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Children's Comic Opera on Tour in Nürnberg

Monday, 5 July 2010 , ora 11.25

On June 26 and 27, 2010, the Romanian Festival in Nürnberg celebrated its 6th edition, organized by the Romanian-German Association called Romanima. The Romanian community in Nürnberg is quite impressive, approximately 40.000 people.

Besides, over 60% of people living in the old German town are foreigners, and just whilst walking on the stone-paved streets of the City, you can hear people speaking Romanian, Turkish, Italian or Russian just as much as German. That is because by the end of the Second World War, the city, which was almost completely destroyed, was rebuilt by immigrants. This may also be the reason for which Germany's main Bureau of Immigration was headquarted here for some time.

This being said, a festival dedicated to the city's large Romanian community was more than welcomed. Of course, the stars of this year's edition of the Romanian Festival in Nürnberg were Stela Popescu and the Children's Comic Opera, a company lead by music critic Smaranda Oțeanu-Bunea. They put together two amazing shows for the public present in St. Jacob's Square. Try to imagine the atmosphere just for one moment: tens of long wooden green tables, filled with people drinking beers and eating grilled meat rolls and bratwurst, scorching sun and the inevitable vuvuzelas - it is the World Cup and Germans are big football fans. As you can see, it would not be easy for an artist to capture and maintain the public's attention in these situations, but the singers in the Children's Comic Opera (their first time at the festival) and Stela Popescu managed to draw the noisy spectators' attention. First, there was the musical Coana Chirița (music by Alexandru Flechtenmacher), and then there was Primăvara magnoliilor (Spring of Magnolias), a mosaic of famous operas and operettas, canzonettas, modern sounds and very dynamic ethnic dances.

Alongside Stela Popescu, who was cheered everytime she took the stage, other vocal singers like Rodica Ocheșanu, Ioana Damian, Andrei Lazăr, Daniel Filipescu, Vicențiu Țăranu or Nicolae Lupu managed to make themselves noticed. The dancers of the Children's Comic Opera (Theodora Munteanu, Andrei Ardeleanu, Mihai Pricope, Claudia Iagăr or Daniel Manea) also made a great impression on the public. You would sometimes hear "Bravo Romania!" coming from the crowd at the end of a dance or a melody. In the end, the Romanian-German Association, Romanima, gave a prize to Children's Comic Opera manager, Smaranda Oțeanu Bunea. And the prize was entitled "Bravissimo". Stela Popescu also received a very important distinction from the same association: Honorary Citizen of Nürnberg.

What is more, a very fortunate event happened during Primăvara magnoliilor. Germany beat England at football, and the Germans' bursts of joy after each goal merged with the applause of those watching the artists' performance. But not only Romanians were among those watching the show. A German cyclist caught my eye when he stopped to watch Primăvara magnoliilor. Every time Germany scored, he would climb on his bicycle and move back a few metres, where he could see the rewinds on a huge screen, after which, he would come back in front of the festival's stage.

Quite a scene, don't you think? "One might say you brought Germany luck today" one of the organizers commented at the end. Was the event a success? Of course, the answer is yes, and this not only coming from the public's enthusiastic reaction, but also from the organizers' invitation to come back for next editions.

As for the singers of the ensemble, you will be able to see them again starting with July 17th, 2010, during project Bucharest, summer neighbourhood, a project developed by the capital's City Hall in four Bucharest parks.

Ioana Marghita
Translated by Andra Stroe and Andreea Velicu
MA students, MTTLC, Bucharest University