Saturday, 20 July 2024
Mark Thomas

Mark Thomas

Mark Thomas - The editor and big chief of The Dubrovnik Times. Born in the UK he has been living and working in Dubrovnik since 1998, yes he is one of the rare “old hands.” A unique insight into both British and Croatian life and culture, Mark is often known as just “Englez” or Englishman. He is a traveller, a current affairs freak and a huge AFC Wimbledon fan.

Email: mark.thomas@dubrovnik-times.com

Experience the magic of the 75th Dubrovnik Summer Festival! From captivating theatre premieres to enchanting musical performances, this summer extravaganza promises an unforgettable celebration of culture and art in the historic city of Dubrovnik.

The 75th Dubrovnik Summer Festival will grace various site-specific locations in Dubrovnik from July 10th to August 25th, offering over 60 diverse theatre, dance, folklore, and other cultural programs to both local and international audiences.

This year's festival boasts an exceptionally rich and diverse theatre line-up, featuring three major premieres, successful productions from previous seasons, and dynamic co-productions. Among the premieres, Carlo Goldoni's iconic "La bottega del caffè," adapted to Dubrovnik speech by Frano Čale and directed by Paolo Tišljarić, takes center stage. Also, Ivo Vojnović's "Equinox," directed by Krešimir Dolenčić, and William Shakespeare's "The Tempest," directed by Vito Taufer, promise to captivate audiences.

Visiting productions include the Croatian National Theatre of Varaždin's "Waiting for Orestes," while local collaborations bring projects like "Jimmy Ćorak," exploring the complexities of an actor's life.

In the music realm, Jordi Savall's ensemble Hespèrion XXI will present "Mare Nostrum: A Dialogue of Souls," a blend of Christian, Sephardic, Ottoman, and Arabic-Andalusian music. The festival will also feature an Opera Gala concert, starring soprano Sonya Yoncheva, tenor Joseph Calleja, and bass Ante Jerkunica.

Moreover, the Dubrovnik Symphony Orchestra, renowned soloists, and chamber ensembles will grace the festival's stages, offering a rich blend of classical and contemporary music.

World Music and Jazz Concert Series will showcase diverse musical experiences, including performances by the JM Jazz World Orchestra and flamenco show "Tarab" by the Cristina Aguilera Flamenco Trio.

Ballet lovers will be treated to the Croatian National Theatre Zagreb Ballet's performance of Shakespeare's "Hamlet," choreographed by Leo Mujić.

The festival will also celebrate Croatia's rich folk dance heritage with performances by the Linđo Folklore Ensemble and the LADO National Folk Dance Ensemble of Croatia.

Exhibitions, including "Lopud Portraits" and "The Mediterranean in the 20th and 21st Century Croatian Painting," will complement the cultural offerings.

 

It was a very stormy start to the day across the wider Dubrovnik region. The storm that reached the southernmost part of Croatia early this morning caused significant damage on the Elaphiti Islands. From Lopud, photos are coming in showing the aftermath of the downpour, which broke umbrellas and tree branches, ripped through blinds, and brought deposits of debris along the coast.

Storm Causes Significant Damage on Elaphiti Islands 2

Forecasts predict that this July deterioration in weather could last until late afternoon, with expected instabilities and thunderstorms, along with at least a 5-degree drop in temperatures, which will certainly provide relief for those struggling with the first heatwaves of the summer.

Storm Causes Significant Damage on Elaphiti Islands 1

Kat Coric, born in 1969 in Dubrovnik, Croatia, is a multifaceted artist, activist, art collector, and event producer based in Montreal. Her father, Captain Ivan I. Coric (Dubrovnik 1939-Montreal 2015), moved the family to Montreal in 1973 after accepting a job offer there. Throughout her childhood, Coric's parents Ivan and Marija instilled in her a deep appreciation for Dubrovnik's rich history. They ensured she grew up rooted in her heritage, speaking Croatian at home and maintaining traditional customs to preserve Dubrovnik's culture.

Coric visited Dubrovnik almost yearly and was there in 1991, preparing to participate in an archaeological excavation with students from the University of Zagreb, when the Homeland War intervened. What followed were months and years of sadness and strife, etched into the memory of all Croatians, particularly those in the diaspora. It's important to note that during 1991 to 1995, social media platforms like Facebook were non-existent, and widespread internet usage was just beginning. The Coric family followed the war's developments through news broadcasts and newspapers, deeply affected by feelings of sadness, despair, and guilt—Coric felt she was personally abandoning her homeland from afar. In those dark moments of 1991, Coric turned to her art, using a paintbrush to express her emotions about the war. This resulted in a series of paintings and an exhibition titled "The Effects of the War on the Artist." In 1996, with support from her great-uncle, Professor and Croatian Historian Filip Potrebica (1933-2003), a three-city tour across Croatia was organized.

"At the time, I didn't know what else to do to communicate my support to fellow Croatians during such a terrible period in history. I wanted them to feel what I was feeling and to know they were in my thoughts every day. This period was when I felt the most helpless, and art was my salvation," stated Coric.

Fast forward 33 years, and one of the most significant paintings from her collection was still seeking its rightful home. "I've looked at this painting almost daily for 33 years, and now I believe it's time for it to find its final resting place—a place surrounded by other relics and memories of the Homeland War. By accepting this donation, the Homeland War Museum has allowed me to leave my humble mark as an artist in my beloved hometown of Dubrovnik, and it serves as my personal tribute to all we lost during those dark days," added Coric.

About the Homeland War Museum:

Established by the City of Dubrovnik in 2016, the Museum of the Homeland War collects, processes, and presents materials from Croatia's recent history, including the Homeland War. During the first half of 2008, a campaign to collect museum materials was conducted in collaboration with the ZNG Dubrovnik 1991 Association and prominent Dubrovnik defenders. The museum houses over 1,500 original war photographs, approximately 120 hours of video footage, and numerous documents and artifacts.

The museum's notable exhibition, "Dubrovnik in the Homeland War 1991–1995," located in the Imperial Fort on Srđ, commemorates the resilience and victory of Dubrovnik residents during the Homeland War. The collection includes wartime maps, documents, photographs, and personal testimonies of Croatian soldiers and civilians.

"We express our gratitude to Kat Coric for her generous donation of the painting 'My Homeland 1991,' created during the early days of the Homeland War. This artwork reflects Ms. Coric's profound emotions during one of the most challenging periods of her life and was part of her series 'The Effects of the War on the Artist,'" stated Ms. Varina Turk, Director of the Homeland War Museum, Dubrovnik.

About Kat Coric:

Coric graduated from Concordia University in Montreal with a Bachelor of Fine Arts, minoring in archaeology and art history. She has curated over 60 art exhibitions and organized numerous fundraising events for non-profit organizations. With a strong commitment to charity and veterans affairs, Coric has collaborated with various organizations including the Canadian Armed Forces, the Vimy Foundation, and the International Economic Forum of the Americas.

Donation Ceremony Details:

Date: July 12, 2024
Time: 11:00 AM
Location: Homeland War Museum, Fort Imperial, Mount Srđ, 2027, Mlini, Dubrovnik

To Donate to the Museum:

Homeland War Museum Dubrovnik
P.P. Milicevica 1
20000 Dubrovnik
Croatia

Bank Account:
Privredna banka Zagreb
IBAN: HR2923400091110824404
Swift Code: PBZGHR2X

Pasjača Beach, located in the Konavle village of Popovići, continues to attract attention as one of the most beautiful beaches in Europe. This secluded beach often appears on lists of the best European destinations thanks to its unique appearance, as it is literally situated beneath high cliffs. The beach is a mix of sand and pebbles, and the sea is clear and turquoise blue.

The prestigious American magazine Forbes announced that Pasjača has been declared the most beautiful hidden beach in Europe in 2024, according to research by the European Best Destinations portal.

Pasjača is extremely photogenic, which attracts photographers and influencers from all over the world. The combination of brown-gray dramatic cliffs and the calm, green-blue, crystal-clear sea, along with the contrast between the powerful, raw cliffs and the serene sea surface, makes it an ideal place for creating unforgettable photographs.

Pasjaca by Karla Vezilic

Photo - Karla Vezilic

Croatian pianist and world-renowned composer Matej Meštrović performed "The Stringbreaker" - a concert to remember at the Rector's Palace as part of the Midsummer Scene festival. It is hard to convey in words what happened at this concert. Matej is known for his excellent interaction with the audience, but this concert is certainly one of those that will be remembered for a lifetime.

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"Since last night, my phone hasn't stopped ringing. Messages are coming from all sides. I am still deeply moved and filled with beautiful emotions. The audience showed everything last night with smiles and emotions. It was so unreal, yet real. Fairytale-like. It was as if this fairytale was told in a way that all the characters turned into reality. These are my first emotions!" said the emotional Matej Meštrović, adding, "Thanks to the Midsummer Scene Festival and all of Dubrovnik, and to the audience for a wonderful evening we all shared. I always gladly return to Dubrovnik and will keep coming back whenever I'm invited. This city is an eternal inspiration, a city that leaves no one indifferent!"

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During this unique evening, Mark Thomas, the honorary British consul and journalist, read a prologue from Držić's Dundo Maroje in English, accompanied by Matej on the piano with an improvised composition. At one point, Meštrović made a video call to fellow pianist Matthew Mayer in the USA, whose birthday was yesterday. Last year, he performed on the same day with Matej and Antonija Pacek at the Rector's Palace. The entire audience sang happy birthday to him. This surprise brought the birthday boy to tears.

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Matej's concerts are always different and full of surprises; his interaction with the audience showcases all the talents of this artist. Along with earlier and some new compositions we had the opportunity to hear, this time he invited people from the audience to play him four notes, from which he improvised an entire composition. For this concert, a special composition titled DUNESCO was created and premiered. It is dedicated to the Year of UNESCO in Dubrovnik.

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Midsummer Scene continues every evening until July 7 with performances of the musical adaptation of Jules Verne's classic "Around the World in 80 Days." Midsummer Scene is a project of the Dubrovnik Tourist Board and the City of Dubrovnik, produced by Brilliant Events Dubrovnik and Honey-Tongued Theatre Productions Ltd. London, realized in cooperation with Dubrovnik cultural institutions and with the help of sponsors and tourism entities of the city of Dubrovnik.

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If given the opportunity to choose, as many as 44% of employees in Croatia would work in the public sector, with this choice being more common among women than men. 29% of respondents would work in the private sector, while 27% find working in either sector equally appealing. Additionally, most employees are open to changing jobs, but only if an opportunity presents itself, without actively searching. These are some of the findings from a survey conducted by Ipsos in May and June this year for Mastercard, on the occasion of launching the fourth season of the Uplift project, dedicated to the development of micro, small, and medium-sized enterprises in Croatia. The aim of the survey is to provide insights into employee satisfaction and preferences, helping companies create better working conditions and attract and retain talent amidst significant workforce challenges, reports UpLift

Salaries satisfy police officers, firefighters, construction workers, and hospitality workers

The most important job satisfaction criterion is salary (97% of respondents), followed by interpersonal relationships (96%), relationship with superiors (95%), and work-life balance (94%). Other important factors for respondents include job security, bonuses, and vacation days, interestingly considering the possibility of working from home the least important. However, while this is generally the least important factor, employees are least satisfied with this aspect at their current jobs (33%). Other aspects with which respondents are least satisfied at their current jobs include opportunities for advancement (39%), opportunities for additional education and training (43%), and salary satisfaction (45%). Among those working in the public sector, the least satisfied with their salaries are those in companies owned by the city or county, while the most satisfied are those employed in the police, military, and firefighting sectors. In the private sector, those most satisfied with their salaries work in construction and hospitality, while the least satisfied work in other service industries. Overall, respondents are currently most satisfied with having permanent contracts, free weekends, and job security.

Survey Reveals Majority of Croatian Employees Prefer Public Sector Jobs 1

Differences in satisfaction between public and private sectors are also noted in the Ipsos survey. Employees in the public sector are more satisfied with free weekends, job security, and the number of vacation days, while employees in the private sector are more satisfied with opportunities for advancement, good interpersonal relationships, the possibility of working from home, and flexible working hours.

Most satisfied with work-life balance in education

In terms of industries, employees in local and city government are most satisfied with rewards and bonuses, while those in agriculture and construction are most satisfied with interpersonal relationships. Regarding work-life balance, the most satisfied employees are in education, companies owned by the city or county, and construction, while the least satisfied are police officers, soldiers, and firefighters.

Up to 80% of respondents are open to the possibility of changing their job in the next year, although only 14% of the total respondents are very keen on it, 14% want it but do not find it important, while 50% would not change their job but would consider it if they received an offer. Those working in the private sector are somewhat more inclined to change jobs than those in the public sector.

At the beginning of October, Zadar will host the first edition of the “Croatia Yacht Show,” a luxury charter fair organized by the Yachtmaster Group, with support from the Ministries of Tourism and Sports, and the Sea, Transport, and Infrastructure, as well as the City of Zadar, Zadar County, their tourist boards, and the World Yachting Association – MYBA.

The Croatia Yacht Show will take place from October 1st to 3rd at Zadar Cruise Port.

According to the organizers, this first superyacht show, featuring more than 60 superyachts with weekly prices reaching up to 550,000 euros, immediately following the world's most luxurious yachting event, the Monaco Yacht Show, is expected to boost the development of luxury tourism in Croatia and the region, as well as provide an opportunity to promote Croatia.

The most prominent companies in the nautical world will showcase their yachts, including IYC Yachts, Expersea Superyachts, Sanlorenzo Yachts, and many others.

The organizers also emphasize that the Croatia Yacht Show will become the first of its kind in the world where business visitors can schedule appointments, tours, and yacht viewings in advance at the Zadar port. Part of the fair will also be open to the public.

According to eVisitor system data, in June 2024, the Dubrovnik-Neretva County recorded 305,259 tourist arrivals and 1,220,216 overnight stays, which is an 8% increase in arrivals and a 6% increase in overnight stays compared to June 2023.

The highest number of overnight stays were made by guests from the United Kingdom, the United States, Poland, Germany, and Bosnia and Herzegovina, in that order.

By type of accommodation, the most overnight stays were recorded in private accommodation with 536,551 stays, followed by hotels with 462,639 stays, reflecting an 11% increase in private accommodation stays and a 3% increase in hotel stays compared to June of last year.

In nautical tourism, there were 7,949 arrivals, a 5% increase compared to June last year; however, the number of overnight stays was 50,442, a 7% decrease compared to June 2023.

From the beginning of the year to the end of June, there were 789,176 arrivals and 2,695,914 overnight stays, which is an 11% increase in arrivals and a 13% increase in overnight stays compared to the same period last year.

Currently, around 53,000 tourists are staying in our county.

The Voice of Dubrovnik

THE VOICE OF DUBROVNIK


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