Four Opera Divas performed at the Church of Saint Blaise last night. They were fantastic! The Dubrovnik Symphony Orchestra String Quintet and pianist Alberto Frka accompanied them in a concert to honor St. Blaise. They sang songs by Croatian composers Dora Pejačević and Đelo Jusić as well as Saint-Saëns, Rossini, Bellini, Gounod, Bach, and Mozart! The String Quintet played Haydn’s “Serenada” and it was lovely!
The church is small, and I had no idea what to expect but arrived about 30 minutes before the performance. There were maybe 300 people and few if any tourists except me. It was a very special experience! The concert ended with the “Himna Sv Vlaha” – Hymn of St. Blaise – and everyone stood to sing it.
The four divas had stunning voices:
- Terezija Kusanović Mezzo-Soprano
- Jelena Stefanic Soprano
- Diana Hilje Mezzo-Soprano
- Tanja Ruzdjak Soprano
I’m sad to have missed the Klapa Vocal Group Festival in Marin Drzic Theater the day before. Popular klapa groups like Maestral, Folklore Ensemble Lindo, Kumpanji, and Osjak performed. Klapa singing is a “multi part cappella homophonic singing tradition of the southern Croatian regions of Dalmatia”.
St. Blaise Festival concerts are minimally advertised by flyers posted throughout Dubrovnik. There was confusion about some of the dates and times. Luckily, I double checked on the Opera Divas concert and found out it was not on the day shown in the flyer. The charitable aspect of the festival is for the Anti-Cancer League and renovation of the Church of Saint Blaise.
It was a memorable evening in Dubrovnik!