February 17-19 will be a busy weekend with over 130 events spread across the city. We are opening an unrepeatable, long-awaited year, the one in which Timișoara is the European Capital of Culture. The opening of Timișoara 2023 means memorable performances, brave art, ideas that open the world, visitors from all over Europe, and open communities.
By Romanita Oprea
The people of Timișoara and guests from all over the world will participate on Friday, February 17, in the festive event Celebrating the Opening! from Piața Unirii, celebrating the cultural diversity that characterizes the National Cultural Program “Timișoara – European Capital of Culture in 2023”. Saturdays and Sundays offer more than 130 opportunities and invitations to get to know the city better through exhibitions, concerts, community events, or shows distributed in all the neighborhoods of Timișoara.
Opening Timișoara 2023 is a program financed by the Municipality of Timișoara, coordinated and organized by the Project Center. For the Opening weekend, Timișoara City Hall allocated 7.5 million lei, and the Ministry of Culture 800,000 lei.
“In a few days, we start a strategic year for Timișoara and for Romania, in which we have a historic chance to change perceptions and demolish prejudices. Let’s use the European story of Timisoara to create a new European destiny for Romania and reposition ourselves as a city on the European map. It’s the start of a year with over 1,000 exceptional events that start with an extraordinary weekend to which I invite all the people of Timisoara. It is only the first of the important moments that will mark this year 2023, a year that will go down in the history of the city. Dozens of ambassadors, European commissioners, and national and international officials will join us to celebrate the title of European Capital of Culture. In times of crisis, culture brings us together. In times of hatred, Europe is the answer”, said the mayor of Timișoara, Dominic Fritz.
On February 17, from 5:00 p.m., at the Palace of Culture (Sala Mare), the Timișoara 2023 Opening Gala Ceremony will take place. During the gala, the officials present will give speeches, and the event will be marked by concerts performed by two outstanding pianists: Andrei Irimia, one of the most acclaimed contemporary piano composers in Romania, as well as the Dutch composer and pianist Joep Beving, who has become a sensation in the world of contemporary music streaming. For this gala event, tickets will not be sold to the general public, but the ceremony will be broadcast live on TVR 1. The ceremony can also be watched on large LED screens, located in Piața Victoriei and Piața Libertății.
Celebrating the Opening!
Also on February 17, from 19:00, Timișoara has a meeting with Europe in Piața Unirii. Festive event Celebrating the Opening! sheds light on the memory and identity of Timișoara, alongside local artists and their guests. We bring together video art and dance, electronic music, and traditional rhythms, in a celebration of the whole city, a declaration of intent and love for Timisoara 2023 – European Capital of Culture.
Doctor Sinteză and K-Lu, Implant Pentru Refuz, together with Dora Gaitanovici, Adrian Despot, Dan Byron, and the Ukrainian Alyona Alyona will take to the stage in Unirii Square. We enjoy a Europe without borders and compromises, united in the universal language of the show, with Duchamp Pilot & Muaré Experience and Taraf de Caliu and their guests.
The evening will be closed by Fritz Kalkbrenner, the last confirmed headliner. The Berlin DJ builds his creations on the sonic legacy of East Berlin from the mid-90s. His approach blends his voice in recordings and live performances and creates a special blend of the melodic house that delights festival fans and clubbers around the world.
Get ready for sonic explorations and new ways to discover the city, in an authentic dialogue between countries and generations, genres and cultures, traditions and technologies.
Swedish-British singer-songwriter Jay-Jay Johanson, known for his melancholy voice, is considered one of the most influential artists of his generation. He will perform on February 18, from 6:30 p.m., at the Palace of Culture, and at the opening of the concert, the young singer EMAA, originally from Lugoj, will take the stage.
Nicknamed the Devil’s Violinist, Lajkó Félix, accompanied by the Polish band Vołosi, will perform an exceptional concert at the Capitol Hall of the Banat Philharmonic, on February 19, from 6:30 p.m. In the opening, Irina Sârbu & band will take the stage.
Timisoara reconfirms its vocation as a host of the arts in a moment of synchronization with biennales and important museums in Europe and beyond.
The collective exhibition Chronic desire – Sete chronica proposes, in multiple spaces in the city (Bastionul Maria Theresia, Comenduirea Garnizoanei Timișoara, Museum of Public Transport “Corneliu Miklosi”, Palatul Ștefania) new ways of reading and feeling the critical political and ecological moment on which we cross together.
After successfully representing Romania at the Venice Biennale (2022), the project Tu esti un alt eu – A cathedral of the body of the artist and director Adina Pintilie is presented for the first time in Romania, at the Kunsthalle Bega.
The Nursery Project. 1306 plants for Timișoara, an intervention in the urban space of Timișoara by MAIO Architects (Spain), proposes to look at Piața Victoriei from a new perspective, from the height of a temporary metal installation, full of vegetation. The installation will be ambiently lit, and on Friday, February 17, from 19:30, it will be animated by DJ Bully.
The European Capitals of Culture have the responsibility to seek new definitions and answers for major themes. We celebrate freedom of thought and choice through debates, workshops and presentations that open minds and bridges of collaboration.
Under the title Ideas that change the world, the German philosopher Peter Sloterdijk and the Romanian writer and director Andrei Ujică will have an unmissable public dialogue, about “the film of philosophy and the philosophy of film”. The conference takes place on February 18, from 16:00, in the Aula Magna of the University of the West.
La Două Bufnițe bookstore will host on February 19, 11:00, the debate 256 novels for Central Europe, led by the writer Adriana Babeți, accompanied by important writers, literary critics and translators.
The opening of Timisoara 2023 is a celebration of the entire city. Through the Opening+ program, run by the Timișoara Project Center, from amounts allocated from the state budget, through the budget of the Ministry of Culture, 25 new cultural projects proposed by the local community joined the program of this intense weekend. They are full of the fresh energy of the city, in all its diversity, and will take the celebration to the neighborhoods, from Iosefin, to Soarelui and from Fabric to Complex or Plopi.