Conductors of the future: Darijan Ivezić

During his studies, he was awarded with the Rector’s Award in 2010 (for new project “DuLuM”), as well as with the Dean’s Award in 2012 (as an assistant conductor in the production of Bizet’s opera Carmen). In 2013 he conducted a performance of Stravinsky’s opera Le rossingol. He continue to collaborate with the Academy of Music in Zagreb from 2016 on, as an Assistant professor (Conducting studies and Sight reading), as well as a conductor of the new production of Massenet’s opera Cendrillon in March 2020. Since 2013 he was a member of the team at Croatian National Theatre in Zagreb, firstly as a Répétiteur, later as a Studienleiter. As an assistant conductor, he made 10 productions for the theater: Les vêpres siciliennes, Don Carlo, Madama Butterfly, Turandot and Gurre-Lieder, just to name a few. He conducted performances of operas such as Don Pasquale, Mimi and Equinox. From September 2019, he is a member of Staatstheater am Gärtnerplatz in Munich, where he had his german debut in March 2021. He is a conductor and an artistic director for three ensembles: Vocal baroque ensemble Projekt Lazarus (with concerts in Rome, Vienna, Venice, Varaždin, Zadar and many more), Chamber opera company “Opera bb” (with two premieres: Die Lustige Witwe in 2017 and Die Fledermaus in 2019) and Chamber ensemble “Col legno” (with contemporary repertoire performed at many festivals in Zagreb, Cres and Rovinj).

Hello, dear Darijan and welcome in our Conductors of the future rubric! We are very happy to have the chance to get to know you better and to talk with you about your path & the beautiful world of opera. First of all, please, tell us about how everything started for you, about your musical journey.

Dear OperaCharm Team, it is a great pleasure having this opportunity to talk with you all present myself and my work to a wider audience. I’ve been living with music since very early age. My older sister is a concert pianist and I had often been present while she’d practiced at home and my father always mention that I’ve been humming with her and sometimes even correcting some mistakes even before I started to play piano myself – so, there was a conductor somewhere inside even then I’ve started to work with my first piano teacher around my 7th birthday in my small hometown Novska (Croatia) and piano is always near me and I think it will be my whole life the basis of my musicianship, but with time I’ve realized that I like to make music with my friends and colleagues more and more… In that sense, I’ve gathered a few friends and started my own choir during my high school. After graduation in both piano and music theory, I moved to Zagreb, where I studied conducting and eventually got my MA Diploma in 2014.

In 2011 you started your professional career as an assistant conductor in the production of Bizet’s Carmen, how was it for you? What is it like to have the chance, as a young conductor, to assist & be a part of the musical creation process?

Except for living with classical music, mostly repertoire for piano solo in my youth, I’ve always been interested in wide range of music, going from arrangements for all kinds of ensembles (from chamber choir to symphonic orchestra) to even playing pop music in a few different groups. Somehow, opera as a form got to my attention quite late, i.e. during my studies in Zagreb. That was really the so-called “A-ha moment” when I felt really like I got “infused” with some kind of a drug I could never get rid of. All joking aside, that was really a great pleasure to assist my professor at the time and get the chance to be included in all stops on the way of making an opera production – from the very first coaching and lessons, learning the roles with singers to conducting staging rehearsals with soloists and full chorus. That experience was and still is crucial for all projects that came later. I’ve had an opportunity to find a way of giving my best working patiently with singers on all needed skills within a goal of performing his/her best, from mastering most of languages of operatic repertoire to sing other parts, that still makes me happy to this very day.

Read the entire interview here, in the 4th/2022 issue of OPERA Charm Magazine.

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