National Library of Latvia hosts exhibition celebrating the centenary of stage director Olģerts Kroders

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Oļģers Kroders. Photo: Jānis Saliņš
Oļģers Kroders. Photo: Jānis Saliņš

Eminent Latvian stage director Oļģerts Kroders would have turned 100 on 9 August. In honour of the artist, an exhibition dedicated to him – Es varētu būt bibliotekārs (I Could be a Librarian) – was opened at the National Library of Latvia (NLL), organised by the Valmiera Theatre in cooperation with the NLL, with the support of the Ministry of Culture. Utilising books, the exhibition reflects the director's era, his contemporaries, informative and emotional impressions. It features exhibits from Kroders' own library, the personal archives of Krišjānis Salmiņš and Evita Sniedze. Valmiera Theatre actor Krišjānis Salmiņš came up with the concept and the visual solution was designed by artist Anna Heinrihsone. The exhibition is open to all visitors until 9 October.

Olģerts Kroders: "Suddenly, one fine day, my whole library, which for my whole life ... I actually collected and accumulated ... It is a huge library. So I give it to the Valmiera Theatre – everything, all of it and that’s me done! I came to live here in this little room. What’s the point of it? None."

In 2002, Olģerts Kroders, in moving to Valmiera, arrived with his entire, extremely extensive library, which comprises some 10 640 items, not including the periodicals. The exhibition is a kind of a deductive attempt to understand, to guess the meaning of books in Kroders' life, in his relationships with others, in their opinions about him.

The exhibition is open to all visitors until 9 October in the NLL's Level 1 atrium.

Olģerts Kroders (09.08.1921 in Rīga – 10.10.2012 in Valmiera) was born into the family of actress Herta Vulfa and drama critic and translator Roberts Kroders. The family’s intellectual traditions, his untiring work and broad cultural interests made Kroders into one of the most erudite personalities in Latvia's performing arts. He worked in almost every Latvian theatre, staging 136 productions, and acting in films and on stage. He was deported to the polar region (1941–1956). The aristocracy of Oļģerts Kroders' soul and his inner independence enabled him to fight against mental and physical violence, clichéd aesthetic canons both in art and in life, using his productions to emphasise the importance of intellectual activity, responsibility and inner freedom for man as a thinking being. That is likely why, in his lifetime, he staged William Shakespeare's tragedy Hamlet four times in three different theatres. The director is buried in Valmiera's Dīvala cemetery.


Additional information:

Augusts Zilberts
Public Relations Manager
National Library of Latvia
Phone: +371 26472501

Marta Cekule
VSIA "Valmieras drāmas teātris"
Public relations and Advertising specialist
Phone: +371 64223986