Tuesday, 20 July 2021

3 Years: Oliver Dragojević Anniversary to be Marked in Vela Luka

July 20, 2021 - The Oliver Dragojević anniversary will be marked in Vela Luka on Korčula, where concert evenings will be held to remember the Croatian singer 3 years after his death. 

When he closed his eyes forever on July 29, 2018, everyone shed a tear for the singer whose songs have marked and will mark the generations to come. Oliver Dragojević gave the region unforgettable hits, many of which will be sung again this year to mark the third anniversary of his death, reports Slobodna Dalmacija.

Vela Luka, where Oliver spent the most beautiful days of his childhood and where he now rests, is preparing two musical evenings in honor of the Croatian musician.

HRT will broadcast live from Korčula next Thursday, July 29, starting at 10 pm, as a concert will be held on the Second Program. The host of the event is Duško Ćurlić. The audience in Vela Luka, as well as the spectators in front of their screens, will have the opportunity to hear Oliver's most beautiful songs such as the inevitable "Cesarica," "Galeb," "Traga u beskraju", "Kad mi dodeš ti", and many others.

The songs will be performed by Gibonni, Tedi Spalato, Antonio Serrano, Marko Tolja, klapa Ošjak, and Dupini. Ante Gelo will take care of the great musical accompaniment with an orchestra conducted by Alan Bjelinski.

The second evening is reserved for young stars from the Croatian stage that we've met in various HRT shows such as "A strane" and "The Voice." This year's Croatian representative at the Eurovision Song Contest, the young Albina Grčić from Split, will sing in Oliver's honor.

Two days before the first concert, the exhibition "Oliver through the lens of Livio Andrijić," the head of the photo agency Cropix, will be officially opened. It contains 35 photos of the singer and can already be seen at the Vela Luka Cultural Center.

"When you're friends with someone, you don't think you should take a picture with them. If you happen to remember that, then you think: There is time, we will meet and take photos. And then it turns out that there was not enough time, that many of your moments together were not recorded in photos, but that is why they live forever in their hearts," Livio Andrijić said recently for Jutarnji list.

For more, follow our dedicated lifestyle section.

Wednesday, 29 July 2020

Two Years Without Oliver Dragojevic: Croatia Remembers the Beloved Singer on July 29

July 29, 2020 - Oliver Dragojevic lost his battle with cancer on July 29, 2018, at the age of 71. Two years later, we remember the region's most beloved singer. 

The famed and favorite Split musician forever closed his eyes in the early morning hours of July 29, 2018, following a tough battle with lung cancer discovered in August 2017.

Oliver Dragojevic left behind his wife Vesna, sons Dino, Davor and Damir, and five grandchildren, as well as numerous bereaved colleagues and fans. The day of his death was proclaimed a national day of mourning, and for his final farewell in Split on July 31,  2018, tens of thousands of people paid their respects in a spectacle that will be remembered and recounted for many years to come.

Hajduk Split fan group Torcida said goodbye to the musician by lighting a flare with Oliver's image from the bell tower of Sv. Duje, and for the last time, Oliver embarked on his final journey to Vela Luka with hundreds of boats glittering the sea. Oliver was buried In Vela Luka on August 2, per his wishes, and locals paid their respects for days, leaving flowers in front of the home where he was born. 

In memory of his fruitful musical career, concerts and events under the 'Trace to Infinity - Memory of Oliver' theme will be held in Vela Luka this year, too.

Oliver has left an irreplaceable place on the Croatian music scene and in the hearts of his fans. Still, the memory of him undoubtedly lives on through his works and people who will participate in various ways this year in commemorating his life and work.

Slobodna Dalmacija writes that in order to preserve his heritage, various events are held throughout the week in Vela Luka, and the highlight of this year's event will be tonight's big concert, which will be held in front of the church of St. Joseph. The concert will feature Oliver's longtime associates and friends: Nina Badric, Petar Graso, Petar Dragojevic and Oliver's Dupini, along with many musicians, a string orchestra, all under the direction of producer Ante Gela.

The exhibition 'Oliver u Luci/Luka u Oliveru' by Rade Dragojevic Cosovic, dedicated to Oliver, was opened in Vela Luka, and tonight, before the concert, Zlatko Gall will present a book dedicated to Oliver Dragojevic - 'Trace to Infinity'. Wreaths were also laid and a mass and recital will be held in the church.

"It's a great honor for me to be a part of that story. For me, it's not just a concert, it's a lot of memories, my whole childhood, holidays, pranks, sadness and happiness ... it simply binds me to this concert which, I'm sure, will be full of emotions from song to song," said Petar Dragojevic in preparation for tonight's concert in honor of Oliver.

Oliver was born on December 7, 1947, and spent his childhood in Vela Luka on the island of Korčula. He fell in love with music already in his early childhood, after his father Marko gave him a harmonica. 

"I could have broken it, but I kept it safe and played it all day. I was maybe 3 or 4 years old,” Oliver revealed in an interview. Oliver would entertain his peers from the neighborhood with his harmonica playing, but also the boat passengers traveling the Split-Vela Luka route.

In 1963, he was entrusted as a singer and keyboard player of the famous Batali band from Split. Four years later at the invitation of Zdenko Runjić, he made his debut at the Split Festival. He performed Runjić's "Picaferj", though his performance did not get him to the final.

Oliver then joined Dubrovački trubaduri and quickly participated in the founding of the popular group More. He returned to the Split Festival in 1995 with Runjić's song "Galeb i ja“. Though he did not win, this performance pushed Oliver alongside the biggest stars, and the rest was history.

Oliver's success is confirmed by the fact that he is one of the few Croatian musicians who can boast performances in New York's Carnegie Hall, London's Royal Albert Hall, the Olympia in Paris and the Sydney Opera House. Although he could live anywhere he wanted, his heart had always brought him back to his favorite Split - a place he never wanted to leave.

Apart from Split and Hajduk, Oliver's heart was full thanks to his wife Vesna, whom he fell in love with at first glance.  He first noticed her on the Stradun in Dubrovnik while he was playing in 1973, and married her only one year later.

Even though Oliver had to cancel the concerts he had planned due to the progression of his illness, his positivity and strength carried him through to the very end. Oliver’s wife and sons were by his side as he closed his eyes forever. 

Today, and always, we remember Oliver Dragojevic.

To read more about lifestyle in Croatia, follow TCN's dedicated page

 
Tuesday, 10 September 2019

Oliver Dragojevic to be Honored with Birthday Concert at Spaladium Arena

September 10, 2019 - Oliver Dragojevic will be honored with a concert at Spaladium Arena in Split for his birthday on December 7, 2019. 

His unique voice, musicality, and dedication to music led Oliver Dragojevic to a celebrated career that lasted half a century, and made him a unique phenomenon of Croatian music. He enjoyed a privileged place in the music scene, touching every fan and colleague with whom he collaborated. 

Thus, a unique meeting of his colleagues, friends, and fans will be prepared in honor of Oliver's birthday, on December 7, 2019. The people of Split long desired such spectacle, designed in Oliver's way, which, unfortunately, he was unable to pursue in front of his faithful followers. 

Dalmacija Danas reports that an evening of music awaits us all on December 7, 2019, at the Spaladium Arena, which is projected to be the concert of the year. The concept of the concert will be presented at a press conference by the organizers and his colleagues who will perform a tribute to the celebrated singer. 

oliver_spaladium_vridilo_je-1.jpg

In the wake of the event, at City Center One, an exhibition of family photos and private moments of Oliver Dragojevic will be inaugurated on Friday morning through the lens of Fedja Klaric, which will last from 13.9. - 6.10.2019. Additionally, a mural dedicated to Oliver will be presented.

Recall, Oliver Dragojević was born on December 7, 1947, in Split, though he was originally from Vela Luka, where he also spent his childhood. Oliver was particularly connected with Split where he attended music school, and also made the first steps in his musical career. 

His first encounter with music was at the age of five when his father Marko gifted him an accordion. Oliver would entertain passersby on his street, and boat passengers on the regular Split-Vela Luka route. His first feature appearance was at the Split Children's Festival in 1961 with the popular song 'Baloni'.

Oliver’s festival debut was at the Split Festival in 1967. He attended at the invitation of Zdenko Runjic and played the song 'Picaferaj'. Though the song did not make it to the final festival night, it became one of his eternal hits.

Throughout his lifetime, Oliver’s voice and modesty delighted his fans at concerts all over the world, and it was not unlike him to perform at humanitarian concerts to help those most in need. It was at HNK Split where he took part in the concert "Believe in Love" organized by the County Cancer League for 50 years of dedicated work. The concert was held in October 2017.

However, no one knew that it would be the last public performance of the legendary Oliver Dragojevic, whose words after the concert certainly confirm why he was an audience favorite and someone whose songs will remain forever written in the souls of his fans not only in Split, but his admirers around the world. 

“Here’s something that works for the people, and that is helping anyone in need. That's the message - believe in love. Being a man is hard, and finding himself is even harder,” Oliver said at the end of the concert.

Oliver had planned to celebrate his 70th birthday with a great concert in Split, where he hoped to mark 50 years of his career, though his illness, unfortunately, prevented him from performing and the concert was finally canceled.

A few months later, in March 2018, Oliver addressed his fans at the Porin, where he was honored with the lifetime achievement award.

“I would like to mention a man who marked half my life, and that is Zdenko Runjic. There are a lot of good people around me, and this time, my disease has stopped me from being with you. As a child, I wanted to play and sing, and that dream was somehow interrupted. Hello to all the good people around me and those who have supported me in this crisis. I hope there is still time for me to sing and play, and if things get better, all will be good,” Oliver said via a video message. 

"What should I say to you - enjoy, people, because life will be a fantasy," Oliver said from his home for the last time, receiving tremendous applause.

Oliver was born December 7, 1947, and died on July 29, 2018. Oliver is buried in his beloved Vela Luka.

To read more about Oliver, follow TCN's dedicated page here.

Monday, 29 July 2019

One Year Without Oliver Dragojević: Remembering the Singer on July 29th

July 29, 2019 - Oliver Dragojević lost his battle with cancer on July 29, 2018, at the age of 71. Today, we remember the region's most beloved singer. 

The famed and favorite Split musician forever closed his eyes in the early morning hours of July 29, 2018, following a tough battle with lung cancer discovered in August 2017, reports Dnevnik.hr.

Oliver Dragojević left behind his wife Vesna, sons Dino, Davor and Damir, and five grandchildren, as well as numerous bereaved colleagues and fans. The day of his death was proclaimed a national day of mourning, and for his final farewell in Split on July 31,  2018, tens of thousands of people paid their respects in a spectacle that will be remembered and recounted for many years to come.

Hajduk Split fan group Torcida said goodbye to the musician by lighting a flare with Oliver's image from the bell tower of Sv. Duje, and for the last time, Oliver embarked on his final journey to Vela Luka with hundreds of boats glittering the sea. Oliver was buried In Vela Luka on August 2nd per his wishes, and locals paid their respects for days, leaving flowers in front of the home where he was born. 

Oliver was born on December 7, 1947, and spent his childhood in Vela Luka on the island of Korčula. He fell in love with music already in his early childhood, after his father Marko gave him a harmonica. 

"I could have broken it, but I kept it safe and played it all day. I was maybe 3 or 4 years old,” Oliver revealed in an interview. Oliver would entertain his peers from the neighborhood with his harmonica playing, but also the boat passengers traveling the Split-Vela Luka route.

In 1963, he was entrusted as a singer and keyboard player of the famous Batali band from Split. Four years later at the invitation of Zdenko Runjić, he made his debut at the Split Festival. He performed Runjić's "Picaferj", though his performance did not get him to the final.

Oliver then joined Dubrovački trubaduri and quickly participated in the founding of the popular group More. He returned to the Split Festival in 1995 with Runjić's song "Galeb i ja“. Though he did not win, this performance pushed Oliver alongside the biggest stars, and the rest was history.

Oliver's success is confirmed by the fact that he is one of the few Croatian musicians who can boast performances in New York's Carnegie Hall, London's Royal Albert Hall, the Olympia in Paris and the Sydney Opera House. Although he could live anywhere he wanted, his heart had always brought him back to his favorite Split - a place he never wanted to leave.

Apart from Split and Hajduk, Oliver's heart was full thanks to his wife Vesna, whom he fell in love with at first glance.  He first noticed her on the Stradun in Dubrovnik while he was playing in 1973, and married her only one year later.

Even though Oliver had to cancel the concerts he had planned due to the progression of his illness, his positivity and strength carried him through to the very end. Oliver’s wife and sons were by his side as he closed his eyes forever. 

Today, and always, we remember Oliver Dragojević.

Translated from Dnevnik.hr

To read more about lifestyle in Croatia, follow TCN's dedicated page

Friday, 12 July 2019

Oliver Dragojević Documentary Film to Premiere at Pula Film Festival

Just one week before we mark one year of his passing, an homage to the late singer Oliver Dragojević will be held at the 66th Pula Film Festival. 

A documentary film about the late singer Oliver Dragojević titled "OLIVER's 70 - A Little Story About a Great Musician and His Last Concert" (In Croatian: “OLIVERovih 70”) will premiere on July 20, in the Pula Arena, within the 66th Pula Film Festival. The film will premiere just before the first anniversary of the death of the legendary Croatian musician, reports Splitski Dnevnik on July 11, 2019.

Filmmakers Branko Drakulić and Lea Dekleva used materials recorded before and during the celebratory concert "OLIVER's 70" in Zagreb with the Zagreb Philharmonic Orchestra. The film follows Oliver to his most intimate interview and aims to bring viewers closer to Oliver’s humbleness and uniqueness - the traits that made the distinguished singer so loved. 

Oliver's discography, concerts throughout his career, and media promotion molded him into a unique phenomenon of Croatian pop music. Throughout his life, Oliver Dragojevic deeply connected to his fans, opened his heart to cooperate with music colleagues, and was eager to participate in many special projects. 

In his vibrant 50-year-career, Oliver released 23 studio albums, numerous compilations, won hundreds of awards and played to crowds of thousands at concerts in the world's most famous concert halls such as New York's Carnegie Hall, London's Royal Albert Hall, the Paris Opera House, and the Sydney Opera House. This left behind an undeniable artistic heritage and thus influenced many generations - and will continue to inspire those yet to come. 

"I'm glad I had a chance to cooperate with Oliver in my life, but I'm sorry we could not do more, especially with concerts in Split which everyone loved. Looking at the recordings, we realized that this is precious material and that it should be presented to Oliver's audience,” said the producer of the documentary, Neno Drobnjak.

The documentary film about Croatia’s beloved Oliver will premiere at the Pula Film Festival just before the first anniversary of his passing, on Saturday, July 20 after the awards ceremony. You can read more about the film here

To read more about lifestyle in Croatia, follow TCN’s dedicated page

Thursday, 27 December 2018

Jakša Fiamengo Dead at 73: Farewell to the Dalmatian Poet and Cherished Lyricist

Jakša Fiamengo, the man responsible for writing the lyrics to more than 60 songs for Oliver Dragojević, passed away on Thursday. 

Tuesday, 31 July 2018

Oliver Dragojević’s Family and Friends’ Emotional Farewell At Split Commemoration

July 31, 2018 — Croatian music legend Oliver Dragojević was honored by those he inspired and loved at a memorial commemoration in Split’s theater.

Sunday, 31 July 2016

Tickets for Oliver and Gibonni at Spaladium Arena on Sale Now!

After playing to numerous sold out crowds with even more anxious fans, Oliver and Gibonni return to Split on October 7 for a spectacle at Spaladium Arena.

Search