NEW MEMBERS OF DON GIOVANNI OPERA ENSEMBLE
In the last performance of this season, the opera Don Giovanni, to be performed on 15th June at 19:30 h on the Large stage of the Madlenianum, two young singers are making a debut in the following roles: a baritone Marko Kalajanovic in the title role and a soprano Natasa Tasic Knezevic as Zerlina.
MARKO KALAJANOVIC – BARITONE
The Principal Opera Artist of the National Theatre Sarajevo has completed his graduate and postgraduate his academic studies in solo singing at the Academy of Fine Arts in Belgrade, in the class of prof. Radmila Bakocevic. After finishing academic studies, he continues vocal consultations with the Maestro Paolo de Napoli in Italy.
He has performed main baritone roles at the National Theatre in Belgrade, the Serbian National Theatre in Novi Sad, the Croatian National Theatre in Zagreb, the Slovene National Theatre in Maribor, the National Theatre in Sarajevo and in the Montenegrin National Theatre in Podgorica.
Among his baritone roles are the following:
Renato (Un ballo in maschera, G. Verdi), Ezio (Attila, G. Verdi), Germont (La Traviata, G.Verdi), Rodrigo (Don Carlos, G.Verdi), Figaro (Il Barbiere di Siviglia, G. Rossini), Onegin (Eugene Onegin, P.I. Tchaikovsky), Don Giovanni (Don Giovanni, W.A. Mozart), Papageno (The Magic Flute, W.A. Mozart), Enrico (Lucia di Lamermoor, G. Donizetti), Michonet (Adriana Lecouvreur, F.Cilea), Marcello (La Boheme, G. Puccini), Belcore (The Elixir of Love, G. Donizetti), Escamillo (Carmen, G.Bizet), Malatesta (Don Pasquale, G. Donizetti), Biscroma (Le convenienze ed inconvenienze teatrali – Viva la mamma, G. Donizetti), L’impresario (Le convenienze ed inconvenienze teatrali – Viva la mamma, G. Donizetti), Krusina (The Bartered Bride, B. Smetena), Ben (Telephone, G. Menotti ), Paul (Les Enfants Terribles, Philip Glass), Costantino il Grande (In hoc Signo, M. Frisina), Sima (Ero the Joker, J. Gotovac), Redzep Aga (At Dawn, S. Binicki), Nikola Tesla (The Melancholy Dreams of Count Sava Vladislavic, S. Bozic), Hedgehog (The House of the Hedgehog, Z. Vauda), Smail-aga Cengic (The Dragon of Bosnia, A. Horozic), Babo Alibeg (Alma, J. Osmanagic).
He has held a large number of solo concerts and performed at music festivals in Bosnia and Herzegovina, Serbia, Slovenia, Croatia, Macedonia, Montenegro, Germany, Italy, Greece, Estonia, Russia, Belarus, Japan.
In February 2017, he performed at the Sapporo Concert Hall Kitara in Japan as a solo baritone in Beethoven’s 9th Symphony with Young Hokkaido Philharmony. He has extensive experience in performing orthodox sacral music, and performed numerous recitals of classical music.
He won the Award of the Ministry of Youth and Sports of the Republic of Serbia (2008), awarded to the most successful young talents. During 2007 and 2008, he was a scholarship holder of the Opera Talent Foundation "CEE Musiktheater" from Vienna (Austria).
He also won the Annual Award for the best young artist in 2011, awarded by the Association of Music Artists of Serbia, of which he has been a member since 2005.
Since 2015, he has been employed at the National Theater in Sarajevo with the status of the Principal Opera Artist.
NATASA TASIC KNEZEVIC – SOPRANO
She was born in Belgrade. She has studied at the Faculty of Transport and Traffic Engineering at Belgrade University, but has never neglected her love, solo singing. She had been singing for many years in St. George church as a soloist and afterwards she enrolled the Academy of Fine Arts in Belgrade, Solo Singing Department, as a holder of HRH Princess Elizabeth Karadjordjevic of Yugoslavia's scholarship. Even as a student, in the class of the professor Jasna Sajnovic, a primadonna of the Belgrade Opera, and supervised by of HRH Princess Elizabeth Karadjordjevic, she started a steady stream of concerts, performances and her lyrical soprano was progressively getting a better colour. The singer with a crystal clear tone, light voice colour and attractive appearance, would enchant her audience at each performance.
Her concert performances have been going from Paris, through the Russian House in Belgrade, the Belgrade City Library, the Progress Gallery in Belgrade, Budva, the Mimosa Festival in Herceg Novi, the Youth Theater in Novi Sad, Atelier 212 in Belgrade, the Fresco Gallery, the Ethnographic Museum, the Sava Center, to the most prestigious music hall in Serbia – Kolarac Endowment in Belgrade. She has held a series of humanitarian concerts aimed at rebuilding and building temples in Belgrade and Kosovo. In the season 2011/2013, she collaborated with the Opera Studio of the National Theater in Belgrade, performing in Puccini's opera Sour Angelica.
As part of the opera studio of the National Theater in Belgrade, she has prepared and sung the roles of the middle voice Fach, which are Lauretta, Cerlina and Papagena. She has participated in the performance The Ship Sails to Belgrade by Atelje 212, in Suno e Romengo - Budva City Theater, in Fear and Its Servant directed by Kokan Mladenovic - Atelier 212 (BELEF and BITEF), Cargo-Belgrade-Sofia (BITEF), Not Everything Is As It Seems - the Romany Theater in Indjija. She has held a series of solo concerts in Vrnjacka Banja, Subotica, Trstenik, Belgrade, Beocin, has given concerts in cooperation with the Cervantes Institute in Belgrade - the cycle Unknown Iberia, and one of the most important is a solo concert at BEMUS in 2006 in the Assembly of the City of Belgrade.
During her studies, she was a scholarship holder of the SOROS Foundation and in 2012 she was declared one of the most prominent Roma women in the world by the OSCE.
She has been improving her skills working with Jasmina Trumbetas Petrovic, Radmila Bakocevic, Katarina Jovanovic, David Bizic, Djordje Nesic, Ira Sif, Liora Mauer, Lucy Arne and Mirella Freni. She successfully debuted on the large stage of the National Theater in two productions of the opera Carmen as Frasquita and Micaëla.
She has finished her specialist studies at the Faculty of Music Arts in Belgrade in the class of the Professor Visnja Pavlovic. Together with her husband, Sasa Knezevic, a pianist, she has accomplished significant performances in Norway, Italy, Slovenia, France, Croatia, Estonia, the Czech Republic, Macedonia and Germany.
The soprano's performances have been praised by critics: "Soprano Natasa Tasic Knezevic from Serbia enchanted the audience" (Tronhaim kultur, 2012); "Aria Villa enchanted the audience in the packed hall of the Home of The Army" (Večernje novosti / Evening News, 2016); "Incarnation in terms of talent, exceptional voice of noble color, harmony in the registers and natural settings, Natasa Tasic Knezevic dedicated the entire concert to solo songs." (Politika / Politics, 2006)…
The soloist has been in the permanent engagement with the Opera of the Serbian National Theater since January 2018.
The casting also includes Mihailo Sljivic as Il Commendatore, Snezana Savicic Sekulic as Donna Anna, Marko Zivkovic as Don Ottavio, Aleksandra Stamenkovic as Donna Elvira, Strahinja Djokic as Leporello, Milan Obradovic as Masetto. A conductor is Diana Cvetkovic. The performance is a co-production of the Opera &Theater Madlenianum and the National Theater in Belgrade.