Mahler was here, Puccini visited it, Lehár and Kálmán were regular guests. We are talking about the unique Opatija - a place, where, probably, the most beautiful (concert) venues of the entire Adriatic coast are situated. What brought us to found the Festival Kvarner? To anticipate: We did only a re-foundation to revive Opatija's 100-year-old tradition as a Gesamtkunstwerk! The Kvarner region's most interesting aspect was and still is, that this holiday resort was not established by the Kvarner bay's inhabitants but "found" by the guests themselves.
Also in 2008: For years Michael Fendre and his team from the ad libitum Konzertwerkstatt were looking for "the" venue, where music could build an extravagant symbiosis with the landscape and the climate to bring the audience a unique and unforgettable total experience. It lasted seven years, until music and place had found each other and Opatija was able to present itself, like it had done already 100 years ago.
We do not want to create a completely new festival concept for the Kvarner region as that is completely unnecessary and not at all useful! We just want to take already established material and revive it. Because what should be done to improve an idea that an orchestra back then used to give concerts up to twice per day? What we are designing newly, however, and want to adapt for the Kvarner region, is an elaborate, exclusive musical programme. This differentiates today's concept from the former: we are offering our own, new and internationally attended festival, the Festival Kvarner!
And then of course the conspicuous European thought would still be there! At the end of the 19th century, the European aristocracy, artists and scholars met in Opatija. The exchange of thoughts and ideas, an especially artistic climate, philosophising and entertaining were the order of the day back then - in short it was an exchange of thoughts on a European level. The idea of the artistic exchange on a European level is revived in our festival in the Kvarner region. The Kvarner region could again be that place in which Europe's creative heads meet and it could, therefore, also influence Europe from an artistic point of view. The fact that many composers, such as Mahler, Puccini, Lehár, Kálmán etc., who, over the course of history, have stayed here and have been inspired by the picturesque landscape and the Mediterranean flair, proves that this location is perfectly suitable for music: history provides us with the evidence that our idea has a good basis.
Without the support of several patrons and sponsors the Festival Kvarner would be unthinkable. In this regard we especially want to mention the town Opatija. And without our loyal audience, who trusted in and followed all our productions, the festival would be literally senseless. All of them we want to thank cordially.
We hope to please them with our ideas also in future.