In all times, Lithuania has been famous not only with basketball players, but also its opera soloists. In the early XX century, when the opera theatre was just created, Lithuania was made known by inimitable Kipras Petrauskas. This probably was the first such famous singer, who by his performances on St. Petersburg and later on Italy scenes has made people speak about Lithuania as the land of great singers.
Juozas Mažeika, Antanas Sodeika, Antanina Staškevičiūtė, Petronėlė Zaniauskaitė, Antanas Kučingis, Kazys Gutauskas, Valentinas Adamkevičius, Elena Čiudakova, and later a number of other young talents told Europe and the rest of the world that Lithuania is not only the land of basketball.
Among mentioned and not mentioned singers, however, the most distinguished singer, and perhaps the one most glorifying his homeland, was now the legendary voice of Lithuania - Virgilijus Noreika.
This extremely talented tenor with his diamond timbre (so is named V. Noreika in the pages of the world-renowned magazine "Opera News" in 2010) for many years has delighted more than only Lithuanian lovers of opera art.
Due to his love to homeland, this fantastic tenor refused to sing in Moscow's Grand Theatre, and couldn‘t delight the world's lovers of opera art, but his fame spread and remained until now. But life is ruthless; years run relentlessly and do not let to look back...
This year, the legendary voice of Lithuania - Virgilijus Noreika will turn 77 (22 9 1935). And another number is no less impressive - 55 years on the professional stage.
Professor, the Knight of the highest Lithuanian and other countries‘ awards, still singing, and quite actively concerting, Maestro has decided to retire from active vocal performance on the big stage... This does not mean that we won‘t hear his still amazing voice... it means that this great artist simply declares "enough", it is time to stop... and maybe to give the crown of the king of Lithuanian tenors to a young talented tenor, perhaps one of his many students, perhaps, the future legendary tenor of Lithuania.
Thus, with the intention to mark this Maestro‘s step, in the honour of his unfading talent, there have been planned 6 concert series - “THANK YOU FOR LOVE - VIRGILIJUS NOREIKA“.
On 8 of Sep 2012 - Alytus entertainment arena, 21 of Sep - Vilnius Siemens Arena, 30 of Sep in Kaunas - Žalgiris arena, 13 of Oct - Šiauliai entertainment arena, 19 of Oct - Klaipėda Švyturio arena and 27 of Oct Panevėžys Cido arena, Virgilijus Noreika farewell to the big stage concerts will take place. Despite Maestro, other currently known young tenors - Edmundas Seilius, Vaidas Vyšniauskas and Mėrunas Vitulskis - will perform in these concerts.
Negotiations are currently underway with Riga and Tallinn, St. Petersburg and Moscow.
For the first time in Lithuania we will be able to enjoy four tenors singing at one time. The program will last for more than 2 hours (even 3 hours including a break). Concert program will feature arias from operas, Italian, Spanish, American and, of course, Lithuanian songs. In this concert, four superb singers will perform new and unheard, also now well-known works sung by the world's leading tenors. Famous Lithuanian tenors will sing one by one, by four and by Quartet. This probably Lithuanian public has not yet seen and heard.
In the first part of the concert arias from Puchinni „Turandot“, „Bohemia“, G.Verdi „Othello“, G.Donizetti “L'elisir d'amore”, J.Masne „Verter“, F.Flotov “Marta“ will be performed by Maestro Virgilijus Noreika and the young Lithuania‘s opera giants - Vaidas Vyšniauskas, Edmundas Seilius, Mėrunas Vitulskis. In the first part we will also hear such well-known Italian and Neapolitan songs as C.A.Bixio „Mamma“, L.Dalla „Il canto“, F.P.Tosti „Marechiare“ and other.
In the second part you will have the chance to hear V. Noreika and the young Lithuanian tenors performing world-known American and Spanish pop music hits - from J.Revaux, K.Fransua and P.Anka „My way“( famous song sung by F.Sinatra) till A.Lara „Granada“ and B.Thiel „What a wonderful world“ ( popular song performed by L.Armstrong).
Raudonikis “Tenderness“, B. Gorbulskis “Ninth wave“ and other popular Lithuanian songs are waiting for you, too.
Specially for this concert Algimantas Raudonikis created a new song with the same name as the concert "Thank you for love", which will be performed by the legendary voice of Lithuania - Virgilijus Noreika and brilliant young Lithuanian tenors - Vaidas Vyšniauskas, Edmundas Seilius, Mėrūnas Vitulskis.