Monday, 17 June 2019

Dmitry Sinkovsky, a prestigious Russian violinist and one of the best baroque performers in Europe will perform on Tuesday, April 25, with the String Chamber Orchestra of Dubrovnik Symphony Orchestra. The concert will take place in the Revelin Fortress at 8.30 pm, as a part of the Dubrovnik Musical Spring.

The String Chamber Orchestra of the Dubrovnik Symphony Orchestra will be conducted by their concertmaster, Dana Kahriman. The program is Mozart's Divertimento in F major and Britten's Simple Symphony, while Dmitry Sinkovsky will perform the Haydn Concert for the violin and orchestra in G major.

Although the concert on Tuesday will be violinist one, Sinkovsky is a successful conductor and countertenor too. At last year's peformances in Dubrovnik, he repeatedly surprised the audience with his voice abilities.

Sinkovsky was educated at the prestigious Moscow Conservatory of Tchaikovsky and won numerous awards at important competitions - from Premio Bonaparti in Italy to Bach competition in Leipzig, Musica Antiqua in Bruges, Telemann competition in Magdeburg and many others. In 2007, when he has already made a significant career as a violinist, Sinkovsky also improved his talent as a countertenor, so today he plays parts of famous operas during his performances. Taking into account all his talents, it is clear why Dmitry regularly performs all over the world.

The Du Motion: Runners' Days Dubrovnik sport event will be held in the period from April 27th to 30th, with several fun and interesting events.

Saturday, 29 April, is reserved for the Children's Race on Stradun and  Dubrovnik Walls Race.
The central part of the event will be held on Sunday, April 30, when two races are scheduled: International Dubrovnik Half- Marathon and the 5K Humanitarian Race. More than two thousand runners from Croatia and abroad will participate in both races.

If you are planning to visit Dubrovnik during this period it's good to know that on Sunday some roads will be closed for traffic from 9 am to 13:30 pm. These are the names of the roads:  Iza Grada, Brsalje, Branitelja Dubrovnika, Put od Republike, Vukovarska, Dr. Ante Starčevića, Nikole Tesle,  Obala Stjepana Radića, Obala Ivana Pavla II, state road D420 Solska baza – Sustjepan, former county road 6254 Sustjepan – Prijevor and back.

- Top barmen are like celebrity chefs, the word “startender” is being used in America - commented Ron Busman the President of the International Bartenders Association (IBA). The organisation held, this weekend, for the first time their European President's Meeting in Dubrovnik, in the Neptun Hotel.

Fourteen international members of the association met in Dubrovnik to discuss the workings of the organisation and to network. Frano Stjepovic, the President of the Croatian Association of Bartenders, was the host of the Dubrovnik event and commented that “To hold such an event in Dubrovnik is important for the city, we will have the chance to meet colleagues and discuss new developments in the industry.”

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Busman added that bartending is currently a very trendy profession and top bartenders are always looking for new ways to improve. “The importance of a bartender cannot be underestimated, a good bartender will not only bring extra business to an establishment but will also act as a good attraction for a bar. A bartender is an asset to an establishment and he/she must be treated as such,” said Busman. Adding that investing in staff is the key to the future prosperity of a bar, hotel or club.

Pepe Dioni, the Vice President of IBA, also attended the Dubrovnik event and commented “When a tourist comes to a destination one of the only people they speak to are bartenders. You will probably only ask a few questions of a receptionist at a hotel but with the bartender you will have a conversation. That is why a good bartender must also be a good communication, the real PR with tourists are bartenders.”

Extensive construction works on one of the leading five-star hotels in Dubrovnik, Hotel Excelsior, are continuing but not without mishaps. Yesterday a crane carrying a heavy load of glass from one side of the street to the other directly in front of the hotel toppled over.

It is still unclear how the accident occurred, however eye witnesses commented that it seemed that the load was just too heavy and the crane toppled over. Fortunately there were no serious injuries, although one person was slightly injured and required medical assistance.

crane hotel excelsior

crane falls over in dubrovnik

crane collapse dubrovnik

In spite of the fact that Dubrovnik was a “cruiser free” city today the Stradun and the streets of the historic centre were as busy as a summer’s day.

The unfriendly cooler weather that has gripped the region since the Easter period continued this weekend and once again the city was a mixture of tourists in shorts and flip flops and locals in warm coats and hats.

Check out our photo gallery from today

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And we thought that terrorism wouldn’t have an effect on our tourism. We guessed that we were off the radar, a tiny fish in a huge ocean, almost out of sight out of mind. How wrong we were. Yes, Croatia is a tiny country in the grand scheme of things, squeezed up against the Adriatic Sea. But we are now part of something much larger, the European Union, and that union is “under attack.”

These last few weeks have seen an important event, which has had, and will which have an effect on us all. The statement from the European Council read “the temporary regulation is in response to the increase of terrorist threats.” Yes the Schengen wall was thrown up. All borders inside the European Union were tightened, meaning added security and every passenger having their ID’s and passports checked. Oh, what fun at Neum!

People wishing to pass a Schengen border, either at airports, ports or land crossings will now have to have their ID documents checked, meaning that at the border near Dubrovnik all drivers are being asked for passports or ID cards. As each ID takes time to be scanned the time for each passenger at a border will be considerably longer. Yes, considerably longer.

Now as Dubrovnik is basically an island having a main border almost closed is somewhat annoying. I was told a few weeks ago that there are twenty-seven border crossings in the Dubrovnik – Neretva County, like I said an island. There are more borders in the county than the number of pickpocket offences recorded in Dubrovnik in 2016, which was an almost negligent twenty-three cases. How many counties in the world have more borders than Dubrovnik? I did some research and the closest I could find was Zambia, but that’s a country and not a county. The longest border crossing in the world is between Canada and the US and they only have 117 crossings.

Imagine the situation when a tourist bus turns up at the Neum border and all of the passengers, around fifty, need their passports scanned. Each scanning takes around 30 seconds, at least, so just do the maths with a tourist bus. Now imagine ten of these buses in a row waiting to cross. Whether we are a direct target for terrorists we certainly are an indirect victim. The idea of going to Neum to pick up some cheap cigarettes and oil suddenly doesn’t seem so attractive.

So what is the solution? Well the current long delay has seen many people banging on the drum of building the bridge as soon as possible. A highway corridor across the narrow spit of land has also been touted. As ever it takes a small crisis to motivate people to start shouting. I have to be honest I am more of a fan of the corridor idea. For the simple fact that some time in the future BIH will be a full member of the European Union which will make the bridge obsolete. The highway, which was and I think still is named the Adriatic - Ionian Highway, was supposed to start at Italy and end in Greece. A secure corridor with no exits could be built across this tiny piece of BIH. It would be considerably cheaper, much faster, environmentally more suitable and easier to build; it would also be a small part in the larger puzzle of the highway. At a later date, well when BIH joins the EU, exits and borders could be added to the corridor although the security fences and cameras could remain.

Yes, I realise that this whole project would be a political “hot potato” but logic and reason would suggest it is a potato worth juggling.

In fact the bridge couldn’t form part of the highway anyway as not enough lanes on the bridge have been planned, even more reason to plough a highway through the land and build a corridor. If we didn’t build it in twenty years why start now, yes the first proposal to construct it was back in 1997. But my guess is that the current temporary regime of locking down the Schengen border will soon be stopped and some kind of normal service will resume at the Neum border. And once normality has resumed the whole question as to whether we need a bridge or a corridor will be once again swept under the carpet.

We will once again buy our cigarettes and oil and forget that we had waited for two hours on the road side a few months ago. That is until another terrorist bomb explodes in a major European capital and we will be once again wishing we had solved the problem earlier. “The only limit to our realization of tomorrow will be our doubts of today,” - Franklin D. Roosevelt.

Judging from this photo we think it is safe to say that the tourist season is well underway in Dubrovnik. This photo, of long lines of tourists waiting to board buses, was taken this morning on the Pile entrance into the Old City of Dubrovnik.

Two mega cruisers are currently docked in the Port of Dubrovnik and quite clearly their passengers have brought extra crowds to the city. After a winter and early spring of empty streets and roads this photo will come as a reminder that although summer brings warm weather it also brings a collapse of the infrastructure in the city.

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The world popular hotel chain of luxury hotels Four Seasons Hotels & Resorts has announced a big investment in Croatia by the end of 2017.

According to an announcement, Four Seasons is planning to begin construction of a luxurious tourist complex in the Brizenica Bay near Stari Grad on the island of Hvar by the end of this year.

The investment is estimated at around 1 billion Kunas and will bring 320 new jobs, it was said shortly before a meeting of the Croatian Minister of Tourism Gari Cappelli with representatives of the hotel chain in London on the 20th of April.

The tourist complex on Hvar will consist of 240 accommodation units, with almost 800 beds in a hotel with 120 rooms, as well as in 70 luxury villas and suites.

''We hope that the construction of this luxurious tourist complex will begin by the end of the year, whilst its completion is expected by 2019'', said Dennis Wijsmuller, the CEO of Arqaam Capital, the main investor company in the project.

The Croatian Minister of Tourism Gari Cappelli who ended his official visit to the UK on the 20th of April, emphasizes that the investment also represents new demands for the local community and tourism workers in terms of destination management as well as in terms of offering new cultural, entertainment, hospitality and other services.

During the meeting with Gari Cappelli, the representatives of Four Seasons pointed out that Croatia is one of the leading tourism markets in Europe and a popular holiday destination for high-class travellers from all around the world. They also said that their new project on the island of Hvar represents ''an exciting opportunity for further strengthening of our presence in Europe, which will bring Croatia an exceptional quality and service that Four Seasons is well known for around the world''.

Although the cruise ship season in Dubrovnik started a few weeks ago the first mega cruise ship to drop anchor between the Old City and the island of Lokrum arrived today. MSC Poesia, which has been sailing in Dubrovnik waters since 2008, dropped anchor in front of the Old City for the first time this year carrying just over 3,000 passengers.

At 293 metres in length and just over 32 metres in width the MSC Poesia has 13 decks for passengers with 1,275 cabins and can accommodate 3,113 passengers.

On Saturday two more cruise ships are expected, Norwegian Star and Costa Deliziosa, whilst Sunday is a “free day” for the city as no cruise ships are planned to arrive.

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As part of the ''Royal Christmas Gala'' tour, the famous British soprano Sara Brightman will perform for the first time in front of a Croatian audience this year.

Accompanied by the Royal Philharmonic Orchestra and featuring many guests, Brightman will hold a concert at the Zagreb Arena on the 21st of December 2017. She will sing a wide musical array of traditional Christmas songs and her greatest hits such as ''Amigos para Siempre'', the timeless song ''Time to Say Goodbye'', and the pop-rock classics ''Who wants to Live Forever'' and ''A Whiter Shade of Pale''.

Brightman is one of the most prominent performers and the world's best-selling soprano of all times with worldwide sales of more than 30 million records and 2 million DVDs. She is also the first artist to have been invited twice to perform the theme song at the Olympic Games. At the 1992 Barcelona Olympic Games she sang "Amigos Para Siempre" with the Spanish tenor José Carreras with an estimated global audience of a billion people, and 16 years later in 2008 in Beijing, she sang with Chinese singer Liu Huan, performing the song "You and Me" to an estimated 4 billion people worldwide.

In 2012, Brightman was appointed as theUNESCO Artist for Peace for the period 2012–2014, for her "commitment to humanitarian and charitable causes, her contribution throughout her artistic career, to the promotion of cultural dialogue and the exchange among cultures, and her dedication to the ideals and aims of the Organization.

The Voice of Dubrovnik


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