Based on a Play by RainisTHE NIGHT OF THE SHINING PRINCESS
Premiere - 16th November, 2023
Duration - 2h 30min
Rainis writes: “[..] we had to achieve a state, had to awaken the nation to achieve it, and – the new state was to be built on the foundations of culture and humanity, not of power.” Rainis is famous for his creative ideas and wild and extraordinary concepts, only put to a halt by his own mortality. However, despite his passing, the characters created and reimagined by Rainis continue to live within all of us, shaping the archetypal subconscious world of every Latvian. Lāčplēsis manages to reappear at the nation's most crucial moments. Spīdola continues to challenge and compel us to change and grow, while her daughter Dedze continues to love — even her enemies. The poet's death is a reunion not only with these characters but also with the greatest figures of the Latvian mythological world.
This return of Rainis to the Dailes Theater stage takes place almost half a century after the performance of “Fire and Night” directed by Pēteris Pētersons. In his grand allegorical play, Rainis not only immortalized the characters from Andrejs Pumpurs' epic but also incorporated his lived experiences – the Revolution of 1905, and his own arrest and exile. Spīdola is the symbol of beauty in this work, and Rainis' collaboration with Aspazija is of great importance in her creation. Rainis had intended to write a trilogy of plays about the Latvian cultural hero Lāčplēsis and his antagonist Spīdola. The first play, titled “Fire and Night” (“Uguns un Nakts”), received immense acclaim and found its way to both the theatrical stage and opera. The second installment, "Imants," was never finished, while “The Witch of Riga” (“Rīgas ragana”) emerged as the author's impassioned outcry over the impending Eastern threats. Lāčplēsis and Spīdola's daughter, a mermaid named Dedze, must protect Riga, but to accomplish this, she must overcome her love for the enemy. The trilogy, just like the famous Pumpurs' epic, is based on Latvian legends and folklore motifs.