Due to the coronavirus pandemic and current measures to prevent the spread of infection, we unfortunately have had to cancel the programs which have previously been announced as part of the Summer Classics 2020 event in Pula: the opera “Tosca” on July 3, the “Heroine” concert of opera arias on July 6 and the opera “Carmen” on August 7. Refunds may be obtained at the points of sale where the tickets were purchased. If you purchased tickets online via, the refund will be made automatically to your debit card.



Dear Audience,

The Croatian National Theatre Ivan pl. Zajc continues to monitor the situation surrounding the coronavirus pandemic and current measures to prevent the spread of infection. We look forward to the positive news allowing protective measures to be relaxed, and we hope that next week we will be able to inform you in detail of the Summer Classics Program, the Rijeka Opera Festival in Pula, of potential changes to the program or deviations from what has already been announced.

For any information you can also contact the staff of the CNT Ivan pl. Zajc at the number 051/337-114, mobile 091-155 51 63, or by email at

Thank you for your understanding.


Due to the coronavirus pandemic and current measures to prevent the spread of infection, ticket sales for the announced Summer Classics 2020 festival programs in the Pula Arena are suspended until further notice.

We are carefully following the situation and its potential impact on whether we will be able to hold the Rijeka Opera Festival in Pula. We hope that due to the steadily improving epidemiological conditions, the opera arts will be able to leave the virtual world and come to life on the most beautiful Croatian stage under the open sky this summer. We will inform you of updates on May 15, especially the part of the audience that has already purchased tickets.

We believe that the next few weeks will eliminate any further uncertainty and enable us to make more specific decisions regarding the program and any potential changes or adjustments to what has already been announced. We will inform you of these immediately through our communication channels.

For more information, you can contact the CNT Ivan Zajc box office staff at 051/337-114, on mobile at 091-155 51 63 or by email at Office hours are Monday through Friday from 9 AM to 3 PM, and Saturday from 9 AM to 1 PM.

Summer Classics 2020 Program Announced!

Though winter hasn’t even truly begun yet, we’re already announcing our 2020 Summer Classics program in the enchanting setting of the Pula Arena. The third festival of classics in the arena will be dedicated to the heroines, the impressive characters of women whose will and deeds drive the action of the most famous operas: from Tosca, Turandot and Madame Butterfly, to Norma and Traviata, to Delilah and Carmen.

The third edition of  Summer Classics, which is dedicated to women through the selection of performers and conductors, opens on July 3 with Puccini’s “Tosca”, conducted by Kalla Kuusava, with dramaturgy and direction by Marin Blažević. Is there a better setting than an ancient Roman area for this operatic thriller about love, lust, jealousy, torture, betrayal, political intrigue and one incorruptible woman? The soprano Kristina Kolar, who has delighted numerous audiences in the Pula Arena for two years in a row, will perform in the main role of Tosca in summer 2020. Her Cavaradossi is the tenor Domagoj Dorotić, and Baron Scarpia is portrayed by the opera legend Giorgio Surian.

This one-of-a-kind Summer Classics concert, titled “Heroines”, is scheduled for July 6, and brings with it an explosion of emotions! In ancient stone scenery, you will meet Aida, Norma, Lady Macbeth, Turandot, Juliet, Desdemona, Mimì, Lia, Madame Butterfly, Delilah, Adalgisa, Cleopatra, Dido, Rosina and other female characters in performances of the most beautiful arias of opera literature under the guidance of female conductors. The opera prima donnas Kristina Kolar, Anamarija Knego, Diana Haller, and Ivana Srbljan will be featured side-by-side on the stage, led by the Italian conductor Beatrice Venezi.

Summer Classics will conclude on August 7 with another uncompromising female character: “Carmen”. Bizet’s opera will be conducted by Kalla Kuusava, created by Selma Banich, Sandra Dekanić, Marin Blažević, and Alan Vukelić. The unforgettable experience of Carmen is augmented by the inverted perspective of the stage and the theater, which transforms the stone stands of the Pula amphitheater into dramatic Spanish landscapes, where part of the audience is situated among the performers. Last year, the arena was too small to accommodate everyone who wished to see the passionate and heated opera. In the cast we will once again see Ivana Srbljan, who will fatally fall in love with Don José, Aljaž Farasin. With their intense acting performance, these two singers turn a seductive opera into a poignant drama.

Tosca, the concert Heroines, and Carmen make up the Summer Classics 2020! Don’t miss out on three full nights of unforgettable music, impressive ambiance, and summer atmosphere!

Ljetna klasika ulaznice


Summer 2020 will also feature unforgettable musical nights under the stars. The program for the upcoming “Summer Classics” festival will be announced on December 1st!

Stay tuned and find out which classical masterpieces will echo through the ancient Pula Arena next summer!


Beethoven’s Symphony No. 9 at the Arena in Pula has been postponed due to bad weather forecast.
We are pleased to announce that the concert will now be held on Tuesday, July 30, 2019, at the Arena Pula at 21.30h.
Ticket purchasers will be offered seats at rescheduled event.
Visitors who have bought tickets and can not attend the new concert date are entitled to refund.
If you purchased a ticket at an authorised outlet, you will need to return the ticket directly to that authorised outlet until 29.7.2019.
If you purchased a ticket online please contact until July 29th 2019.



Following the last year’s triumphal success and return of the Rijeka Opera in the Arena in Pula, the second Summer Classics Festival of the CNT Ivan pl. Zajc Opera is coming back to the antique amphitheatre in Pula with three exceptional performances, three musical and stage gems.

Verdi’s Aida, with Kristina Kolar in the title role, will be performed on 25th July under the baton of Ville Matvejeff. The famous Beethoven’s Ninth Symphony will be performed on 27th July under the baton of Yordan Kamdzhalov, who is also conducting Bizet’s Carmen, with Ivana Srbljan in the title role, to be premiered on 1st August.

Speaking at the press conference to announce this year’s Summer Classics of the Rijeka CNT, general manager and opera director Marin Blažević pointed out some of the unique features of these performances in Pula. In the first place, it is the very architecture of the Arena that is used as the stage set of the performances, adding that in Carmen, directed exclusively for the Arena, it is the first time that the typical stage space and the auditorium one will be interchanged. The opera will be performed on the stone stands, with a part of the spectators there as well. It is in this way that around two hundred spectators will be integrated into the performance, becoming thus its integral part, which is a guarantee of a unique experience.

“This festival is a great artistic challenge, but also an enormous undertaking. Around one hundred Rijeka Zajc Theatre employees will be commuting daily from Rijeka to Pula, some of them also staying there. However, we believe that, just as it was the case last year, all these efforts will bring about a great attendance rate, namely, more than six thousand spectators”, said Marin Blažević.

Speaking about Aida and Carmen, whose director, i.e., co-author of staging he is, Marin Blažević underlined that the title roles are sung by Kristina Kolar and Ivana Srbljan, two leading Rijeka CNT opera artists, who, next to Anamarija Knego, carry the Theatre repertoire. These roles seem to have been written for them as not only do Kristina and Ivana bring them to the stage singing but also acting with passion and power. Both of them will also perform as soloists in the Beethoven’s Ninth Symphony.

Maestro Yordan Kamdzhalov, chief conductor of the Rijeka Opera Orchestra to conduct the Ninth Symphony and Carmen, announced a Carmen he has not ever seen so far, being certain that it will be a memorable experience for all the spectators. Announcing briefly Beethoven’s Ninth Symphony, he said it is one of the highlights of symphonic music overall, with the message of freedom and peace that is highly needed in today’s world.

Kristina Kolar, soprano and national soloist of the Rijeka CNT, who has sung in the role of Aida in eight different Croatian productions and those from abroad, is coming back to Pula again as the heroine of Verdi’s “opera of all operas”. “Although I have actually sung Aida a number of times, this role is still growing and developing in me and over and over again I can find new emotions, new nuances of this character. Last summer, the reaction of the audience was magnificent so that I hope we can repeat that success also this year, the reaction of the audience being of primary importance for us artists”, said Kristina Kolar.

Ivana Srbljan, mezzo-soprano, who sang in the role of Carmen already in a students’ performance, for which she won the Rector’s Award, followed by the one un Split and in Rijeka, then also in Finland, said that the production of Carmen in Pula will be quite intriguing and interesting, she herself not having thought it possible in the beginning. “Although for such a staging and appearance you need to be in a much better shape than the usual one, I can hardly wait for us to arrive to Pula and appear on the stone stands of the impressive historical monument.”

Aljaž Farasin, tenor, who has already appeared more than once in the role of Don Jose next to Ivana Srbljan, thanked the opera director Marin Blažević for helping him discover some completely new dimensions of this character that have matured in him at a new and different level. “It is in Pula that Ivana and I will have the opportunity to show what we have achieved in the last ten years, ever since, as students, we first appeared together as Carmen and Don Jose.”

Petar Kovačić, director of the CNT Ivan pl. Zajc Opera, pointed out in the end that all Rijeka Zajc Theatre forces, both the performing and production ones, are directed to the return of the Rijeka Opera to the Arena in Pula, where in the past it used to be continually and traditionally present with its programmes.

Tickets for the Summer Classics Festival programmes are on sale via the system, the Rijeka Theatre Box Office, also in Pula, at the Arena Box Office and Trg Portarata (Portarata Square). For all the spectators from Rijeka there is a possibility of the organised bus transport Rijeka – Pula – Rijeka for all the three Summer Classics programmes.

In the end, gratitude was expressed to all the sponsors, partners and friends of the Summer Classics Festival.


Performers are not dressed in the costumes designed for this production; the first dress rehearsal is scheduled for July the 13th. Get back to see more photos from the first dress rehearsal.

The premiere of the opera Carmen in the Pula Arena is on 1st August. Ivana Srbljan sings the title role, Aljaž Farasin portrays the role of Don José, Anamarija Knego performs the role of Micäela and Luka Ortar that of Escamillo.

You can book your tickets for Summer Classics in the Pula Arena at the Box office of the CNT Ivan pl. Zajc (Tel. +385 (0)51 337 114, E-mail: or via





The Summer Classics Festival of the Rijeka Ivan pl. Zajc CNT is back to the Pula Amphitheatre, the most beautiful of open-air stages, following the last summer’s triumphal success when it brought the opera back in a grand style into the Arena in Pula. This summer it is in Pula again with no less than three programmes, three musical and music-and-stage jewels, three spectacles.
Opera stars from European and world stages, passionate and charismatic conductors, renowned choruses and the excellent orchestra are inviting you to the Rijeka Opera Summer Classics in Pula, namely, to Verdi’s Aida on 25th July, Beethoven’s Symphony No. 9 on 27th July and Bizet’s Carmen on 1st August.

Due to the great success and interest brought about by the spectacular Aida, the opera of all operas is back to the Arena, where it is going to evoke again the experience of ancient Egypt in the fascinating setting of the ancient Roman architecture.

More than 150 musicians will be performing the grandiose Ninth, the most famous of Ludwig van Beethoven’s symphonies, the symphony in which it is freedom and love that defeat all the evil and misfortune of mankind, while joy replaces the pain. This Beethoven’s artistic and humanist testament to the world will see a new interpretation that is certain to be resounding powerfully through the summer Pula night.

A hot summer night and Arena are the perfect stage settings for Bizet’s Carmen, a story of passionate, in fact blind love, jealousy, spite and rage, a story of a woman that, as Tchaikovsky said, only fate can have.

The uniqueness of this ambient spectacle is also promising by its very setting, namely, the stone tiers of the Pula Amphitheatre.
While you’re impatiently waiting for the Summer Classics 2019, here are some reviews of the last year’s one, when Orff’s Carmina Burana was performed next to Aida:
« Both the events were quite magical and moving. Aida as well as Carmina Burana are truly worthy of the setting in which they were presented, the synergy of music and setting having had an unquestionably intoxicating effect.»

«The overall impression of the two nights of Summer Classics by the Rijeka CNT in the Pula Arena can be described as spectacular, and that is said without any exaggeration, repetition or convention.»

«Judging by the filled auditorium, international audience and standing ovations, it was a great success. We hope to be able to see them again in Pula next summer.»

And you will! Summer Classics is coming back to Pula.

The tickets are on sale through the Eventim system and the Box Office of the Ivan pl. Zajc CNT (, tel. +385 (0) 51 337 114). Ensure them in time.

ljetna klasika u pulskoj areni / SUMMER CLASSICS IN THE PULA ARENA


After the last year’s magnificent success of the Summer Classics opera spectacle, the return to the Arena (Roman Amphitheatre) in Pula has become unavoidable! It is in full splendour that the Rijeka CNT Ivan pl. Zajc is coming back to Pula, with an even bigger and richer programme and no less than three performances, namely, Verdi’s Aida on 25th July, Beethoven’s Symphony No. 9 on 27th July and Bizet’s Carmen on 1st August.
It was with great enthusiasm and praise that the audience and critics welcomed the opera in the enchanting ambience of the Arena in Pula, numerous international opera stars and top-grade artists having attracted thousands of spectators beneath the walls of the ancient amphitheatre. If you did not happen to be among those lucky ones that experienced the last year’s magic of Aida and Orff’s Carmina Burana under the starry sky, you should make a top priority of this year’s Summer Classics in the Pula Arena and thus complete your summer vacation by comfort for the soul that only the remarkable emotion of sensational music can offer.
Invoking warmer days, here are some photos, reminders of the hot musical summer 2018 in the Arena in Pula.
You can book your tickets for Summer Classics in the Pula Arena at the Box office of the CNT Ivan pl. Zajc (Tel. +385 (0)51 337 114, E-mail: or via