cheering, creating noise and light making them a living instrument that represents the people – the most powerful part of the identity of the city.