Šeparović Mušović, Dubravka

Date created: 09.06.2016.
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Dubravka Šeparović Mušović completed the elementary music school in her native Dubrovnik. She first appeared in public as a member of the Saint Peter String Quintet, and as a member of the Dubrovnik-based Cathedral Madrigalists Choir. Having completed the Science and Mathematics Programme Secondary School, she continued her studies in Zagreb where she graduated from the Faculty of Architecture in 1993. She studied solo singing with Snježana Bujanović-Stanislav at the Zagreb Academy of Music, where she graduated from in 1998 and obtained her MA degree in 2000. She later studied with Ruža Pospiš-Baldani, Dunja Vejzović and Eva Blahova.

During her studies, Dubravka Šeparović Mušović attracted attention singing the role of Madame Flora in Gian Carlo Menotti opera The Medium, a production of the Zagreb Academy of Music and the Kerempuh Theatre. In 1999, she came into prominence interpreting the role of Caesar in G. F. Handel opera Julius Caesar, a Vero production in collaboration with Dunja Vejzović at the Zagreb Summer Evenings Festival.

In 1999, she won 2nd Prize at the Karlovy Vary Singing Competition and the Prague State Opera Award granting her a debut role as Carmen in Prague 2000. In 2002, she was invited to interpret the role of Amneris in Brno.

In the meantime, she became a member of the Croatian National Theatre of Zagreb Ensemble. The first role she sang there was Zitta in Puccini's Gianni Schicchi, and those that followed includedMarina in M. P. Mussorgsky's Boris Godunov and Romeo  in Vincenzo Bellini opera I Capuleti e i Montecchi. In 2003, her interpretation of Elettra in Mozart's Idomeneo established her as a singer with a sense of unusual directing solutions.  That same year she won the Marijana Radev Award and the Croatian Theatre Award. The roles that followed included that of Amneris, Eboli and Charlotte, and she sang the roles of Amneris and Carmen on her Japanese tour with the Janáček Theatre of Brno. In 2004, she interpreted the role of Amneris in Ljubljana as well.

From 2005 – 2010, she guest appeared on a regular basis in the German city of Saarbrücken interpreting the roles of Eboli, Adalgise, Begbick (Kurt Weill's The Rise and Fall of the City of Mahagonny), Fricka in Wagner's The Rhine Gold, Santuzza, Judit in Bartók's Bluebeard Castle and Carmen.  In 2007, she appeared at the open-air amphitheatre of the 10th Antikenfestspiel festival in Trier singing Delilah in Camille Saint-Saëns opera Samson and Delilah, and sang the same role again At St Galen Summer Festival in 2009. She appeared at the Graz Opera interpreting the role of Ježibaba in Antonin Dvořák opera Rusalka, directed by the famous Stefan Herheim. In 2010, she was invited to premiere Rusalka (in the German language) at Vienna's Volksoper, and sang it again in the seasons 2011 and 2012. In 2010, she appeared in Klagenfurt as Amneris in a production directed by Torsten Fischer, and in seven performances of Mahler's Symphony No. 2. In the summer of 2010, she guest appeared in Beijing with the Chinese first performance of Richard Strauss' Salome singing the role of Herodias.

In the meantime, she continued to perform in Zagreb interpreting the roles of Carmen, Santuzza, Mère Marie, Gertrude (Hamlet), Kundry (2011) and Ortrud (2013). Her unique creation of Wagner's Kundry (Parsifal) won her the approval of music critics, as well as the Tito Strozzi Award, the Marijana Radev Award and the City of Zagreb Award.

In 2014 and 2016, she sang the role of Amneris (Giuseppe Verdi opera Aida) at Munich's Gärtnerplatz Theatre, while in 2015 (Strauss anniversary year), she interpreted with great success the role of Herodias in Wuppertal.

Dubravka Šeparović Mušović is particularly fond of Croatian operas and their heroines. Her most recent interpretations include the roles of Jele from Ivan Brkanović's Equinox that won her the Marijana Radev Award (2015) and Doma from Jakov Gotovac opera Ero the Joker. Croatian music critics declared her a successor to the great artist Marijana Radev.

For her performance at the Rijeka Summer Evenings Festival with the renowned tenor José Cura, Dubravka Šeparović Mušović won the Croatian Musicians Society's Milka Trnina Award. She is a two-time winner of the Orlando Award for her performances at the Dubrovnik Summer Festival: in 2000, for her interpretation of Brahms compositions, and in 2013, for her Homage to Milka Trnina concert on the occasion of the 150th anniversary of the birth of this famous Croatian soprano. On 9 October 2013, Croatian president Ivo Josipović presented her with the Order of Danica Hrvatska for Culture.

In addition to her outstanding operatic creations and concert activity focussing particularly on Gustav Mahler works (The Youth's Magic Horn, The Song of the Earth, RückertliederSymphony No. 2), Dubravka Šeparović Mušović performed Berlioz song cycle Summer Nights with the Croatian Radio Television Symphony Orchestra conducted by Nada Matošević. Together with the famous German tenor Jonas Kaufmann, she appeared in a concert performance of Wagner's Rienzi under the baton of Siegfried Kühler in Saarbrücken (2006), and in a concert performance of Samson and Delilah with Marc Soustrot and the Luxembourg Philharmonic in Luxembourg (2007). Her other international highlights include Beethoven's Symphony No. 9 at the Spring Festivals in Prague and Brno with Libor Pešek, Verdi's Requiem in Heidelberg, Mahler's Symphony No 2 at the Wrozław Festival with Jacek Kaspszyk, and  Schönberg's Gurrelieder at the Beethoven Festival in Bonn with Stefan Blunier. She has interpreted Wagner's Wesendonck-Lieder several times, including her appearances with Leopold Hager and Christoph Camperstini. In her acclaimed Christmas Concert 2013 at the Croatian Academy of Science and Art Atrium, she sang Frano Parać composition Memorie and Mahler's Rückertlieder with the Cantus Ensemble conducted by Berislav Šipuš. She also appeared with the Cantus Ensemble in Beijing in 2012.

The Croatian Ministry of Culture acknowledged Dubravka Šeparović Mušović an operatic principal singer at the Croatian National Theatre of Zagreb on 1 March 2016.

In 2013, she made a major contribution to the celebration of the 150th anniversary of the birth of the great Croatian soprano Milka Trnina performing in Zagreb, Dubrovnik, Križ and Vienna.

Appearing in numerous premieres and productions at her opera house, the Croatian National Theatre of Zagreb, Dubravka Šeparović Mušović has affirmed herself as one of the most prestigious present-day operatic and concert singers.