Diva Grabovčeva, the first Croatian opera in Bosnia-Herzegovina, with musical score by Don Dragan Filipović and libretto by Friar Ante Marić, saw its premiere showing before a packed Herceg Stjepan Kosača hall in Mostar.
Diva Grabovčeva, the first Croatian opera in Bosnia-Herzegovina, saw its premiere showing before a packed Herceg Stjepan Kosača hall in Mostar on the 15th of March, with some 155 performers taking part, of which 115 vocalists.
The opera is based on the legend of Diva Grabovčeva and features fourteen scenes in four acts. The musical score is by Don Dragan Filipović, the libretto by Friar Ante Marić, while the arrangement (adaptation) of the music is by Fedor Vrtačnik. Joining the Pro Musica academic choir in performing the opera was the Academic Choir of the University of Mostar with music rehearser Marijana Pavlović, writes Vecernji.ba.
Domeniko Briški and Mladen Tarbuk conducted the Dubrovnik Symphony Orchestra under the watchful eye of director Jasna Žarić. The role of Diva Grabovčeva was played by mezzosoprano Monija Jarak, with the other roles played by solo vocalists Davor Radić (the father), Anita Ljubić (the mother), Monika Bule (Kata), Marija Škobić (Manda), Marijana Markotić (Jelena), Karlo Milićević (Arslanaga), Toni Nežić (Džaferbeg), Marijo Krnić (Tahirbeg), Mario Bevanda (Risto), Hrvoje Merdžo (Mane) and the young women from the Klapa Drača a cappella ensemble (together as the fairies and solo as the fairies Gorkinja, Izvorkinja and Jezerkinja). Also performing in this opera was the chamber ensemble of the Mostar Symphony Orchestra.
The concert premiere showing was staged on the 12th of March at the Dominican church in Dubrovnik to a delighted reception from the audience. See the video at: narod.hr
The opera Diva Grabovčeva depicts the life of the Catholic girl Diva Grabovčeva, who lived in Bosnia-Herzegovina in the seventeenth century during the Turkish occupation. She was killed after refusing to marry a local Turkish beg. She was laid to rest on Mount Vran, and her grave has been a place of pilgrimage ever since.
The opera opens with music drawn from the ethnic expression of the broader Rama area, followed by the choir singing about its wealth, i.e. its livestock, and beautiful Mount Vran. The opera closes when the shepherds, the choir and the other soloists sing the Diva Grabovčeva sequence Pray for Us!
The premiere opened with a greeting from Borjana Krišto, the Speaker of the House of Representatives of the Parliamentary Assembly of Bosnia-Herzegovina on behalf of the President of the Presidium of Bosnia-Herzegovina Dragan Čović.