Tag Archives: Croatia

20180103_102219

CROATIAN SINGING SENSATION GREETED BY ENTHUSIASTIC CANADIAN FANS @ NEW YEAR’S GALA

Stunning young soprano Barbara Suhodolčan won lots of new Canadian/Croatian fans when she performed at the Holy Trinity Croatian Catholic Church in Oakville on New Year’s Eve. This marked Ms. Suhodolčan’s Canadian debut but thanks to the overwhelming response from the audience, local promoter Katica Visic of Cronnexion Entertainment is hoping to invite Barbara back to Canada later this year for a mini-tour in Southern Ontario and possibly beyond.  I had the opportunity of speaking with Barbara just before she flew back home to Croatia earlier this week and here’s what she had to say about her experience….

Barbara went on to tell me about upcoming shows, especially one about which she is very excited…

And she is especially proud of her mum and dad for their support and dedication to helping her career. Both accompanied her to Toronto, along with her piano accompanist and another musician.

She is totally delightful to chat with and is most definitely destined for fame in the very near future.  After the interview, Barbara and I had some fun taking photos in her hotel lobby where we found a great big Christmas tree still in tact.20180103_11002720180103_110033To learn more about this lovely, talented artist, you can follow her on Facebook & Instagram, or keep an eye on my blog for news of her (hopefully) return to Canada.  Here’s a recent video of her performing a Victor Herbert classic.

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Barbara Suhodolčan 1

CROATIAN CLASSICAL SINGER BARBARA Suhodolčan TO PERFORM @ NYE GALA IN THE GTA

Thanks to my friend and local musical promoter, Katica Visic, I’ve been introduced to the talented young classical singer and flutist from Croatia, Barbara Suhodolčan. Barbara (pictured below) is making a special guest appearance this coming New Year’s Eve, performing at the Holy Trinity Croatian Catholic Church in Oakville for an audience of Croatian Canadians. Barbara will be sharing the entertainment bill with her father, Rajko, a much-loved singer/celebrity known to Croatians around the world.   barbara s 2The multi-award winning, classically trained young singer made her debut in 2010 with the Croatian National Theatre in Varaždin as Hanna in Franz Lehar’s operetta The Merry Widow, and has performed as a guest soloist with many Croatian and international orchestras including the Zagreb Philharmonic Orchestra, Tambura orchestra and Symphonic orchestra of HRT (Croatian Radio Television), Varaždin chamber orchestra, Croatian Military Symphonic Wind Orchestra, Nova Philharmonic Orchestra (Slovenia), Symphony Orchestra of Ravensburg (Germany), and Suzhou Symphony Orchestra (China). Barbara has appeared in concert at many international music festivals both as vocal soloist and as an accomplished  flutist, an instrument on which she excels.

In costume, as part of renowned renaissance ensemble 'Marco Polo' from Zagreb

In costume, as part of renowned renaissance ensemble ‘Marco Polo’ from Zagreb

Thanks again to Katica, I was able to conduct a brief online interview with the beautiful and talented artist, asking her questions about her career to date, her inspirations and aspirations for continued success. I will be sitting down for a video chat with Barbara and possibly her dad, too, just before the New Year’s concert.

Here is what Barbara shared with me….

You play flute as well as sing – can tell us a little about your music training?   My first contact with music was singing, it all started in children’s choir and music TV shows for kids. At the age of 8, I started my musical education as a flutist. Later, I continued with both singing and flute in high school, and then at the Zagreb Academy of Music where I got my Master’s Degree in opera last year.

What was your first professional performance and how excited were you to take the stage?  First professional performance was at age 16 when I made my debut in Croatian National Theatre as “Hanna” in Lehar’s operetta The Merry Widow. I have to say that I got rid of stage fright long before that, because my dad encouraged me to do a lot of solo concerts and public appearances. He said it’s the only way to fight stage fright, and he was right. I was really excited on the day of the operetta’s premiere, I couldn’t sleep for a few days before and I couldn’t wait to perform on the stage! It all went pretty well; I was happy and overwhelmed the days after it!23472158_773097032875327_1211366736741281643_nYour father, Rajko, is a well-respected music professional – how has he influenced your career and future aspirations?   It’s all his fault! [laughs] I don’t know if I would ever be a professional musician if it wasn’t for him, and now I wouldn’t change it for the world! I think I’m blessed to be able to have such a wonderful job. My father taught me about all the cruelties and beauties this “music world” can bring. Although we’re not in the same music genre, he really knows a lot and was always very supportive and open minded about my ideas and aspirations.

Are there any classical (or other) music performers who have inspired you?  There are so many. I don’t want to name them individually, because my “inspirations” changed over the years of my musical development and personal maturation. In fact, I find inspiration everywhere. Sometimes those who are not classical musicians have inspired me to do some things in classical music, and visa versa. I think one should be open to music of all genres.

 Are you looking forward to performing for a Canadian audience on New Year’s Eve? And is this your first visit to North America?   I can’t describe to you how excited and honored I feel to be singing for this special Canadian Croatian audience, bringing them a little piece of their homeland to Ontario. It’s going to be my first time visiting North America and Toronto – I know it’s going be great and I can’t wait.
36630850410_8dfc3daa1e_bTo date, what has been your most exciting (or surprising) performance around the world, and why?  It’s really hard for me to single out just one, but If I have to choose the most exciting one, that would definitely be this summer in China. I performed several concerts there, and what made it so special is the fact I was singing Mandarin songs in the Mandarin language, so it was quite an experience!

Are you planning any recordings in the near future that your fans around the world can purchase?  Actually I do. I haven’t recorded any albums yet but I have a few projects planned for 2018 and if everything goes well, at the end of the year I should have not just one, but two albums. I’m really looking forward to that.23472222_773095142875516_7660755816930456776_nWhat’s next for you – any big performances with symphony orchestras or other collaborations?  I have a big solo concert on January 26th that I’m currently working on with the Croatian Armed Forces Symphony Orchestra, and collaborating with other artists in two shows with the same orchestra earlier that same month. I also have a number of recitals planned, accompanied by an organist. But the big concert on January 26 will be something that hasn’t been presented to Croatian audiences before – a concert of greatest opera, operetta and musical numbers, jazz and pop songs. As I’ll be singing all of the numbers, we are practicing really hard now as we want it to be a spectacle.

You can follow Barbara on Instagram: www.instagram.com/barbarasuhodolcan

Thank you for sharing your thoughts, Barbara, and just to tease Canadian audiences a little bit, here’s a music video from a recent recital:

For details & tickets to the NYE gala concert in Oakville, Ontario….

Svecani docek Nove 2018. godine
(Croatian New Year’s celebration)
Holy Trinity Croatian Catholic Church
2110 Trafalgar Road, Oakville, ONDoors open @ 6pm
Gourmet dinner, midnight buffet, bottle of champagne on each table
Tickets: $120 
For info & tkts, please contact: Leo 905-602-9178, Stjepan 416-436-1215 or Ivan 905-308-8038

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CONCERT POSTPONED: ANA RUCNER @ LIVING ARTS CENTRE SEPT. 27th

It is with much regret that Toronto music promoter, Cronnexion Entertainment + Events, has announced the postponement of Croatian superstar cellist Ana Rucner’s concert due to unforeseen circumstances. Ms. Rucner was booked to perform this Sunday at the Living Arts Centre in Mississauga, and arrangements are being made now to re-schedule when travel permits. We thank all who showed interest in the event and Cronnexion would like to assure ticket holders that they will receive refunds directly from the Living Arts Centre. Please visit www.facebook.com/cronnexion for updates on Ana’s future concert date as well as other international artists coming in to Canada.

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If you would like to win a pair of tickets to see Europe’s most exciting classical musician, the beautiful and talented Croatian cellist Ana Rucner, when she plays the Living Arts Centre in Mississauga Sunday September 27th (7:30pm), just answer this simple question:

What is the capital of Croatia?ZagrebSend your answer with your name & phone # to: FordhamPR@rogers.com with the answer in the subject line by midnight Thursday Sept. 24th.  We will notify the winner via phone on Friday afternoon and your tickets will be left at the box office on Sunday evening.

For one night only, Europe’s most exciting classical cellist, ANA RUCNER, will perform a special program at Mississauga’s Living Arts Centre on Sunday September 27th (7:30pm showtime) presented by Toronto-based Cronnexion Entertainment & Events.

Rucner will perform two sets of contemporary and classical pieces featuring videos of her beloved Croatia, and will be accompanied by special guests University of Toronto String Quartet and local folklore dance group Zrinski Frankopan. The concert will be MC’d by Canadian music media icon, Michael Williams, founding veejay of MuchMusic.

Tickets are $55 – $75 and are available from the Living Arts Centre: http://www.livingartscentre.ca/theatre-performances/world-classics-and-croatian-beautiesclassical cello

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New Toronto music promoter to introduce Croatian superstar ANA RUCNER Sept. 27th

I’m thrilled to introduce my new client, Katica Visic, founder of Cronnexion Entertainment + Events, who specializes in world-renowned talent from her home country of Croatia.  Katica, or Kathy as she tells her Toronto friends to call her, is already teaching me so much about Zagreb and Dubrovnik (pictured below), and how the cities are vibrant, modern centres for the arts, education and commerce, not just picturesque quaint holiday spots that many of us still assume is the norm.

Dubrovnik, known as the Pearl fo the Adriatic and a World Heritage site.

Dubrovnik, known as the Pearl of the Adriatic, and a World Heritage site.

Zagreb

Zagreb

The new high-tech Zagreb arena for sports and entertainment

The new high-tech Zagreb Arena for sports and entertainment

I recently sat down with Kathy and asked her to share her story about launching her new music promotions company, the Sept. 27th concert with internationally renowned cellist Ana Rucner at Mississauga’s Living Arts Centre, and about her future plans for introducing more talented Croatian artists to Canadian audiences.

What inspired you to bring in cellist Ana Rucner for a single concert in Toronto/Mississauga?
I am a proud Croatian and I enjoy sharing my love for my culture with others, to which my friends and colleagues will attest. The first time I heard Ana play, I was incredibly moved. She put my two loves together – Croatia and music. Her music sums up what it means to be Croatian and coincides with my company’s belief of “Sharing Our Culture with the World”. 

Ana Rucner

Ana Rucner

She may not be known to North American audiences but can you talk about Ana’s fame throughout Croatia and the rest of the world?
Her unique style has taken her all over the world and she has played in over 30 countries. Wherever she plays, she is always invited back. What’s interesting about Ana is her intense passion for the cello and for live performance. In her own words, she’s found an instrument that “breathes with her” and this is seen on stage through her spontaneous and energetic performances.

more cello pinkYou recently formed Cronnexion Entertainment & Events to produce Ana’s show and have plans to bring in other Croatian artists. How challenging has this new business launch been for you?
Although I’ve been involved in organizing concerts for many years, launching my own venture has been an exciting experience filled with steep learning curves. Growing a new business is a difficult and somewhat lonely journey but that being said, I have been given valuable assistance and guidance from numerous established entertainment organizations, a great publicist (I’m blushing) and have learned a lot more about the wonderful and enthusiastic Croatian community here in Toronto.

KATHY VISIC, Founder of Cronnexion Entertainment + Events

KATHY VISIC,  Founder of Cronnexion Entertainment + Events

So you’ve received support from the Ontario Croatian community – can you share some of the people/organizations who are offering assistance?
I’ve received a great deal of support and encouragement from the Croatian National Tourist Board and the Zagreb Tourist Board, as well as from the Croatian Embassy and the Consul General of Croatia in Mississauga.  I’m also very grateful to local Canadian-Croatian businesses and radio stations for their promotional efforts and so many of my friends who are sharing information about Ana’s concert via social media.

With so many summer music festivals and concerts featuring rock, hip-hop and country artists, do you think audiences are ready to embrace Ana’s more classical repertoire, especially with her adding many contemporary pieces played in her “rockstar-like” stage style?
Absolutely! Her repertoire is vast and her energetic stage presence makes it easy to engage audiences with her unique blend of classical, contemporary and world music.

Ana performing LIVE in Croatia

Ana performing LIVE in Croatia

How do we buy tickets for Ana’s concert?
All information plus the link to ticket purchasing is here: https://www.facebook.com/events/358031511056654/

Where can we hear/see Ana perform online prior to her concert in September?
Ana has lots of YouTube videos available online so I encourage everyone to log on and enjoy the music and the videos: www.youtube.com/user/AnaRucner

Coming up over the next 12-18 months, you have other exciting Croatian artists coming into Toronto – can you offer us any hints or tease us with names who these performers may be?
I am communicating with other artists and local venues, but have yet to finalize any dates. All I will say is that these artists are famous in the European pop/club music scene. Also, a full North American tour is being planned for Ana for 2016-17 so please follow me on social media to get the latest news.

How can we follow Cronnexion and Ana?
https://www.facebook.com/cronnexion
https://twitter.com/cronnexion
http://anarucner.com
https://www.facebook.com/ana.rucner?fref=ts
https://twitter.com/anarucner

Thanks to Kathy for inspiring me to research Croatia – here are a few sites that may interest YOU in learning more about this wonderful country:
Croatian National Tourist Board:  http://croatia.hr/en-GB/Homepage
Zagreb Tourist Board:  http://www.zagreb-touristinfo.hr/&lang=en
Croatian Embassy in Ottawa:  http://ca.mvep.hr/en/

Zagreb