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Ion Caramitru - In Memoriam

05 September 2021
Photography exhibition and special screening In Memoriam Ion Caramitru in Kishinev 21 September 2021
This year's 6th edition of the Reunion of National Theaters in Kishinev is dedicated to the memory of actor and director Ion Caramitru, former director of the "I.L. Caragiale" National Theatre of Bucharest, who passed away earlier this month. On this occasion, in Kishinev, several events take place during the event dedicated to the one who led for 16 years the first theatrical stage of Romania and UNITER since its establishment.  On Sunday, September 19th, 2021, at the Roman Catholic Cathedral, the radio show Pope John Paul II was presented, with the actor Ion Caramitru as the lead performer, whose voice resonated in a touching manner under the vaults of the impressive cathedral.    On Friday evening, September 24th, 2021, in the foyer of the Mihai Eminescu National Theatre, the photography exhibition Shylock- the Last Role will be opened, presented by Florin Ghioca, the official photographer of the National Theatreof Bucharest. The event will be attended by actors Oana Pellea and Mircea Rusu who will perform the same evening, immediately after the opening, the show  The Beauty of Venice in September, directed by Mariana Cămărăşan, a show that represents the "I.L. Caragiale" National Theatre at the current edition of the Theatrical Reunion from Kishinev.   On Saturday, September 26th, 2021, at the Mihai Eminescu National Theatre, there will be a special screening of the recording of the show The Merchant of Venice by William Shakespeare, directed by Alexander Morfov, in which Ion Caramitru performs his last Shakespearean role, Shylock ... The recording is a production of NTB's Media Studio, filmed in special conditions.  The encounter of the National Theatresof Kishinev had as a starting point the project Romanian Theatre in Bucharest and Kishinev, an exchange of tours between the "IL Caragiale" National Theatre of Bucharest and the "Mihai Eminescu" National Theatre of Kishinev, a common idea of ​​the two managers of partner institutions, Ion Caramitru and Petru Hadârcă.  "This year's meeting is under the spiritual aura of Ion Caramitru, the artist who carries the legend and, in turn, the creator of the legend - human and artistic. We have prepared the event of the Reunion of the Romanian National Theatres, the 6th edition (it should have been the seventh, if the pandemic had not prevented us) as a celebration of the Mihai Eminescu National Theatre, which has regained, throughout the 100 for years of creation and turmoil, despite barbaric political intrusions, it regained, through the energies of the Romanian language and the efforts of its artists, the right to freedom of creation and ideas, and contributed to the spiritual survival of several generations of spectators” stated Petru Hadârcă, manager of the National Theatreof Kishinev, on this occasion. The photography exhibition "Shylock - the Last Role" will remain open and can be visited by spectators in the foyer of the Mihai Eminescu National Theatre in Kishinev throughout September. Translated by Simona Nichiteanu 
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The Grand Hall of the National Theatre of Bucharest became the "Ion Caramitru" Hall 16 September 2021
On Thursday, 16 September 2021, in the presence of Prime Minister Florin Cîțu, Minister of Culture Bogdan Gheorghiu, interim manager Ioan Onisei, the sons of actor Ion Caramitru and several guests from the cultural field, the new name of NTB’s Grand Hall was officially unveiled, which has become the Ion Caramitru Hall.On this occasion, actor Mircea Rusu, artistic director of the National Theatre of Bucharest stated:"It will take us a long time to understand what Ion Caramitru has done for the Romanian theatre and especially for the National Theatre of Bucharest. The initiative of the Minister of Culture, Mr Bogdan Gheorghiu, seems to me to be salutary: Ion Caramitru's image must be preserved, maintained and cultivated. He is the founder of the current National Theatre of Bucharest, unique in Romania's theatrical sphere. I will not enumerate the areas in which he excelled. The theatre is called Caragiale, and the Grand Hall will be called Caramitru. Both have the sap of a branch of Romanian spirit: sap full of talent, ambition, book knowledge, artistic sensitivity. And all these qualities were in Pino's personality. Pino, we promise not to bring shame to your name, a name you have built with much grace and toil."The Minister of Culture, Bogdan Gheorghiu, who proposed changing the name of the Grand Hall to "Ion Caramitru" Hall, said on this occasion: "It is the way we ensure today that the cultural legacy left by his majesty will reach future generations. Whether in his position as Minister of Culture, manager of the I.L. Caragiale National Theatre of Bucharest or as an actor, he has put himself at the service of excellence and changed the known reality. His name is closely linked to Romanian heritage and the way we relate to its preservation and capitalization today, to UNITER, whose president he was elected in 1990 when this theatrical union was founded, and to the Gala he presented every year and, last but not least, to the 1989 Revolution. But this name is also linked to his extraordinary ability to bring people together, to create ideals, to generate memories. I am convinced that all of us here have looked at Caramitru with admiration and I hope that all those who will step into the Ion Caramitru Hall will honour his memory with an appreciation of the theatre and applause, as the master himself would have wished".The Prime Minister of Romania, Florin Cîțu, asked those present to hold a moment of silence in memory of Ion Caramitru and said in front of the hall that from today will bear the name of the actor: "We all knew the master Ion Caramitru, as an actor in films, or on the stage of the National Theatre. As Minister of Finance, I also knew him as a manager and I would like to say that he was as talented as an actor. A lot of nice words were used during this period. Anything and everything I could say could not illustrate what Ion Caramitru meant to us, Romanians. I know that naming the Grand Hall as Ion Caramitru Hall is a small gesture, but a symbol by which we show our gratitude for all that Ion Caramitru did in his cultural activity. From now on, the plays performed in this hall of the National Theatre will have a special meaning and thus, the legacy left by him will never be lost. Thank you, Ion Caramitru!"Ion Caramitru was the general manager of NTB for 16 years, from 2005 to 2021, being the one who restored the "I.L. Caragiale" National Theatre in Bucharest to its original architectural form, transforming it into a modern performance building, with a record number of halls, serving the desire of the general public for real theatre. A "New Theatre" that it has served with devotion since 2005.Since 1990, he has led the Romanian Theatre Union (UNITER), to which events such as the National Theatre Festival and the UNITER Awards Gala - true annual celebrations of the profession - are linked.As an actor, he has capitalized the work of Eminescu, telling it like no other throughout Romania and the world and, as Minister of Culture, he has contributed to its survival through both classical means, on paper, and through digital means.He was one of the most brilliant performers of Shakespeare's theatre, producing memorable creations, and was acknowledged as one of the ten best actors in the world to play Hamlet.He was born in 1942 in Bucharest. He graduated from the "I.L. Caragiale" Institute of Theatre and Cinema, class of Prof. Beate Fredanov, in 1964, when he also made his debut on the stage of the National Theatre in Bucharest, in "Eminescu" by Mircea Ștefănescu. His most recent roles were also here, in the shows Eduard III - the main role (2008), Prospero in The Tempest (2014), Shylock in Shakespeare's The Merchant of Venice (2019), the mega-successful Dinner with Fools by Francis Veber (from 2012), as well as in Ufo by Ivan Vyrypaev (2017) or in the documentary theatre show "Romanian Diary.1989" (2020).For all his artistic activity related to the work of one of the greatest playwrights of all times, in 2016, Ion Caramitru was appointed Shakespeare Cultural Ambassador in Romania, on the occasion of Shakespeare Year - 400.Exceptional career rewarded with numerous awards, including: acting awards in the Romanian Theatre (1975, 1979, 1981, 1985), Cinema Magazine Award for acting (1976), Filmmakers’ Association Award, 1980, Special Jury Award for the main role in the film "Luchian", at the National Film Festival, Costinești, "Academic Merit" awarded by the Romanian Academy, 2012, Aristizza Romanescu Award of the Romanian Academy, 2013.In 1995, he received the title of Officer of Honour of the Order of the British Empire (OBE), for his Romanian-British cultural activity and was decorated by Queen Elizabeth II, and in 1997, the title of Knight of the Order of Letters and Arts of France. In 2000, he was awarded the Order of Merit of Romania with the rank of Grand Cross. He has received 5 honorary doctor degrees, from: the University of Arts in Iasi (2008), Ovidius University in Constanta (2012), ESRA University of Audiovisual Arts in Skopje (2016), "Constantin Brâncuși" University in Târgu-Jiu, December 2017 and the Academy of Music, Theatre and Fine Arts in Kishinev (2018).In 2017, he received the Order of the Rising Sun, Gold Rays with Ribbon, the most important Japanese order for foreign citizens, awarded in the name of His Majesty, the Emperor of Japan. National Order of the Star of Romania to the rank of Knight, 2017. The latest public recognition was the Award for the Promotion of Eminescu's works, presented by the Ipotești Memorial in June 2021. Translated by Simona Nichiteanu 
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Premiere at NTB: a modern author in dialogue with the great Chekhovian themes from The Seagull 13 September 2021
On Thursday 16 and Friday 17 September 2021, at 7.30 p.m., the official premiere of Stupid Fucking Bird by Aaron Posner, directed by Răzvan Oprea, is scheduled at the Painting Hall of the National Theatre of Bucharest. The play with the deliberately irreverent title of the American playwright Aaron Posner, winner of a Helen Hayes Prize for dramaturgy, keeps the Chekhov themes in The Seagull, such as unrequited love, shattered dreams or the search for new forms of theatrical art, but places them against the background of the twentieth century. The author is a playwright, associate professor of acting and directing at the American University in Washington DC, co-founder of the Arden Theatre Company in Philadelphia and, between 2006-2010 - artistic director of Two River Theatre, but also an exciting director who has won several editions of the Helen Hayes Awards for Best Director. With this adaptation, he "transforms a classic writer, often treated with formal respect, into a mirror that shows in clear detail everything that is new in the unhappiness of today's people," writes The New York Times, appreciating the play as "a Chekhov for the 21st century ". "It brings a fine and modern tuning to The Seagull. We could say that it takes a famous work of art and resizes it, adding many pixels to it. He does not venture far from the base plot of Seagull, and whether you remember the play or not, you can enjoy Stupid Fucking Bird as a completely new play”, appreciates Newsworks. "The Seagull of A. P. Chekhov explores the complexity of human relationships, especially the cruelty of love, while at the same time being a foray into the nature of theatrical art. With a text that is intelligent and insightful without being pretentious, Stupid Fucking Bird is an entertaining, witty, occasionally pejorative and often dark work of art. A fast-paced, funny, clever and often profound piece," writes Talkin' BROADWAY. "Moreover his own response to Chekhov rather than a classic adaptation," state other commentators. The play was first staged in 2013 at the Woolly Mammoth Theatre Company in Washington, DC, and in 2016 at the Arden Theatre Company's, the direction being signed by the author himself. In 2015, it became one of the most frequently staged ten plays; it was produced on 150 other stages outside the United States. With the new staging at the National Theatre of Bucharest, Răzvan Oprea, NTB actor and graduate of a Master’s in Theatre Directing, proposes on the stage of the Painting Hall a modern, provocative, explosive show, a fresh approach to a classic of universal drama. This premiere is part of the NTB - Open Doors for All programme.  With talent and artistic versatility, the cast that includes well-known names of the Bucharest National - Cecilia Bârbora and Marius Bodochi, along with their younger colleagues Eduard Adam, Cosmina Olariu, Vitalie Bichir, Alexandra Sălceanu, Emilian Mârnea - simultaneously populates two worlds - that of Chekhov's heroes and that of Aaron Posner's characters. The show is not recommended for minors aged under 16. Contains nudity scenes. You are expected at NTB to encounter a different Chekhov, a Seagull closer to the sensitivity of the audience of these times. We wish you a pleasant viewing! The next performance will take place on September 24th, at 7.30 pm. Tickets can be found at the NTB Ticket Office and online, on www.mystage.ro.   Translated by Simona Nichiteanu 
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Start of the Season at NTB! 03 September 2021
The joy of reuniting with the Living Theatre As never before, the 2021-2022 season of the “I.L. Caragiale” National Theatre began on August 26th, 2021, more than two weeks before the traditional date in mid-September, when the inaugural gong usually resounded, synchronized with the opening of schools and public return from summer holidays ... Despite hot summer or maybe, just spurred by it, the audience filled every night since August 10th, the NTB outdoor rooftop, enjoying the coolness of the evening and the starry sky in the programme Summer Nights Up on the Theatre, a programme that will continue if the weather will be in our favour! Barely put on sale, tickets for performances scheduled in all NTB halls for the coming weeks are almost sold out, a sign that theatre lovers missed the stage and the genuine contact with the actors. Back to the NTB Studio and on the Grand Stage - after a long unwanted break - reference shows from the current NTB repertoire: Three Sisters, directed by Radu Afrim (September 4th and 5th), The Silent Parrot - Nearly true histories of a nearly forgotten spy, directed by Nae Caranfil (September 4 and 5). Also on the Grand Stage you can see or re-watch the comedy The Nouveau Criminals (September 12th), a show that recently enjoyed endless applause, with standing ovation, at the ˮComedy Weekˮ Festival in Brașov, where actress Virginia Mirea was awarded the Prize for Best Female Performance. Exit the Kingby Eugène Ionesco, directed by Andrei and Andreea Grosu is another long-awaited title, which marks the return on stage of the couple Mariana Mihuț - Victor Rebengiuc, in anthological roles! The first premiere of the new season is announced - Stupid Fucking Bird by Aaron Posner, directed by Răzvan Oprea, produced within the NTB - Open Doors for All programme. A modern, challenging and explosive show! Official premiere: September 16th and 17th, 2021, at 7.30 pm, at the Painting Hall. In the rehearsal room, a new show signed by master Gigi Căciuleanu is being prepared, an exciting proposal, in his unmistakable style - Kiritza, or The Game of ... (on a screenplay by Vasile Alecsandri). The premiere is scheduled to take place in early October, in the very year of the 200th anniversary of the poet's birth. A dance-theatre staging with lush costumes is announced… At the Rotonda in the foyer of the Small Hall we invite you to visit, only until the end of September, Retroversible, the superb exhibition - a tribute dedicated to the memory of an exceptional personality, art historian and critic Adina Nanu, an exhibition-proof of exemplary artistic pedagogy, created by the Fashion Department of UNArte, on the 50th anniversary of its establishment. We invite you to take full advantage of this rich autumn and to run away from home to the performance halls where you can (still) encounter the Living Theatre! Translated by Simona Nichiteanu 
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