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© Hrvatsko narodno kazalište u Varaždinu

Počasno pismo Ministrice kulture i medija


Nina Obuljen Koržinek, PhD, Minister of Culture and Media of the Republic of Croatia


A Rich Heritage and Contribution to Croatian Culture

The Ministry of Culture and Media is proud to join the celebration of the 150th anniversary of the Croatian National Theatre in Varaždin, one of the most important cultural institutions in our country. The anniversary bears witness to the rich cultural heritage that has shaped Varaždin for centuries and makes it one of the central places of performing arts in Croatia.

When we think about theatre, we think about spaces where performances take place, but above all about the artists who have marked them with their talent, about creativity, passion and emotions awakened over the years. Erected in 1873 according to the project of the famous Viennese architect Hermann Helmer, the building of the Croatian National Theatre in Varaždin became an indispensable part of the cultural panorama of the city. From classic dramas to contemporary interpretations, the theatre was a place where brilliant artistic talents sparkled and artists’ ideas were realized, to the delight of always large audiences.

With the foundation of the first Croatian professional ensemble in 1898, the theatre in Varaždin gained its unique artistic feature and became the home of many great artists, actors, directors and musicians who left an indelible mark on Croatian art. This is an opportunity to remember the many artists that the theatre in Varaždin gave birth to, and who made the Croatian theatre and music famous. Names like Zvonimir Rogoz, August Cilić, Ančica Mitrović, Branko Tepavac, Milan Šepec and many others have contributed to Croatian culture and art. Some of the most famous Croatian actors, Franjo Majetić, Ivo Serdar, Sanda Langerholz, Martin Sagner, Ivo Rogulja, Martin Bahmec and many others, worked in the Varaždin theatre. Vladimir Gerić and Petar Veček left the deepest mark as directors, and Josip Vrhovski. Teodor Romanić and Davorin Hauptfeld as conductors. Later generations including Ljiljana Bogojević, Ljubomir Kerekeš, Barbara Rocco, Sunčana Zelenika, Helena Minić Matanić and many others became famous with their talents.

Today, the Croatian National Theatre in Varaždin is a national drama theatre with a rich and varied repertoire. Dramatic texts by contemporary Croatian authors, classic works of world literature, Central European playwrights and experimental plays created in several artistic disciplines make its repertoire diverse and inspiring. Its uniqueness is marked by the performance of classical works in the Kajkavian dialect, with which this theatre contributes to the preservation of the linguistic diversity of our country.

The Zvonimir Rogoz Stage, renovated with funds from the Ministry of Culture and Media, the City of Varaždin and donations, started with the program in February 2023 and became a new place for performing arts, a space with the highest technical standards for numerous programs – concerts, plays, stand-up shows, workshops.

The monograph published today by the Croatian National Theatre in Varaždin is an invaluable treasure trove of historical moments and artistic creations that have enriched our lives. It is a testament to dedication to art and culture, as well as deep respect for the heritage that has been left to us.

Like the entire cultural public in Croatia, I am proud of this exceptional anniversary, which we are marking not only with a monograph that will offer us an insight into the rich history and contribution of this theatre to our culture, but also with a whole series of great plays, concerts and events for audiences of all ages.