A review

Excerpts from the article by Bosiljka Perić Kempf in Documenta monograph


Her desire is to pass on her acquired experience to others. In that process, the rhythm of receiving and giving, Dunja Vejzović’s artistic aspirations found concrete expression in 1992 in the formation of the VERO Vision theatre group in Zagreb. The group’s founders, Dunja Vejzović and stage director Christian Romanowski, brought together their musical, stage, singing education and directing experience in their desire to demonstrate contemporary understanding of music theatre through VERO Vision productions……..


The work that the Vejzovic-Romanowski duo selected for their first production and graphic presentation of their artistic aims was the morality play La Rappresentatione  di anima e di corpo by Emilio di Cavalieri…….. (This) was realized with Christian Romanowski  as director, set and light designer,  while Dunja Vejzović designed masks and costumes in addition to taking part in the performance. Such an insight into Cavalieri’s oratorio resulted in images of stylised scenic movement of almost archetypal purity. The director’s concept highlighted the timelessness of the idea presented through an allegoric story, bringing it to life with a modern-day sensibility. What we actually had  there was an artistic creation totally new to the Croatian music scene


Two years later, VERO Vision re-emerged with a semi-operatic production of Stravinsky‘s Oedipus Rex (Igor Stravinsky, Oedipus Rex, Zagreb Philharmonic in Vatroslav Lisinski Hall & Cankarjev Dom Ljubljana Hall; conductor Milan Horvat, stage and light Christian Romanowski, costumes Dunja Vejzović) and two full evenings with a programme of arias and scenes from operas, Bellini-Donizetti-Verdi. This project brought to the public  the results of her work with young singers from Zagreb. The staged recital of Bellini-Donizetti-Verdi performed in the Croatian National Theatre by the VERO Vision group demonstrated the exceptional potential of that generation. Twenty young, until then unrecognized, singers appeared on the stage of Zagreb’s opera house, performing scenes from the early romantic Italian opera repertoire, demonstrating the result of coaching by Dunja Vejzović, the level of both singing skill and stage versatility. In addition to benefiting from the knowledge and energy that she invested, the project also enabled her to show what Zagreb could and should have, but does not possess: a professional opera studio for the advanced training and proper guidance of young and promising singers, who could flourish under the direction of a person of such importance and creativity.….


Four years later, a production of Handel’s Giulio Cesare in Egitto was presented at the Zagreb Summer Festival. This confirmed two basic spheres of interest pursued by VERO Vision productions, which clearly demonstrated the artistic vision of Dunja Vejzovic…..  In presenting the VERO Vision group, she established the space in which she was able to implement her own style of teaching venture. For the young singers involved, Giulio Cesare provided a unique opportunity to acquire both singing and stage experience under the leadership of an artist of exceptional creative potential.


The same year, VERO Vision also realized a semi-operatic production of Richard Strauss’s Salome Salome. The production was directed by Christian Romanowski and conducted by Janos Kovacs, with Dunja Vejzovic as Salome.  Romanowski proved to be a director of real consequence. His interpretation of Salome provided a highly stylistic perception of the drama, but it took the artistic individuality of a Dunja Vejzovic to interpret and sing such a Salome. The set, functional and simple, was based on the symbolism of two powerfully contrasting colours, with red as the background and black as the dominant colour of costumes. In this interpretation of the drama, Romanowski was totally focused on the character of Salome, her duality as an amoral yet innocent creature and the tragedy that was her destiny, preordained by the elemental forces of Eros and Thanatos…….


Dunja Vejzovic possesses an elemental energy that drives her creativity and life. Her instinct for authenticity led her to the production of a CD recording of the fast disappearing indigenous Croatian music folklore. Prior to the recording she spent much time listening to archive material and then selected the titles to be included on the CD, This is Our Very Best Croatian music folklore  , released by VERO Vision in 1998. To date, VERO Vision has produced four CDs, the other three being live recordings of Dunja Vejzovic concerts. The latest, Richard Wagner’s Wesendonck Songs, was dedicated to Lovro pl. Matacic in commemoration of the 100th anniversary of his birth Wesendonck Lieder


The boundaries of her interests cannot be defined. They depend on her imagination and incredible creative energy, the effects of which are impossible to predict……