VinOpera Festival: Three Days of Diverse Music in Three Unique Venues

From August 30th to September 1st, the Constantin Mimi Foundation organized the 6th edition of the VinOpera International Classical Music Festival, which featured over 90 artists and musicians from the Republic of Moldova and Romania. The festival was attended by more than 3500 spectators. For the first time, the event took place in three different locations. The concerts held in the villages of Varniţa and Bulboaca were open to all who wished to attend.

The festival began on August 30th with a recital in Varniţa performed by the “Gândul Mâţei Band” and the Ethnofolk Ensemble “Plăieşii.” The host of the evening, President of the Constantin Mimi Foundation, Cristina Frolov, mentioned from the stage in front of the Varniţa Cultural House that she was proud to have expanded the festival to rural areas and, together with local authorities, to promote the region’s localities.

“The Constantin Mimi Foundation, in partnership with the local authorities in the region, especially Bulboaca, Hârbovăţ, Gura Bâcului, and Varniţa, is working on creating a new tourist route that is expected to attract investments in the tourism sector in this region. This is also the reason why we organize these concerts in villages, because we want to promote the region from now on,” said Cristina Frolov.

On August 31st, in Bulboaca, residents of the region and anyone interested were able to attend a concert that combined melodies on the pan flute, performed by Constantin Moscovici, with the voices of the young singer Andreea Josan and the sister of Maestro Nadejda Moscovici. The evening ended with a recital by Felicia Dunaf and the “Dunaff Band,” which performed a combination of local and international hits.

The concert took place near the Bulboaca train station, a location that was not chosen by chance, as Cristina Frolov explained.

“The train station is also a very important architectural monument for the village of Bulboaca, built in the 1870s. We also have the oldest grapevine in the country, which is also a tourist attraction. We want to bring culture closer to the residents of our villages and attract tourists from other locations, so they can see that there is a beautiful world and beautiful places to visit here,” said Cristina Frolov.

The climax of the VinOpera Festival – at Castel Mimi

The gala evening of the VinOpera International Classical Music Festival took place on September 1st at Castel Mimi, featuring a grand symphonic concert conducted by Romanian conductor Daniel Jinga. On stage, more than 60 musicians and opera artists performed, including Iordache Basalic, Mădălina Barbu, Dumitru Mîţu, and Lilia Istratii.

The event was attended by high-ranking guests from the country’s leadership and accredited diplomatic missions in Chișinău. The President of the Parliament, Igor Grosu; the Minister of Culture, Sergiu Prodan; the presidential adviser to President Klaus Iohannis, Sergiu Nistor; the State Secretary of the Ministry of Foreign Affairs of Romania, Andrei Novac; the U.S. Ambassador to the Republic of Moldova, Kent D. Logsdon; the EU Ambassador to Chișinău, Janis Mazeiks; the Ambassador of Romania, Cristian-Leon Ţurcanu; the Ambassador of Japan, Mr. YAMADA Yoichiro; the State Secretary of the Department for Relations with the Republic of Moldova, Adrian Dupu; the President of the Romanian Cultural Institute in Bucharest, Liviu Jicman; as well as the President of the ICR “Mihai Eminescu” branch in Chișinău, Monica Babuc, watched the performance of the artists from the front rows.

In addition to solo performances, the audience was delighted to witness duets formed by the voices of Lilia Istratii and tenor Dumitru Mîţu, performing “Lippen schweigen” by Franz Lehár. “Chitarra romana” by Eldo Di Lazzaro and “Funiculì, Funiculà” by Luigi Denza sounded spectacular with the voices of Iordache Basalic and Dumitru Mîţu. The gala evening concluded with the renowned aria “O sole Mio.” The composition by Eduardo di Capua and Alfredo Mazzucchi was performed by all four opera artists and was enthusiastically applauded by the standing ovation from the audience.

The Constantin Mimi Foundation presented the VinOpera trophy as a token of gratitude and appreciation to conductor Daniel Jinga, baritone Iordache Basalic, soprano Mădălina Barbu, mezzo-soprano Lilia Istratii, and tenor Dumitru Mîţu.

“Our responsibility, the Constantin Mimi Foundation, Castel Mimi, and my family’s responsibility, is to demonstrate that when there is a desire, anything is possible, and Bulboaca can become the center of Europe for a day. We are proud to gather art, culture, and excellent wine enthusiasts here at Castel Mimi year after year. VinOpera is more than a classical music festival. It is proof that together we can achieve great things, that we can foster sustainable partnerships, and that we can proudly promote our country,” stated Cristina Frolov, President of the Constantin Mimi Foundation.

All festival attendees had the opportunity to participate in the Wine Vernissage, where small producers such as “Minis Terrios,” “Casa Vinicolă Luca,” “Gogu Winery,” and “Vinăria Nobilă” showcased their wines for tasting. Castel Mimi offered select wines from its cellars, such as Cabernet Sauvignon Reserve 2012 and the Limited Edition Collection, which were available for sampling by all interested visitors.

The VinOpera International Classical Music Festival was fully powered by solar energy produced at Castel Mimi, which has made significant efforts in recent years to generate renewable energy by installing solar panels on the winery’s premises.

Once again, the Constantin Mimi Foundation encouraged guests to prioritize the Wine Train, resulting in 300 cars parked in Chișinău, reducing carbon emissions. Visitors were also encouraged to recycle and say NO to plastic, with glass wine glasses provided and waste sorting bins set up.

In total, over 3500 people participated in the three events held in Varniţa, Bulboaca, and Castel Mimi.

The “VinOpera International Classical Music Festival” project was funded by the Department for Relations with the Republic of Moldova, the Ministry of Culture of the Republic of Moldova, the Romanian Cultural Institute “Mihai Eminescu” in Chișinău, Mastercard, and Castel Mimi. The media partner for the event was the Realitatea Media Group and TVR Moldova.


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