Wednesday 10 April
Today, Voices of Birralee were greeted at a local primary school in Zagreb for a morning of cultural exchange. The student ensembles of the Mato Lovrak school and their music teachers and conductors had prepared a few songs to perform for us, commencing with the school’s anthem. Birralee was treated to a variety of dances, Croatian folk songs, game songs, traditional costumes, and some well-known songs in English, including an adorable rendition of “Baa Baa Black Sheep” by the younger choir, and “When I’m 64” by the older choir.
Each of these pieces were applauded heavily by the Birralee audience! The students also gave a very engaging slideshow presentation about Croatia, and the many beautiful parts of this small but astounding country.
We then sang for our guests in return. The Blokes’ performance of “Sarah” was well received, whilst BBV gave a moving performance of “Peace Song.” Finally, the Croatian and Australian singers joined forces to teach, learn and perform together in a boisterous “Sesere Eeye”, a song and dance from the Torres Strait.
After our cultural exchange, we split into small groups to tour the school, learning all about a Croatian student’s way of life.
At midday, we were treated to a wonderful lunch, including ‘Rizi Bizi’, the Croatian term for risotto.
After farewelling our new friends at Mato Lovrak, we then all travelled to the centre of Zagreb – the “Old Town” – to explore the city sights and experience more of the culture.
Many singers and our accompanist, Justine, ate some juicy strawberries from the local market, whilst others strolled along the shop fronts window shopping, or purchased some snacks for later on.
Moving to our concert venue, Blokes and BBV rehearsed for the evening concert, the Spring Festival Concert of the choir hosting us in this wonderful city, Čarobna frula! This was a wonderful concert and each choir sang with energy and passion. The Blokes’ rendition of “Privater Marsch” provided some comic relief, and “Kafal Sviri” sung by BBV was also met with rapturous applause!
Both the Vrapčići and Čarobna frula choirs also sang with elegance and precision, with an array of popular choral songs (“Joshua Fit The Battle of Jericho”), and more traditional Croatian pieces. The evening culminated in a massed performance of “The Voice,” with all choirs singing in glorious harmony together! We were also very lucky to have the Australian Ambassador to Croatia, Her Excellency, Ms Elizabeth Petrovic, in attendance.
Concluding the evening, BBV and Blokes returned to their respective accommodation and unwound from a busy day.
We invite you to keep following our journey of this epic Europe tour!
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