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Golden Lion 2019: »Sun & Sea: Marina« receives Award for Best Pavilion at the 58th Biennale in Venice
© Wolfgang Träger
13. May 2019

OPERA PERFORMANCE »SUN & SEA: MARINA« THAT WAS DEVELOPED AT AKADEMIE SCHLOSS SOLITUDE HAS WON THE GOLDEN LION FOR BEST INTERNATIONAL PAVILION AT THE 58TH BIENNALE IN VENICE

We’re very happy for Lithuanian theatre- and film director Rugilė Barzdžiukaitė, writer and poet Vaiva Grainytė and composer and performance artist Lina Lapelytė, who, on Saturday, 11th May 2019, received the Golden Lion for best pavilion at the 58th Biennale in Venice with their opera performance »Sun & Sea: Marina«.

The three fellows developed a first version of the collaborative opera performance »Sun & Sea« during their fellowship at the Akademie Schloss Solitude in 2016, which was performed at Palermo Galerie Stuttgart (at that time Olgastraße 82) in June 2016 with the participation of many other fellows of the Akademie. The piece opened at the Staatstheater Braunschweig in May 2017, was performed at the International Theatre Festival Sirenos in Vilnius/Lithuania fall the same year, and a German version of the piece premiered at the Staatsschauspiel Dresden in May 2018. For this year’s Biennale, an English version of the opera is staged at the Lithuanian pavilion.

Through light, architecture and music, the stage is turned into an artificial beach. Vacationers in colorful beach wear lie next to each other on sandy ground while the audience watches them from above. The characters start telling their stories in the afternoon heat. From short, frivolous stories to broader, more serious topics, a global symphony develops, a universal choir of people, which addresses the »planet-big« anthropogenic climate change. In their piece, the physical finiteness and fatigue of the human body becomes a metonymy for an exhausted earth. The setting – an over-crowded summer beach – draws a picture of unburdened lounging. In this context, the message becomes clear: serious themes unfold easily, softly – like a pop song on the last day on earth. In their work, the trio lay focus on the relationship between documentation and fiction, realism and poetry, as well as the intersection of theatre, music and arts.