CAPSULE STORIES #2 - Mario Bokun
Mario Bokun, an opera singer of the Croatian National Opera House in Zagreb, the initiator of annual sacral music festivaldedicated to St. Martin the patron saint of Dugo Selo.
“By the concert dedicated to our patron saint, apart from cultivating our tradition, we will add something new, extend and enrich it for future generations. Each project aimed at developing culture and joining different nations is worth time and effort.“
How did you join the NPA project?
“I participated in a meeting organized by the Town of Dugo Selo where this Interreg project was presented. I am an opera singer at the Croatian National Theatre in Zagreb and head of the Vocal Ensemble Duga. It is art that connected me with the NPA project. I suggested a concert of sacral music dedicated to St. Martin, where local choirs and guests from abroad can participate. Music is a universal language, which can help us communicate and share our feelings and thoughts…
Tell us more about the concept of the concert?
The first step can be the concert cycle called Classic Martini. It was launched last year by VE Duga with the aim of promoting classic music: operas, operettas and instrumental pieces. The only condition is that the repertoire should be dedicated to St. Martin. The choice of music can be of earlieror of more contemporary date and can vary in arrangements. The main idea is to connect all the partners on the project, including musicians from Slovenia, Slovakia, France, Hungary, Italy. Dugo Selo was the first town in Croatia which placed „St.Martin's footprint“ at the old church. By means of music the concert cycle can connect us with other St. Martin's places of worship in Croatia as well as in other countries, in which I see great tourist potential. Our plan is to show our guests from abroad the architecture, natural beauties and cultural herritage of our region. As for accomodation facilities of our town, we can start with what we have. We deffinitely have potentials which have to be recognized and further developed.
Challenges of the realization ...
Challenges are great. Realization has started, it needs to be further elaborated. People of Dugo Selo are well- known for their hospitality, but organizational logistics is needed. My wish is to include young musicians from Dugo Selo and its surroundings. We have a very successful Music School. The students achieve excellent results at competitions both at home and abroad. The NPA project, apart from sharing culture, could help these young people to continue their education. When they finish High Music School they are already qualified to give concerts. It would be a pity for the successful students to stop at that stage and neglect their talents and their playing skills. Our profession has already been hit by the departure of all kinds of experts who had to leave the country in search of existance.
What do you expect from the NPA project?
I expect that the sacral music annual concert lives and expands the project. All this goes in the direction of a wonderful cultural co-operation and exchange of experience and knowledge. After all, if there is the repertoire requirement to have songs dedicated to St.Martin, we can compile a songbook about him. It would be a valuable music notation document of songs from different peoples of Europe. The sacral music literature is extensive, so some of the pieces could reappear in the songbook. Maybe new pieces and new arrangements might be included. By the concert dedicated to our patron saint, apart from cultivating our tradition, we will add something new, extend and enrich it for future generations. Each project aimed at developing culture and joining different nations is worth time and effort.