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Snjezana Bujanovic-Stanislav, a professor of singing from Zagreb, has run a summer school for singers on Vis for eleven years, and it was this, the ten day Internacionalnog Seminara Pjevanja Vis 2003, that gave rise to an evening concert on 17 July at the Hrvatski Dom in Vis Town presented by the organiser and featuring eleven young student singers (all but two of them female) accompanied on the piano -- or, in Croatian, the rather fascinating sounding glasovir -- by their talented repetiteur, professor Danijela Petric.

The Hrvatski Dom, Vis Town. Photo © 2003 Keith Bramich
The Hrvatski Dom, Vis Town. Photo © 2003 Keith Bramich

The format was a series of solo arias and songs (predominantly Italian, but with Croatian, Russian, and Austrian music too), topped and tailed by two choruses, sung by all participants together, mostly in unison -- the opening chorus from a musical, and the closing one, an effective Nocturne by composer Djelo Jusic from Dubrovnik.

Most impressive in the line-up of singers (mostly 16-17 year-olds) was the (more senior) soprano Ivana Krajina (born at Sibenik, Croatia in 1983), with a beautifully controlled voice and a notably powerful low register. She ended the concert with a showy aria from Gounod's Romeo and Juliet, although I preferred her singing of Italian arias -- a selection of five, all sung beautifully, by Bellini, Scarlatti, Tosti and Verdi. Her main spot would have been at the end of the first half of the concert, as shown on the programme sheet, had Ms Bujanovic-Stanislav not decided, wisely, to run the whole concert (which began at 9.30pm, just after nightfall, when the Hrvatski Dom was still rather hot) without an interval.

Singers on Professor Snjezana Bujanovic-Stanislav's Vis Summer Course, including Ivana Krajina (centre, in white and black) and Antonia Mirat (far right, in yellow). Photo © 2003 Keith Bramich
Singers on Professor Snjezana Bujanovic-Stanislav's Vis Summer Course, including Ivana Krajina (centre, in white and black) and Antonia Mirat (far right, in yellow). Photo © 2003 Keith Bramich

Notable also was another soprano, Antonia Mirat, and again an older student, with possibly the more powerful voice, and nicely controlled pianissimi, in Vaghissima Sembianza by S Donaudy, and arias from Mozart's Cosí fan tutte, Donizetti's Don Pasquale and Puccini's Gianni Schicchi.

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Copyright © 17 August 2003 Keith Bramich, Worcestershire, UK

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