Audience on their feet! Ovations! Bravo! Long applauses! Hands clapping enthusiastically!
The audience enjoyed two emotional hours of the most beautiful arias that marked the career of the Rijeka opera diva Mirella Katarinčić Toić.
Tonight, at the CNT Ivan pl. Zajc, there was a gala farewell concert of the Croatian principal national soloist of an international career Mirella Katarinčić Toić, who has permanently marked the Croatian operatic stage with her artistic perfection. Besides the beautiful arias, there were video projections enabling the audience to watch an exhibition of photographs of Mirella Katarinčić Toić, perfectly integrated with the concert programme.
With words of gratitude, Mirella Katarinčić Toić was addressed by those who she had shared the stage with for years, namely, the Chorus and Orchestra of the Rijeka Opera. They pointed out her commitment to the art but also her exceptional human quality. She was also addressed on behalf of their professional association, the Rijeka branch of the Croatian Society of Music Artists, who gave her a white empty canvas as a symbol of continuation of her artistic work. The Theatre general manager Marin Blažević and the Rijeka City Mayor Vojko Obersnel expressed her their gratitude presenting her with a St. Vitus Medallion.
The opera diva received telegrams from the County President Zlatko Komadina, the Minister of Culture Nina Obuljen Koržinek, as well as a most touching and personal one by Loredana Gašparović.
In the end, the prima donna thanked her family as well as the audience that has supported her wholeheartedly and is still doing so, giving her thus the energy to go on. “See you, and not goodbye!” said our Mirella with a smile.
The audience experienced the concert quite emotionally and with the whole heart; there were tears and applauses, as if they did not want to let Mirella Toić leave the stage. “An exceptionally courageous and difficult programme”, “An excellently directed concert”, “Convincing interpretations of the Rijeka soloists. We were able to see them in a new light owing to Mirella”, “A brilliant artist and creator” are some of the words of spectators.
Maestro Igor Vlajnić conducted the concert, while Vanja Zelčić, tenor Davor Lešić, baritone Robert Kolar and bass Slavko Sekulić were the soloists. Romeo Drucker was the concertmaster.
Over the years, the Rijeka born principal national opera soloist performed a number of awarded opera roles and sang in numerous concerts, also having had a successful teaching career. We can remember her Leonora in Il Trovatore, Leonora in La Forza del Destino, Amelia in Un Ballo in Maschera, Amelia in Simone Boccanegra, then Violetta Valery in La Traviata, Aida, Giselda in I Lombardi, Desdemona in Otello, Elisabetta in Don Carlos, also her Puccini heroines, Tosca, Mimì, Liu and Cio-Cio-San. In Mozart operas, she was Contessa, Fiordiligi, Donna Anna; in Rossini’s Mosè in Egitto she was Sinaide; she was Bellini’s Norma, Santuzza in Cavalleria Rusticana, while she proved to be remarkable in her interpretations of national opera roles, as Eva, Jelena, Margita and Amelia in Ivan pl. Zajc opera roles, Marija in Brkanović’s Zlato Zadra, Sunčanica in Papandopulo and Inmerganda in Porin by Lisinski.
Mirella Katarinčić Toić has performed at summer festivals in Dubrovnik, Opatija, Rijeka, Pula, Krk, Zagreb and Sofia. She recorded a CD of opera arias and duets with the Split opera soloist Ratomir Kliškić. She won the City of Rijeka Award, the Milka Trnina Award and the Croatian Theatre Award for the role of Norma in Bellini’s opera. Mirella was also honoured with the Decoration for Merits in Culture, the Order of Danica Hrvatska with the image of Marko Marulić and received the prestigious Vladimir Nazor Award for the highest artistic achievement for the role of Elisabetta in Verdi’s Don Carlos and the role of Amelia in Un Ballo in Maschera.