CROATIA 2013: GET TO KNOW THE PARTICIPANTS
MARKO ŠKUGOR, First tenor
Marko is a member of klapa Kampanel. His best friend is his dad. He used to listen to Red Hot Chilli Peppers and Azra, but nowadays he only listens to opera and klapa songs. His favourite book is The Alchemist by Paulo Coelho and he has a girlfriend. Marko Škugor was born on 25 October 1989. He spent a beautiful childhood in Dubrava near Šibenik, with his parents and two younger sisters: Sara and Karmen. He was an excellent student and he is currently studying on the Faculty of Economics and Business Zagreb, although his dream was to study History. After the studies, he plans to return to Šibenik. He’s started singing in klapa two years ago thanks to his cousin. He received offers from various klapas, but he decided to join the klapa from his town, klapa Dubrava. Today, he sings in klapa Kampanel. His dreams are not connected to economy and history, but to his biggest love – music. Specifically – opera. He takes classes of opera singing and believes in his future opera career.
ANTE GALIĆ, second tenor
Ante is a footballer from Split who replaced a football with a microphone. He was a playful child who also loved to play basketball. The first tape he bought was one of the Three tenors. The shopkeeper was so delighted so she gave him the tape for free. Ante Galić was born on 3 September 1987 in Split. He grew up with his mother Pava and had a beautiful childhood playing football and basketball. He was an excellent student in elementary school and a very good one in grammar schooll in Split. He played for Junak, Hrvace, Radnik from Velika Gorica, Croatian minor league football clubs, but he had to end his football career due to an injury. He didn’t plan to sing. He was discovered by a singer of klapa Cambi. The next step was klapa Sinj, since he lives in Turjaci near Sinj. His dream is to have a solo career and he looks forward for every performance.
NIKŠA ANTICA, baritone
Nikša graduated from the Faculty of Law in Split and works in his profession. His singing career started in the ensemble Srdelice when he was three years old. He was born in Split, but lives in Karlovac with his wife and daughter, works in Zagreb, but he sings all over the world! Nikša Antica was born on 9 May 1976 in Split where he spent a beautiful childhood with his parents and his younger brother Berislav, who is today a professor of saxophone. Nikša graduated from The Faculty of Law in Split, he now lives in Karlovac because his wife was born there. Today Karlovac is his home city. He has skied since he was six and listens to everything, from rock and pop to classical music. Although he would like to have a music career, he works in a bank. After singing in children’s choirs and the male choir Brodosplit, he sang in the Choir of the Croatian National Theatre in Split from 1996 until 2002 and took singing lessons from Professor Marija Bogaverdes. His cousins Davor and Gojko are resposible for his entering the klapa singing world. They studied in Zagreb and sang in klapa Teuta. While spending a summer vacation in Lastovo, they covninced Nikša to sing with them a song titled „Dalmatino povišću pritrujena“. He sang in klapas: Šufit, Cambi Kambelovac, Iskon, Sagena. Nowadays he sings in klapa Kampanel. Altough he travelled the world, one of his biggest wishes is to perform on the stage of Cankarjev dom (Cankar Hall) in Ljubljana.
LEON BATALJAKU, baritone
A son of a jeweler who has two sons, Ivan (1,5 years old) and Gabriel (a month old). He works in a bank, his singing career started in high school and he can’t get over the fact that the members of his beloved klapa Crikvenica decided to disband the klapa. Leon Bataljaku was born in Zadar on 13 June 1980. He had a beautiful childhood with his younger sister Kristina. He finished elementary music school, the piano department. After finishing grammar school in Zadar, he started studying on the Faculty of Economics in Rijeka. He spent nine beautiful years there and then he started working in a bank after graduating from the Faculty. But, most importantly, he met some guys from Rijeka and Crikvenica and formed klapa Crikvenica in 2001 with them.
The klapa made a big success: they even won the klapa festival in Omiš twice! They travelled a lot visiting Canada, Germany and Czech Republic. From 2009 the klapa decided to quit their activity, which made Leon very sad. However, his first klapa steps were made in his home city Zadar. In fourth grade in grammar school Leon and his friends decided to ask their Music teacher for help in forming the klapa. His love for klapa music was born spontaneously. Zadar is a beautiful city to live in, says Leon, who is not a sport fan, but if he needed to name one he likes the most, it would be Formula 1. His wife Andrea is his greatest support. Today he sings in klapa Niko from Zadar that doesn’t have any serious ambitions, but still having a few public performances in their city.
IVICA VLAIĆ, bass
A naval officer who protects the Croatian boundaries on the Adriatic Sea started singing spontaneously. He loves basketball, and, according to his wife Ana, he is too tolerant with his daughter Perina. When he is aboard the ship on duty , he cooks and does the laundry, but in his free time, he loves to sing. Ivica Vlaić was born on 12 July 1979 in Šibenik. He grew up with his parents and his younger brother Marko. He finished high maritime school and started studying on the University of Split – Faculty of Maritime Studies, but he has never finished the studies as he started working in the Croatian Army. After six years working there, he moved to the Station of naval office in Šibenik and still works there. Sometimes he stays on a ship for four days, working for 12, even 24 hours daily. He loves to play basketball and he trained it in Šibenik after he was 19. His brother Marko played basketball professionaly recently. His klapa singing career started in 2000 spontaneously: „I gathered my friends, and five of us formed klapa Teuta“. Their only motive was to hang out. They were awarded on Šibenska šansona festival every year from 2001 until 2005, and they won about ten awards on the biggest Croatian klapa festival, Omiš festival. Unfortunately, the first tenor of the klapa tragically dies and klapa Teuta was disbanded. In 2005 he was a member of klapa Cambi from Split, and from 2007 until 2009 he was a member of klapa Fortica. Today he sings in klapa Sebenico. He thinks Šibenik is a wonderful city to live in. He listens to every genre of music, but when he was younger, he loved to listen old rock: Deep Purple, Doors, Led Zeppelin… He loves to sing, but he considers it as a hobby.
BOJAN KAVEDŽIJA, bass
A summer vacation in Murter, on which he met five girls, has changed his life! Bojan works in the National Folk Dance Ensemble of Croatia „Lado“ and he is the only one from the Klapa who has some experience at Eurovision Song Contest. He danced with Severina in the 2006 Eurovision Song Contest. Bojan Kavedžija was born on 14 June 1973 in Zagreb. He had a beautiful childhood with his parents and sister Lana. He finished the Hotel and tourism management school in Zagreb, but has never worked in the profession. A summer vacation in Murter has changed his life: he met five girls who danced in a folk dance ensemble. After that he started dancing in the National Folk Dance Ensemble „Venčec“ from Dubrava. Shortly after that he’s started working in the National Folk Dance Ensemble of Croatia „Lado“ and travelled the world with them. His fondest memories are from a 40-day trip to Japan. He played basketball in elementary school, was shy as a child and didn’t start clubbing until after he graduated from high school. He is not married, nor in a relationship. He listens to every genre of music and dreams of buying an apartment. He sings in the klapa Grdelin too.
GORAN TOPOLOVAC, composer of “Mižerja”
Goran was born on 29 June 1975 in Karlovac. He lives and works in Duga Resa where he finished elementary school and high school. He finished elementary music school in Karlovac, the piano department. His first public performance was on the festival of amateur singers „Glas Mladih“ in 1989. In 1993 he entered a studio for the first time and recorded his first song intended for a competition – Splitski festival. After that, his career started growing. In the late 1990s he met a famous Croatian composer Zrinko Tutić who became his teacher. They met again after ten years when Goran became more experienced. Goran thinks that his first big success was entering the Croatian Radio Festival in 2007 with song „Prsten od zlata“. He entered the klapa world with klapa Furešti from Karlovac. Their songs were very successful on radio and TV stations. Thanks to that experience with, he enters the HRT’s application for a klapa song for Eurovision Song Contest. He won the competition with song „Mižerja“ and the song is going to represent Croatia in Malmö.