Dunja Vejzović - Biography

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EDUCATION

Dunja Vejzović was born in Zagreb, the daughter of J. Crnković (a UNO expert) and D. Crnković Očko (an architect). After a degree in printmaking at the Academy of Fine Arts, she studied and graduated in solo voice at the Music Academy in her native city. She then pursued further studies, in Lied, at the Hochschule für Musik und Darstellende Kunst in Stuttgart. Recently, to her many musical activities she has added the study of Conducting.

SINGING CAREER

In her first engagement in the Nuremberg Opera House, she was at once in the casts of great productions and worked with well-known conductors like Hans Neunfels, Hansgünter Heyme and Werner Düggelin. After that came guest appearances away from Nuremberg. After her first performance of Kundry in Parsifal and as Brünnhilde in Die Walküre in Basel, she was invited to sing Kundry in Bayreuth, a role that she took in three festival seasons.

At that time Herbert von Karajan invited Dunja Vejzović to take the parts of Kundry and Ortrud for performances at his Salzburg Easter Festival. For studio recordings in DGG’s Parsifal and EMI’s Lohengrin, she won the Prix Fanny Heldy. Together with Maestro Karajan, she recorded the role of Senta in Der Fliegende Holländer.

Dunja Vejzović has appeared on the stages of almost all the great opera companies: La Scala of Milan, the Metropolitan, Hamburg and Vienna Opera, at premieres and in leading roles. She has worked with such conductors as Carlos Kleiber, Lorin Maazel, Silvain Camberling, Claudio Abbado, Zubin Mehta, Lovro von Matačić, George Pretre and Christoph Eschenbach, with whom she has recorded the Death of Cleopatra by Berlioz and Brahms’ Alt Rhapsodie.

She has performed with some of the great names of the opera repertoire; for example, in Hérodiade together with Monserrat Caballé, Jose Careras and Juan Pons; with Jose van Dam in the Le Vaisseau fantôme She has performed very often in her home country Croatia; we might especially mention her parts in Norma with Miro Belamarić and in Nabucco as Abigaille, with Pavle Dešpalj and with Mladen Tarbuk. At a grand concert celebrating the 60th anniversary of Croatian RadioTV with Nikša Bareza, she sang the final song of Salome. Her stage work with the American director Robert Wilson has been particularly productive: in his remarkable performance of Parsifal in Hamburg and Houston and in Gluck’s Alceste in Stuttgart as well as in Hagoromo at the event Maggio Musicale in Florence.

The scope of her many recitals and concert appearances are testified too by the many live and CD recordings with her permanent duo partner Đorđe Stanetti (piano), Dunja Vejzović LiveSchubert Die Winterreise and with the guitarist Darko Petrinjak.

EDUCATIONAL CAREER

Being an equal master of both concert singing and the interpretation of the Lied, since 1995 she has been engaged in teaching voice, transferring to the younger generations some of her great artistic experience. In this she places the emphasis on the old belcanto school that she acquired during her work with the legendary Iris Adami Coradetti and Gina Cigna in Italy. She has had a well recieved career as voice teacher at home and abroad at music colleges (Graz 1996/1997, Zagreb 1995/2000 and 2012-2020 as well as at Stuttgart, 2000-2012. Many students who have graduated under Dunja Vejzović have received prizes and gone on directly to appear on the operatic stage and the concert platform.

MASTER CLASSES

Dunja Vejzović has held masterclasses on the island of Rab since 2000 that have become a veritable institution. The final concerts, accompanied by the orchestra of Rijeka Opera, conducted by Nada Matošević, Mladen Tarbuk and now Dunja Vejzović herself are the peak of the summer season not only for the local population and visitors, but by transfer to the Rijeka Opera, where young singers can experience encounters with a broad public.

As well as in courses in Italy at the Scuola opera italiana Bologna, Holland at IVC s’ Hertogenbosch, Germany at Bückeburg and the Opera Studio of Staatsoper Berlin, Jennersdorf ISA and Mexico, Dunja Vejzović is a regular member of the jury at important competitions of the Zagreb Scholarship Competition (of which she is the founder), of the IVC s’ Hertogenbosch, the R. Wagner in Venice, the Hugo Wolf in Slovenj Gradec and is president of the Santa Chiara Competition in Naples.


VERO VISION

Together with her husband Christian Romanowski, in 1992 Dunja Vejzović founded Vero Vision, a platform for various branches of cultural activity through which they have directed and produced a large number of important projects, assisted by the City of Zagreb and the Ministry of Culture of the Republic of Croatia (competitions, scholarships, operatic performances, CD issues and books).

See: VERO Vision


AWARDS AND COMMENDATIONS

In recognition of the great value of her work, Dunja Vejzović has received numerous domestic and international prizes. Among the most recent are the Lifetime Achievement Award of the Croatian Theatre and the Vladimir Nazor Prize that is awarded to the most prominent Croatian artists for lifetime achievements.

In 2010 the President of the Federal Republic of Germany awarded Dunja Vejzović the decoration Das Bundesverdienstkreuz am Bande for services for cultural and social cross-border exchanges of young people in music.

PRIZES: List of Prizes

In Croatia

1996     City of Zagreb Prize
           I. pl. Lukačić Prize

1982     Milka Trnina Prize

1993     Stolzer Slavenski Prize

1983     Vladimir Nazor Prize

1996     Croatian Daystar Decoration

1989     Orlando Prize, Dubrovnik

           Medal of Varaždin Baroque Evenings

1999     A Porin Award for her especial contribution to musical culture and three more prizes

           Honorary Citizen, City of Rab

           Honorary Member of the R. Wagner Association

2013     Croatian Actors’ Association Lifetime Achievement Award

2019     Vladimir Nazor Lifetime Achievement Prize


International

Orphée d’Or

1981/82 Fanny Heldy Prize for the part of Kundry

1984     Fanny Heldy Prize for the part of Ortrud

1981/82 André Messager Prize for the best disk of the year (Parsifal)

2010     Bundesverdienst Kreuz

Recordings

1977 Bruno Bjelinski Candomblé  Jugoton Stereo LSY-66022

1979 Franz Schmidt Fredigundis Voce -85

1981 Richard Wagner Parsifal  LP 2741002/3382002-5MC, CD 413347-2 Kundry

1981 Dunja Vejzovic Jugoton Fonoars  LSY-66123

1982 Franz Liszt  Christus Metronome Musik Vipro klassic 0180075 LC 8644

1982 Richard Wagner Lohengrin EMI 1C165-43 200/04 CMS 7693142

 

1982 Alban Berg Excerpts from Wozzeck EX92T47

1984 Richard Wagner Der Fliegende Holländer EMI 27001333 LP 157, CD CDS 7470548

1984 L. van Beethoven Missa Solemnis  LC4101 IMS 0984

1984 Jules Massenet Hérodiade, LR203/3

1986 Dunja Vejzovic and Darko Petrinjak Jugoton Fonoars LSY-65073/4

1989 G.F. Händel Judas Maccabeus RTB 33035

1989 Saverio Mercadante La Vestale  Buongiovanni GB2065/66-2

1990 Hector Berlioz La Mort de Cleopatre Supraphon 110389-10/3/1 ZA

1990 Antology Royal Concertgebouw Orchestra 1980-1990 RCO 08005 14 CD

1991 Mozart in Zagrebu  Orfej HRTV LP 3003 SOKOJ

1993 Johannes Brahms Alt Rhapsodie Virgin Classics VC5 45006 2MP518

 

1993 Ivan Lukačić Sacrae Cantiones CD ED.0101, CD ED.0102

1993 Dunja Vejzović Live  Sony/VERO Vision CD DV 101  Dunja Vejzović Live

1993 Franz Schubert Die Winterreise VERO Dokumenti 1CC DV 103 DDD

1997 Gala concert  25th Anniversary of Varaždinske Barokne Večeri CDVBO 110

1998 Stanko Horvat Šum Krila Šum Vode Three Croatian composers HDS CD 98898498382

1999 R. Wagner Wesendonck Lieder  In Memoriam L.von Matačić  2 CCDV 104

2002 Dunja Vejzović in Zagreb  Orfej HTR CD ORF 247

2005 Pergolesi Stabat Mater Zagrebački Solisti CD 5652533

2011 Davorin Kempf Croatian Contemporary Composers 9889849142

2015 Leoš Janaček Jenufa OEMS Classics  OC 962

2016 Ernst Krenek Orpheus and  Eurydice  C 923 1621 Stereo DDD

DVDs

1992 Richard Wagner Lohengrin, dir Claudio Abbado, Placido Domingo, Cheril Studer, Hartmut  Welker Staatsoper Wien

1983 Puccini Suor Angelica La Scala Milan, dir Gavazzeni, Rosalind Plowright


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