Albania Commemorates Father of National Opera Music

Albania will commemorate one of the fathers of the country’s opera history, composer Çesk Zadeja with a concert tracing the maestro’s creativity and those who have followed in his footsteps.

Bassoonist Alban Zadeja, Çesk’s son, says concert performances include the Skanderbeg movie music, symphonies and a piece he created in 1996 just one year before his death. There will also be pieces by Thoma Gaqi, Isak Shehu and Kujtim Laro, some of Zadeja’s most acclaimed students in performances by the symphonic orchestra of the Opera House.

Opera House director Zana Çela describes Zadeja as one of the fathers and promoters of Albanian music.

“Cesk Zadeja has been a promoter of the greatest orchestra and instrumental genres of Albanian music creating the first symphony, the first piano concert and the first ballet piece. He was one of the founders of key Albanian institutions that created, cultivated and developed our music,” Çela has told reporters.

Zadeja (1927-1997) is the author of over 100 works of concert music, including four ballets, chamber music, symphonies and songs. His work has had a substantial influence on virtually all subsequent Albanian composers.

Zadeja is a contemporary of Prenke Jakova, another Shkodra-born composer who created Mrika, the first Albanian opera which staged in the 1950s under communism.

Zadeja studied music both at Rome and Moscow, headed the newly founded Albanian folk music and dance ensemble, the Tirana state conservatory and the National Opera and Ballet Theatre in the 1970s.

With the National Theatre of Opera and Ballet under reconstruction, the concert commemorating Zadeja’s 90th birth anniversary is scheduled for Tuesday, June 6 at the University of Arts, Tirana.

Fifty years after its construction under Albania’s communist regime, the National Theatre of Opera and Ballet, Albania’s solo performing arts institution of its kind, is being renovated under a €8.6 million government funded project.

The 30-month reconstruction, already underway, is set to finish by June 2019 in a project that will make a thorough renovation that involves architecture, stage design, acoustic and air-conditioning systems.