Fen 2012.
Festival of Independent Theatres of the Republic of Croatia
April 17 - April 22 2012 / Opatija
In five days
15 hours of theatre
for more than a thousand spectators

FENing was successfully concluded! The first festival of independent theatres of Croatia - FEN 2012, hosted in five days 13 plays, performed by 12 independent theatres, in which 37 actors from Zagreb, Split and Koprivnica performed. When all of it is summed up, in five days these 15 hours of theatre were seen by more than a 1000 spectators.

Three hours of plays daily were enjoyed by everybody - by the young and by the old, an audience that not only watched the plays, but also participated in them.

For five days Opatija was living this theatre magic and hanging out with the actors through plays, workshops, round tables as well as outside of them.

After the plays were over, the status of independent theatres in Croatia was broadly discussed in three round tables and a unanimous decision was reached that only a joint effort by the public and independent theatre scene can be efficient and can contribute to positive changes. The future of theatre as such, financing of independent theatres and unfair competition in theatre were discussed. The stress was put on the need for theatre to move ahead from its current autistic attitude towards reality, in order to avoid long-term unfavourable consequences. Excellence should be the basic criterion and starting point from which new concepts and ideas concerning theatre should evolve.

Everybody agreed on the necessity to raise awareness of the professional and broader public about the importance of developing and cultivating diversity on our cultural scene. A better dialogue with the Ministry of Culture, with local governments and self-governments as well as with public theatres is to be attempted.

We thank all the festival participants for their professional approach to performing, but also for their interaction with the organizer. We also thank for the spontaneity and pleasant time spent together as well as the atmosphere that YOU created and carried on through Opatija during all of the five days of festival. You made us the proud host of the first Festival of Independent Theatres in our country.

All for FEN, FEN for all and for the THEATRE!

Rajna Miloš,
FEN Selector and Festival Opatija General Manager

Program Booklet Fen2012 (pdf 1.1 MB)
Drama workshop for children
Opatija, the Fabulous
We learn about our city through play
January 2012 / Opatija
During the school holidays, in the local centre for arts and culture ‘Zora’, Festival Opatija organized a drama workshop dedicated to the children from the age of 6 to 10 years, under the title ‘We learn about our city through play’.

Actors from the theatre ‘Tvornica lutaka’ (The Puppet Factory) from Zagreb, Petra Radin and Mario Kovač, introduced the children to creative ‘pains’ of the art of theatre in a very attractive way - through play.

A total of 10 girls met every day over a period of six days, in the morning as well as in the afternoon hours, and diligently worked on a play that they named ‘Opatija, the Fabulous’ which thrilled some one hundred spectators in the Convention Hall of the Adriatic Hotel during the final performance.

Booklet on drama workshop for children Opatija, the Fabulous (pdf 4.2 MB)
Open Air Theatre of Opatija
Zert bb, Opatija

Opatija, this jewel of the Adriatic Sea, with its tradition in tourism of more than 160 years is one of the best known destinations in Croatia. Situated on the eastern rim of the Mediterranean basin, on the coast of the Kvarner Bay, at the foot of the Učka Mountain slopes - winding mildly down to the sea - with its climatic features, breath-taking architecture, fine hotels, manicured parks and promenades, Opatija offers its visitors an excellent opportunity for a pleasant stay all year round.

To make your stay in Opatija filled with exquisite entertainment is the task of the Festival Opatija, an organization instituted by the City of Opatija for the purpose of enhancing the cultural life of its citizens, guests and visitors, that was also entrusted with managing the Open Air Theatre.

The Open Air Theatre is situated on the green "peninsula" of the well-known Opatija’s “Angiolina Park”, right by the sea. This unique location and its ambiance created by the combination of stone walls and greenery make it the most spectacular and the most beautiful venue of this kind in the Mediterranean. The main stage area can seat 2500, or alternatively offer 5000 standing places, and with the stage of 21x12 meters it is an ideal spot for all kinds of performances, be it music, play or combined art forms, from the classical opera, operetta, ballet and musicals, across contemporary jazz, pop, and rock concerts to many other social happenings of various kinds. The small stage area can seat 600 and with its stage that measures 10x10 meters, apart from being the "little big stage", it gives the audience a much more intimate feeling with a bigger cohesion and interaction among those present. It is ideal for staging smaller formats of dramatic and musical performances.

The location where the Open Air Theatre stands today was originally intended for a much more ambitious project at the beginning of the 20th century - a multipurpose health resort palace (Kurpalast), for which there was a public tender inviting for architectural bids in 1911. The architects Marcel Kammerer, Otto Schönthal and Emil Hoppe drafted a blueprint of a palace with ballrooms for balls and concerts, swimming pool with artificial waves, shops and cafés. Unfortunately, the onset of the World War I disrupted this splendid development of Opatija. After the war was over, by the Treaty of Rapallo from 1920, Istria - with Opatija included - came under the Italian rule and instead of a health resort palace, the Open Air Theatre was built.

It obtained its present form according to the project by the famous Croatian architect, Neven Šegvić, in 1957. Since then, it has been hosting operas, ballets, symphony orchestras, folk-dance performances, concerts and plays.

Festival Opatija never forgets the fact that Opatija, by its tradition and history, has always been the city of festivals and grand happenings.

In 1934, the most famous operatic tenor of his time, Beniamino Gigli, held his concert at the Open Air Theatre.

In 1935, the first international operetta festival, dedicated to the works of Franz Lehar was held there, too.

In 1958, in the close proximity of the Open Air Theatre, in Hotel Kvarner, the first Opatija Festival of Contemporary Light Music was held, soon to become the dominant promoter of popular music that was wholeheartedly embraced by both the audience and the popular-music scene, with the iconic Ivo Robić taking the leading role.

In the period from 1985 onward, the Open Air Theatre of Opatija has been carrying on its tradition of hosting major musical events:

- Concerts by: Seal, Joe Zawinul, Randy Crawford, Matt Bianco, Joe Satriani and Adrian Legg, Antonella Ruggiero, Gibonni, Severina, Đorđe Balašević, TBF, Parni valjak, Prljavo kazalište, Bijelo dugme, Daleka obala,...

- Musicals and rock operas performed by Croatian and foreign theatre companies: Jesus Christ Superstar, Gubec Beg, Chicago, Grease, Aida, Jalta, Jalta, Footloose, Full Monty, Maratonci trče počasni krug, West Side Story,...

- Concerts of classical music, opera and other performing-art forms: Zagreb Philharmonic Orchestra conducted by Dimitri Kytajenko, Maksim Mrvica, The Russian Cossacks, Nabucco, Rigoletto,...

- Festivals: OMF - Opatija Musical Festival, Liburnia Jazz Festival, Melodies of Istria and Kvarner, Opatijske barufe, Opatija gori,...

In 2011, the first Musical Festival was held at the Open Air Theatre. Musical, as the most popular form of performing arts today, is a logical continuation of the rich after-war tradition of Opatija festivals of popular music and it carries on this series of festivals.

The venue of the Open Air Theatre can be rented for an appropriate event in the time slots when nothing is scheduled to happen by the Festival Opatija itself, and in such cases this institution also renders complete service of logistical support to the renter.

In the autumn and winter period, and in anticipation of the soon to be completed House of Arts in Opatija, the Festival Opatija takes its program to the ballrooms of Opatija hotels.

On-line ticket sales:

Tickets presale:
Festival Opatija, Zert bb, Opatija (T +385.51.271.377)
Dallas Music Shop, Splitska 2A, Rijeka (T +385.51.332.524)

Festival Opatija office hours for tickets presale:
Open Air Theatre Office, Zert bb, Opatija Monday to Friday 8:00 am - 3:00 pm
(On the day of performance tickets presale at Open Air Theatre from 8:00 pm)
Festival Opatija Office, M. Tita 101, Opatija every day 10:00 am - 12:00 am &
5:00 pm - 8:00 pm

Festival Opatija

Zert bb
HR-51410 Opatija

Maršala Tita 101
HR-51410 Opatija

T +385.51.271.377
T +385.51.711.124
T +385.51.272.840


Festival Opatija is an organization instituted by the City of Opatija for the purpose of enhancing the arts-and-culture life of Opatija and meeting the requirements of its citizens as well as those of its guests and visitors.

Apart from organizing cultural events on their premises, this Institution also rents them out for various purposes and offers services of logistical support in organizing such events related to rental. Festival Opatija reserves the right to change and modify this program and/or some of its parts. The schedule of events published on this website is of purely informative nature and is in no way legally binding for the Festival Opatija.

Festival Opatija
Institution for Organization, Promotion and
Intermediation in Domain of Culture
General Manager: Rajna Miloš

Bank Account Nr.: 2360000-1101812524
VAT-Nr.: 72755382769

Translated by: Sanja Bedrava
Graphic design: Krepelnik Graftwerk
Code: Goran Butorac


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