The New Riga Theatre and its Artistic Director, Alvis Hermanis,
announce a new collaboration with Mikhail Baryshnikov

Hermanis and Baryshnikov collaborated previously on BRODSKY/BARYSHNIKOV now in its fourth year of touring. In autumn, 2019 a new performance work will be launched. THE WHITE HELICOPTER is based on true events leading up to the historical 2013 resignation of Benedict XVI.

Joseph Ratzinger was a revered theologian, a steadfast believer in the tenants of the Catholic Church, and a close friend and advisor to Pope John Paul II. After succeeding John Paul II, and serving as Pope for eight years, Ratzinger surprised the world by becoming the first Pope to voluntarily resign in over 600 years. In light of moral and ethical upheaval in the Catholic Church, and the unique challenges of the 21st century, Ratzinger's excuse of declining health raises more questions than it answers.

Mikhail Baryshnikov will play the part of Benedict XVI. Kaspars Znotiņš of the New Riga Theatre will play The Secretary of the Pope, and Guna Zariņa, also from the New Riga Theatre, will play Sister Tabiana. Written and directed by Alvis Hermanis, THE WHITE HELICOPTER will be performed in a mix of English, Italian, Polish, Latin and German with simultaneous translation. Set design and costumes are byKristīne Jurjāne. The production, currently in development, is scheduled to premiere on November 21, 2019 in Riga, Latvia.

Ticket sales for the premiere season will start in autumn, 2019. Information about precise date will follow.

THE NEW RIGA THEATRE is a state repertory theatre founded in 1992 in Riga, Latvia, led by artistic director Alvis Hermanis since 1997. The Company is comprised of 16 actors. The New Riga Theatre has performed at major festivals around the world, including Festival d'Avignon, The Edinburgh International Festival, Wiener Festwochen, Salzburger Festspiele, Holland Festival, BITEF, Kunstenfestivaldesarts, and, to date, has toured to more than 200 towns and cities in 40 countries, both in Europe and overseas. For more information, visit

Contact for media:

Inga Liepiņa (, + 371 6723225, +371 2 9174775)

Contact for touring:

Elīna Adamaite (, + 371 6723225)