Opera

Maestro Zoran Juranić marked 40 years of artistic work

Maestro Zoran Juranić conducted the performance of Ero the Joker by Jakov Gotovac directed by Krešimir Dolenčić on October 20, 2017 and marked his 40th artistic anniversary.

The cast is: Siniša Štork as Landlord Marko, Sofia Ameli Gojić as Doma, Valentina Fijačko Kobić as Đula, Stjepan Franetović as Ero, Ljubomir Puškarić as Miller Sima, Ana Zebić Kostel as Shepherd and Neven Mrzlečki as Lad.

Academician Zoran Juranić, Croatian composer, conductor and university professor has been tied to the Opera of the Croatian National Theatre in Zagreb for decades, in which he created many performances and held many functions.

Zoran Juranić was born in 1947 in Rijeka where he completed his high school and music education. From 1965 he studied at the Academy of Music in Zagreb, first music theory, then composition in the class of Prof. Stjepan Šulek and then conducting in the class of Prof. Igor Gjadrov. After graduating conducting in 1972, he became the choirmaster at the Croatian National Theatre in Zagreb where he became a permanent conductor in 1988 and between 2002 and 2005 he held the position of the director of the Opera. He worked in all Croatian Opera theatres and from 1989 to 1990 he was the artistic director of the Opera of the CNT Ivan noble Zajc in Rijeka, and between 1992 and 1995 and again between 1997 and 2002 the artistic director of the Opera of the CNT in Osijek. Since 1975, he has been a part-time lecturer at the Academy of Music in Zagreb and the Academy of Pedagogy in Osijek and in branch departments of theatre academies in Rijeka and Osijek.

In 2005 he became a tenure professor at the Academy in Music in Zagreb. He is a guest conductor of the Opera in Novi Sad and chief conductor of the Orchestra of the Croatian Music Institute in Zagreb. As a conductor, he had his debut in 1970 and he first conducted an opera at the CNT in Zagreb in 1977. It was Verdi’s Il Trovatore. Along symphonic and concert compositions, his repertoire encompasses fifty operas from all stylistic epochs. He appeared in all countries of ex-Yugoslavia, Italy, France, Germany, Hungary and countries of the former Soviet Union.

His opus includes an opera farce Tell me About Augusta, after the work of Luka Paljetak, that had its world premiere in 1999 at the Music Biennale in Zagreb, a soap-opera Penguins after Dubravko Mihanović performed in Hamburg and Zagreb in 2007 and an opera fantasy The Last Summer Flower after the work of Luka Paljetak that has its world premiere in Novi Sad in 2013 and then in Zagreb and Szeged. This performance was directly broadcasted by TV channel Arte on the internet which was the first international internet broadcasting of some Croatian opera. For his works he also wrote librettos and even directed operas. There  are other stage, orchestral and chamber works: operetta-cabaret carousel Fritz and the Singer, (Pecs, 1993); symphonic torso Inter arma narrant Musae that was performed as a ballet work in Osijek in 1994; Gagliarda in 2002 and Didaskalije in 2003 for a string orchestra; Canti all’antica for cello and strings in 1985; Cantatina for solos, choir and percussion in 1993; Fanfaronata for a Wind Orchestra in 1995; A Luca Sorgo for a chamber orchestra in 2001; Piano Quartet in 1973; Sonatas for violin in 1973; Sonatas for guitar in 2000; Poems of Anxiety for Voice and Cello in 1986; Sinfonia umile in 2005; String Quartet in 2009; Concerto for viola and strings in 2011; On Death and Love for mezzosoprano and guitar trio in 2014; Autumn septet in 2015; Ciaccona concertante for a chamber orchestra in  2016, etc. He published his own CD with five compositions. As a conductor his special interest lies in forgotten or rarely performed works and composers and having connected his musicological interest with his profession as conductor and composer, he revised and performed a series of neglected works of our music heritage such as the psalms Babilonskijem nad rijekama and 8. simfonija of Luka Sorkočević, String quartet and psalms Dixit Dominus by Antun Sorkočević, Requiem for Ruđer Bošković by Julije Bajamonti et al. The main part of his interest is dedicated to opera heritage and the central part is dedicated to the works of Ivan noble Zajc. From 1989 until today he revised and prepared for performing several stage works of Zajc: operas Lizinka, Zlatka, Ban Leget, Mislav, which he also directed in Osijek in 1995, Amelia, opera-oratorio, The First Sin and operetta On Board Boys. He is one of the founders of the Days of Zajc Festival in Rijeka. Another composer to whom he has dedicated his attention is the Istrian Antonio Smareglia.  Beside performing his works Istrian Wedding and Oceana, he wrote several editorial texts about him and participated at conferences in Croatia, Slovenia and Italy. He revised opera Oganj by Blagoje Bersa, excerpts from opera Zrinyi by August Adelburg-Abramović and conducted world premieres of operas The Turks at Sisak by Miroslav Miletić, The metamorphosis by Stanko Horvat and Crux dissimulata by Srećko Bradić. Several of his musicological pieces on Zajc, family Sorkočević, Smaregli, Zandonai et al. have been published in Croatia and Italy. With the Orchestra of the Croatian Music Institute he published a CD with unknown music scores from the collection Udina-Algarotti (Robuschi, Anfossi, Dittersdorf, Pleyel) that he had prepared for performance. In 2014 in the HAZU edition an extensive collection of songs of Vatroslav  Lisinski had been published which he revised and as an editor he prepared opera Porin for print and some works of Jarnović, Stratica, Klobučar, Bjelinsk, Maček and Devčić. He translated opera librettos from Italian and French. For some time between 1970 and 1973 he worked as a music critic in the Student Paper and Telegram. For his work he had been awarded many acknowledgments and awards, such as the Best Conductor Award for Macbeth by Verdi at the Opera Festival in Ljubljana, Slovenia, 1986: Vladimir Nazor Award in 1990; Josip Štolcer-Slavenski Award in 1992 and in 1999: the City of Zagreb Award in 2000; Charter of the City of Rijeka in 2001 and the HAZU Award in 2001 for opera Tell me About Augusta. His Concerto for viola and strings was granted the Boris Papandopulo Award for best composition created in 2011. For opera The Last Flower of Summer won the HAZU Award and the Milka Trnina Award in 2017. He was granted the Porin life-achievement award. He was also granted the Order Danica hrvatska with the image of Marko Marulić.

From 2014, he is a full member of HAZU. He is also a member of the Croatian Society of Music Artsts and Croatian Musicologist Society and Craotian COmposers’ association, where between 2012 and 2016 he held the position of the President and presided over the Managing Board .of the Stjepan Šulek and Lovro and Lilly Matačić Foudnations. From 2015, he is the president of the Managing Boards and between 2010 and 2013 he was the president of the Board of the Zagreb Philharmonic. He was a jury member at many competitions.

Recently he conducted a concert on the occasion of the opening of the season of the CNT Ivan noble Zajc in Rijeka with pianist Aljoša Jurinić (Zajc, Prokofiev, Beethoven) and with the Zagreb Soloists performed the works of Ivo Josipović at his jubilee concert. He is completing his orchestral piece Tears of Saint Lawrence that will have is world opening at the Music Platform in Opatija and after that, he plans to compose a concert work for piano and a chamber orchestra that has been commissioned by the Samobor Music Fall for this year’s laureate of the competition, Ivan Vihor Krsnik Čohara. A new CD is underway with his works titled Half a Century of Chamber Music.