National celebration Independence and Unity Day – 25th anniversary of the adoption of the Constitution of the Republic of Slovenia

State ceremony

On Friday 23 December 2016 at 8 pm, the Gallusova dvorana hall at the Cankarjev dom cultural and congress centre in Ljubljana will host the ceremony to mark the Independence and Unity Day. President of the National Council of the Republic of Slovenia Mitja Bervar will appear as the keynote speaker. 

The ceremony will also mark 25 years since the adoption and declaration of the Constitution of the independent and sovereign Republic of Slovenia, the highest and basic legal act of a state.

The programme of this year’s ceremony will be presented in collaboration with the Slovenian National Theatre SNG Opera in balet Ljubljana. The concert will feature the SNG Opera in balet Ljubljana choir and orchestra under the baton of Igor Švara, and soloists Urška Arlič Gololičič, Branko Robinšak, Dejan Maksimilijan Vrbančič, Juan Vasle and Ema Hribernik. The music was partly selected from the works of Slovenian composers, which have been staged at the Slovenian National Theatre SNG Opera in balet Ljubljana in recent years, and partly modified or rewritten especially for this ceremony. The music selection and part of the music repertoire are comprised of the work by renowned Slovenian composer Milko Lazar, the costumes and the scene were produced by Vasilija Fišer, while Neda R. Bric acted as the screenwriter and director. The individual pieces of music will be brought together through texts from the works of Simon Gregorčič, France Prešeren, Anton Aškerc, Srečko Kosovel and Ervin Fritz, which will be recited by young actors Urška Taufer, Nejc Cijan Garlatti and Blaž Šef, all accompanied by video images by Pila Rusjan.

Author Neda R. Bric envisaged the music and spoken text symbolically to walk the path of the Slovenian nation from its beginnings to the present day. The path will begin with the proto-Slavic mythology about the creation of the world, gods and mythological creatures, all intertwining with the wonderful folk song Zrejlo je žito (English: Grain is ripe). The performance will continue with the mythological heroes, which were the ray of hope for Slovenian ancestors and described by their poets, with the calls for King Matjaž and the idea that both the nation and individual have to use all forces to secure their future. This is also the essence of a line written by Prešeren: Vremena bodo Kranjcem se zjasnila (English: For all Slovenes will then dawn brighter days).  Countless and continuous struggles for freedom, language, culture and own state will be summarised under the adaptation of the folk songs Kaj ti je deklica (English: What’s Wrong with You, Girl) and Tam za turškim gričem (English: There behind the Turkish Hill). The audience will also be able to listen to part of one of the most popular Slovenian operas Gorenjski slavček (English: The Nightingale of Gorenjska). In today’s free Slovenia, nature is one of the key values that enriches the state. It is the nation's duty to preserve nature for future generations by protecting the natural resources, which is also the main message of the song Živa Voda (English: Living Water) that will be performed by a young girl. At the end, the ceremony will honour the most important and fundamental legal document of the state, i.e. the Constitution, which was adopted on this day 25 years ago. What will follow is a chant composed from the oldest preserved Proto-Slovene folk text Raz mozg na kost and parts of the Constitution that were put into music. The postulates of the Constitution are no longer just plain legal wording; they become a text that speaks about the fundamental human truths, which would lead us towards a better today and brighter tomorrow if only we could truly hear and understand them.

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