One rarely encounters a family that can boast with three professional opera singers – three basses.
One such family is Šarić family from Sarajevo, which gave three important members of opera and music life in BiH: father Ivica and sons Leonard and Ivan. All three of them are singing the deepest male voice and thanks to them the Sarajevo Opera has no problem with bass roles.
The youngest among them, Ivan, is a soloist in the Sarajevo Opera. In May this year he was a guest in the prestigious Verdi Theatre in Trieste, where he sang the role of the philosopher Collina in Verdi’s opera La Boheme, directed by the famous Renato Balsadonna.
“While I was a child, I used to listen to everything, from rock’n’roll to opera. I even participated in some child operas, and then I turned to hip hop,” Ivan remembers joyfully.
Transition to opera music happened naturally.
“I never thought I will be dealing with my father’s job. When the time came to enroll into a university, I truly wanted to enroll into the Academy of Fine Arts because I had many friends there. I love music and acting, the world of art in general. Mom recognized my talent for music and advised me to enroll into the Music Academy. Professor Paša Gackić showed me how to sing,” Ivan says.
Role in the La Boheme, in the opera in Trieste, was not something that is easy to achieve.
“No one understood how someone can reach Verdi Theatre without having an agent. However, the Verdi Theatre was a guest in Sarajevo, where we performed the Ninth Symphony. Two female soloists came with them and they chose Amir Saračević and me to sing the male sections. I assume important people hear me and engaged me based on that. Trieste was an indescribable experience. Theatre Verdi has a long tradition and has yielded many brilliant singers. Director is a very positive and friendly person, all singers are very young. It was difficult for me because I did not speak Italian and the rest of the crew did not speak English well. However, we accepted each other soon and we are actually one small family,” Ivan says.
When asked how he sees the future of the Sarajevo Opera, Ivan answered:
“We are all aware of the situation with culture in our country, but if the opera house in Sarajevo has a good team of soloists I think we can only make progress. My friends always had understanding for what I am doing and came to the opera to see me. Sometimes they liked the opera so much that they decided to come again and again. An opera audience must be built and the best proof of that are children who yell they want more after children plays.”