26 June 2020

The choir concert “Always Cheerful” (“Bilo vavek veselo”) marked this year’s double anniversary: the 140th anniversary of the birth and 60th anniversary of the death of one of our greatest composers, Ivan Matetić Ronjgov. In the beautiful space of the Rijeka Resolution Square (Trg Riječke rezolucije), the program opened with a Mantinjada performed by sopila players Branko Brnić and Klaudija Dunato, then, to the delight of the audience, the songs “Pod Učkun kućice bele,” “Tamo doli puli mora,” “Ča je more,” “Bela nedeja,” “Ćaće moj,” “Rodila loza,” “Ne beri Jele,” “Bilo vavek veselo,” “Naš kanat je lip,” and the Istrian “National Anthem” were performed by the best choirs of our region: the Rijeka Opera Choir, the Josip Kaplan Youth Choir, the Kanat Mixed Vocal Ensemble, the KUD Učka Women’s Choir, and the Rijeka Chamber Choir Val.

Instead of the concluding sentence, we bring you an excerpt of the recorded message by the granddaughter of Ivan Matetić Ronjgov, Mrs. Mira Ristić from Belgrade, who unfortunately could not come to Rijeka with her family due to the epidemiological situation.

“We are sorry that we cannot share with you the joy and vivid memory of my grandfather, one of the most important Croatian and world composers of choral a cappella music. His work on the founding of the Istrian scale, domestic national folklore and the chakavian language was recognized by UNESCO and defined the Istrian scale as an intangible cultural good, as original music of Istria and the Littoral worthy of world concert stages. It is your right, but also your duty to preserve your music and your language.”

You will have the opportunity to experience true summer atmosphere with the choir concert “Always Cheerful” tomorrow, June 27.


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