In the last days of December, the Finnish Turku symbolically handed over the European Capital of Culture title to Maribor and Guimarães during a solemn event. Maribor will solemnly open the European Capital of Culture on 14 January at Leon Štukelj square, followed by Guimarães a week later, 21 January.
The main event marking the official start of the European Capital of Culture (ECOC) will begin at 8 p.m. Right after the end of the opening ceremony at 9 p.m., the band Dan D will take the stage and put on an unforgettable open-air concert. Apart from the opening ceremony, the Opening Weekend from 13 to 15 January 2012 will offer a wide range of other exciting events.
Even before the official opening of the ECOC, the world-renowned concert choir Carmina Slovenica will host the 3rd International Festival of New Music Theatre, CHOREGIE 2012, from 8 to 13 January. On January 12 and 13, the choir will present the latest project by Karmina Šilec, the mesmerising stage concert, and on the 14th, tableaux PLACEBO or Is There One Who Would Not Weep.
As part of the opening weekend, the Cultural Embassies project will be launched. The Embassies are the first project of its kind and a brand new element in the European Capital of Culture formula. In total, 22 countries are involved in the project. The first two to present themselves are Finland and Estonia, as the Finnish city of Turku and the Estonian city of Tallinn were European Capitals of Culture in 2011. Estonia will present Maribor with the title of European Capital of Culture during the flaming spectacle: Fire Sculptures. The Finnish circus group, Sirkus Sudenkuoppa, will demonstrate why the slogan of the European Capital of Culture, Turku 2011, is `Turku on Fire`.
Three exhibitions will be put on display at the gallery in Vetrinjska mansion: the Finnish visual artist Markku Haanpää will present his works, there will be an exhibition of comic drawings entitled Call it a Day by various artists from Estonia and Finland, and a jewellery exhibition showcasing Finnish, Estonian and Hungarian design. The official ECOC 2012 Club will be opened. At the end of the Opening Weekend on Sunday, Marij Kogoj`s opera, Black Masks, – co produced by the opera houses of Maribor and Ljubljana and directed by Janez Burger – will be premièred at the Slovene National Theatre, Maribor.
The cultural events will invigorate the wider Eastern Slovenian region, as the European Capital of Culture will take place in six towns – during the weekends, following the opening weekend in Maribor, events will follow in all partnership towns – Murska Sobota will feature a front of modern dance, Novo mesto will be musically rich, Ptuj will offer a journey from the Kurentovanje event to the `best drop of wine in the world`, Velenje will mainly offer events for the youngest visitors, while Slovenj Gradec will revive the spirit of history.
To summarize… MARIBOR 2012 will include over 1000 events throughout the year to satisfy everyone’s various tastes and preferences, while the entire happening is subdivided into four thematic strands: Terminal 12, TownKeys, Urban Furrows and LifeTouch. Let`s roll together!
Info points …
In the second half of December, the institute, MARIBOR 2012 – European Capital of Culture, opened the first two information points (with the possibility of purchasing any tickets) MARIBOR 2012 – in Maribor and Ljubljana; information points will also be opened in partnership towns. They will be open from 10 AM to 7 PM throughout the week, with varying opening hours during holidays. At the same time, a new call centre equipped with electronic mail and providing information is open ().
From 26th December 2011, it is possible to apply for press accreditation online. Between Wednesday 11th January and Monday 16th January, a press centre will be open at the City Hotel in the centre of Maribor. Over these six days, programme organisers will introduce you to numerous festivals, exhibitions, concerts and performances that will take place in the year 2012 in Maribor, Murska Sobota, Slovenj Gradec, Velenje, Ptuj and Novo mesto.
The events and news within the framework of the European Capital of Culture Maribor 2012 can be monitored through the official website of the project.