My name is Predrag Gosta. I devoted my life to historical performance practice, playing on instruments such as the harpsichord and organ. I have been involved in exploration of the music of earlier periods, especially Baroque, for many years. Through my period-instrument orchestra NEW TRINITY BAROQUE (founded in 1998) or independently, I took part in numerous festivals, opera performances, concerts and workshops; I have recorded over a dozen CDs, including a critically acclaimed recording of Henry Purcell's opera "Dido and Aeneas" (with Evelyn Tubb in the title role), and have worked with the leading artists in the field of early music (John Holloway, Andrew Lawrence-King, Marion Verburggen, Emma Kirkby, Anthony Rooley, etc.). I also have conducted famous orchestras such as the London Symphony Orchestra, St. Petersburg Symphony Orchestra, Sofia Philharmonic, Russian National Orchestra, etc. My administrative positions include being the President of the international Early Music Network since 1998, president of the Makris Foundation in Washington DC since 2010, and the Artistic Director of the Belgrade Early Music Festival which ran from 1991 to 1996, and was successfully renewed in 2012.
Contralto Marijana Mijanovic is one of the world's most recognized Baroque singers. She has performed with some of the greatest baroque ensembles (Les Arts Florissants, Europa Galante, Il Complesso Barocco, Le Concert d'Astrée, Les Musiciens du Louvre, etc.), and has collaborated with the most famous directors in the field (William Christie, René Jacobs, Nikolaus Harnoncourt, Alan Curtis, Fabio Biondi, Emmanuelle Haïm, Paul McCreesh, etc.). She became one of the world's foremost Baroque music singer-specialists, having numerous CD and DVD recordings behind herself, and enormous experience!
My dear colleague, Marijana Mijanovic and I, were always interested to share our knowledge and experience with the future generations. After numerous masterclasses that she and I gave independently, our paths have crossed, so she and I have decided to form a BAROQUE ACADEMY in Belgrade, devoted to the high level education and research of historical performance practice. Through the series of masterclasses with a carefully selected repertoire, our vision is to create something unique in our homeland Serbia and on the Balkans, something that will become the future of early music in the southern Europe.
Following the success of our BAROQUE ACADEMY in April, proven by the record-attendance of the final concert, positive feedback, as well as the successfully funded Kickstarter campaign, Marijana and I decided to embark on a quest of exploration one of the most exciting baroque operas - "DIDO AND AENEAS" by HENRY PURCELL (1659-1695), in Belgrade, one of the most beautiful cities of southern Europe in our homeland Serbia.
(To see the full video of the final concert on YouTube, click here)
With intention of presenting it during the INTERNATIONAL EARLY MUSIC FESTIVAL in Belgrade, we had two months to prepare. We have chosen the singers - primarily those who attended our BAROQUE ACADEMY in April - and we have started to gather the musicians for orchestra, apply for funding, etc. We also approached the NATIONAL THEATRE in Belgrade, asking them if they would provide their stage, and they agreed.
Very soon we realized the huge potential that this opera has - not only would the young singers benefit from learning it, but we could reach huge audiences...
We approached the Serbian Ministry of Culture and several other organizations, asking them to help. At the beginning we were a bit discouraged - the government's budget devoted to the culture is only 0.6% of the total country's budget. But we had faith and decided to go "full force". We knew that we have a good project in our hands.
As our preparations continued, the General Manager of the NATIONAL THEATRE in Belgrade called us and asked: "What do you think about presenting your opera fully-staged, on our main stage?" We realized what that means - we could put the first ever period-instrument performance of a baroque opera on a stage of the National Theatre in Serbia! We would not only reach much bigger audiences (almost every show at the National Theatre is broadcasted nationally), but we would enter the history books of our country for ever!
Within the weeks we were assigned the personnel that would work on the costumes, scenography, lights, etc. We found the Director. We held auditions for the choir, and started coaching the soloists. Our orchestra has expanded, and our total ensemble became over 40 musicians strong. And the Ministry of Culture responded by giving us 6,500 euros (around $8,500) for the opera and the Festival (including 8 more concerts). But there was no stopping now...
It is because of this that we need your support again through the KICKSTARTER.
We need additional funding in order to make this opera successful. Because of the help from the Ministry of Culture, the National Theatre and the international Early Music Network, we have 80% of the needed funds. But we are short of approx. 3,500 dollars, which we hope you will donate.
By raising this extra amount, we will be able to successfully cover all expenses of our project, including the orchestra musicians, travel, accommodation, instrument rental and tuning, back-stage personnel... If we could raise more, we will go further. Most of the students / singers perform for free, and thus our expenses are brought to minimum. The musicians in our orchestra, led by the members of NEW TRINITY BAROQUE from Atlanta, include several baroque groups from Belgrade, as well as guest musicians from the surrounding countries.
Every cent raised beyond our campaign goal will go towards the development of the Belgrade Baroque Academy. We would also embark into the quest of presenting our opera in other theatres in the area. We already have three other festivals interested in this project. With every additional 3,000 dollars, we will be able to present one additional performance! And if we raise enough to do a DVD recording of it (for which we would need approx. $10,000), we will do it! And in this way we will commemorate our wonderful opera performance for the future generations and you, our dear friends and supporters.
We are starting small, but our dreams are big! We hope to become the leading early-music-specialized educational institution in the Balkans. We already have the moral support from the leading artistic institutions, musicians and festivals in the area - our colleagues in Croatia, Romania, Montenegro, Slovenia, etc. are interested not only to work with us, but also to expand our Academy into their territories, by offering us their venues for our performances...
Our teachers (Marijana Mijanovic and I) are both already working with the students. The rehearsals have started. Because we believe in our vision, we are wiling to invest even our own funds to get this project going. We do not worry IF this project will happen - we know it WILL happen. But we want to offer everyone to share our joy and love for music, and become a part of this exciting history-in-the-making. Because of our knowledge and experience, we "know how" to do it. (Both Marijana and I have performed, taught, and recorded worldwide. Google us, and you will find more information about us than we could tell you.)
If you join us in our quest, you will reap the rewards with us as well!
Work hard, be transparent, and grateful for every dollar you donate. We accept comments and suggestions, so feel free to drop us a note.
In return, we will offer you some exciting rewards, including downloadable music, CDs, signed memorabilia, photos, and the feeling of gratitude and fulfillment for being the part of something great :)
Please know that every dollar counts, and that your help is important (and appreciated)!
With thanks from
Marijana Mijanovic, and
Risks and challenges
Because our project and the Festival received a partial financial support through the Serbian Ministry of Culture, and based on the past success with the Baroque Academy (including our recent project that was successfully funded and delivered through the Kickstarter), we don't feel that there are any challenges that would prevent us from successfully completing this project.Learn about accountability on Kickstarter
- (16 days)