Category Archives: Latvia

One Night In… Riga

Riga at night 2013Riga at night 2013Riga at night 2013Riga at night 2013Riga at night 2013Riga at night 2013
Riga at night 2013Riga at night 2013Riga at night 2013Riga at night 2013Riga at night 2013Riga at night 2013
Riga at night 2013Riga at night 2013Riga at night 2013Riga at night 2013Riga at night 2013Riga at night 2013
Riga at night 2013Riga at night 2013Riga at night 2013Riga at night 2013Riga at night 2013Riga at night 2013

Riga 2013, a set on Flickr.

I went to Elton John concert in Tallinn last year. I chose to fly with AirBaltic that took me to Estonia’s capital via Riga, the capital of Latvia. On my way back I chose not to spend a night at a deserted airport but that rather have a wander around Riga’s city centre. I took a passenger van there, got dropped off opposite the National Opera, popped into McDonald’s for a quick bite to eat (as it was nearing midnight and I had no idea where to best go for a meal, plus I had a bag and a small suitcase, which wasn’t quite accommodating for visiting any eatery). While there, I diligently studied a map and then wandered off to look for the Black Cat’s building. Bearing in mind it was already dark I would probably never find, had it not been for a helpful Latvian guy who quickly pointed me in the right direction.

I sampled a bit of the city’s glam and history, although I long to return there in broad daylight (if only to finally take a decent pic of that famous cat!)

I managed to catch a bit of a peformance of Bee Bop a Lula at one of the outdoor restaurants. But all the while I was loitering around Riga’s city centre I was humming the melody of a famous Noktirne (Nocturno) by A. Kublinsky and J. Brejgis. It narrates the story of a person walking in Riga at night, waiting for his beloved.

Opus – Let’s Think About It (Опус – Надо Подумать)

I’m going through a wonderful stage of recalling my earlier years (that’s early 1980s), all thanks to a song “Let’s Think About It” (Надо подумать) by the Latvian group, Opus. Before 1978 the group was headed by Raimonds Pauls who was changed by Zigmars Liepiņš, and the group was renamed from Modo into Opus.

In 1984 the group produced their opus magnum (it’s hard to resist a pun here), Let’s Think About It. The singers Mirdza Zīvere and Imants Vanzovičs brilliantly acted out the first courtship. The girl is first being very modest and hesitant, explaining that she’s afraid of the ants and mosquitos, and that her parents wouldn’t approve of her seeing a young man. The young man is obviously ready to fight away the smallest mosquito… then there comes a change of heart, and now it’s the girl’s turn to promise to drive away the ants from her beloved. The song was awarded a top prize at the Song of the Year contest in 1984, and the catchy tune is likely to stay in your head for some time. 

The group dissolved in 1988. Mirdza went on to become a producer and currently leads the advertising department at the Latvian radio SWH, headed by her husband Zigmars Liepiņš. She was awarded the Order of Three Stars.

Imants’s birthday was on April 19, so happy birthday! After an attempt of a comeback as a singer in 1990s, he’s moved to showbusiness and now directs a series of aqua-musical performances, being the head of Imishow International Ltd and an official representative of the French Aquatique show international.

Have you heard of Opus before now? Did you like the song/tune?