Hello and welcome to Constanța - Romania, the beautiful host city for the 139th edition of the Forum Song Contest!
This September, the FSC leads us to this Romanian beach town located in the Northern Dobruja Region of Romania on the Black Sea coast, which gives us all the opportunity of enjoying the last few days of summer this year together while listening to new music from all around the globe. The beachfront of Constanța stretches over 13 kilometers and thus offers the opportunity of taking a dip in the warm water. The summer season is the most popular one and usually lasts from May until September, with July being the warmest month of the year in this location.
With a population of over 280,000 Constanța is the fifth most populous city of Romania. The city's port is the biggest port located on the Black Sea and is generally one of the biggest ports in Europe overall. Having been founded in the 7th century BC under the name Tomis and is thus the oldest continuously inhabited city in Romania. Some of the ruins of the town's oldest part are visible to this day.
In the 1st century BC, Tomis and the surrounding region were captured by the Romans and added to their massive empire. As a fun fact for people interested in literature and poetry from the antiquity, Ovid, a Roman famous for his poetry in the Latin Language, spent the last 8 years of his life in exile in Tomis after having been banished there by the Roman emperor Augustus. A statue of 'Ovidius' can now be seen in the Piața Ovidiu of Constanța, located in front of the current history museum of the city.
Tomis was later on renamed into Constantiana in honor of, Constantia, the half-sister of the Roman Emperor Constantine the Great. Due to the town's location in the border region of the Roman Empire, the town changed 'owners' multiple times in its history until the Romanian War of Independence in 1878, when the Ottoman Empire ceded it to Romania as we know it today.
Today, Constanța is one of Romania's main industrial, commercial and tourist centers, with many new companies being established in the region every year. Due to its ideal location on the beach front of the Black Sea, Constanța is perfect for a relaxing beach vacation and thus thrives from tourism. Additionally, the city profits from its proximity to other major tourist destinations located around the Black Sea and is also only a 2.5-hour drive from Romania's capital city, Bucharest.
You may recognize this building from other images, but as you may have guessed, the stunning Constanța Casino is our host venue for the FSC #139 September 2020.
Located right at the beach front and in the historic Peninsulă District of Constanța, the Casino has been designated as a historic monument. It was originally built in 1880 and was designed to be a club and community center for the upper-class population of the region. The Casino was built a total of three different times, with the latest version having been built in the Art Nouveau style in 1910. In this version, the casino was operational for 38 years, however with interruptions due the two World Wars. From 1948 until 1960, the building was used as a 'House of Culture' for the Communist party and was afterwards handed to the National Office of Tourism. Constanța Casino was last repaired in 1986-1988 and has been abandoned since then. Luckily for us, we have been offered to use this historically important building as a venue for this month's FSC, so please make sure to leave the building as cleans as you have found it yourself.
Of course, the FSC could not go on without the help of our two wonderful hosts that nobody cannot 'stan'. We are happy to announce tonight's hosts: Alexandra Stan and Sebastian Stan
Alexandra Ioana Stan was born on 10 June 1989 in our host city of Constanța and is a Romanian singer-songwriter. She was discovered in 2009, when she was singing at a karaoke bar and was then signed to Maan Records. Her debut single 'Lollipop (Param Pam Pam)' was released the same year and enjoyed moderate fame in Romania. It was in 2010, when Stan had her world-wide breakthrough with her next single 'Mr. Saxobeat'. The hit-song was very commercially successful and reached the number one spot of the charts in multiple countries and also earned the Romanian singer-songwriter several awards. Stan released four different albums since then and continues to write and release new music ever since. She is considered to be one of the most successful Romanian artists.
Sebastian Stan is a Romanian-American actor and was born on 13 August 1982. Just like Alexandra Stan, Sebastian was born in our host city of Constanța, but at the age of 12, the actor and his mother moved to Rockland County, New York. At his college-preparatory school in Rockland County, he first starred in several theater and musical theater performances. He eventually attended Rutger's University's Mason Gross School of the Arts and spent a year abroad studying acting at Shakespeare's Globe Theatre in London, England. Stan's career began in 2003 with a role on Law & Order, and since then, he has starred in a multitude of TV shows and films. He is best known for his role of Bucky Barnes in the Marvel Cinematic Universe.