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DER APOTHEKER! (The Pharmacist)

aka Lo Speziale

Gorgeous music of Joseph Haydn

Friday, January 11th, 2013 - 8pm
Mill Valley Community Center, 180 Camino Alto, MIll Valley, CA

Do not miss this unique special event when artists who are singers and guests of The Opera of The Croatian National Theatre in Zagreb, Croatia perform in Mill Valley by invitation of Golden Gate Opera.

Conductor is Darjana Blace Sojat, conductor and pianist with the Opera of The Croatian National Theatre in Zagreb, Europe.

Click Here for The Synopsis!


(1768 Premiere was conducted by Haydn, himself)

Henrik Šimunković, bass-baritone:
Sempriono, an old apothecary

Mia Domaćina, soprano:
Grilletta, Sempronio’s ward

Nikša Radovanović, tenor:
Mengone, Sempronio’s apprentice

Mario Bokun, tenor:
Volpino, a rich young dandy.

Tickets prices:

$25 General Admission
$50 VIP: includes 7pm
Pre-Reception w/ hors d'oeuvers &
Preferred Gold Seating

Haydn’s librettist, Carlo Goldoni, known as “Master of Comedy”, created this story of love, greed, secrets and the human condition, with too many suitors, mix-ups, disguises and happy endings all set in A Pharmacy and laced together with the gorgeous, perfect classical music of Haydn.

Some say Der Apotheker (The Pharmacy), also known as Lo Speziale, has the flavor of Don Giovanni with a dash of Così fan tutte. Imagine this scenario in a pharmacy in Mill Valley! Originally in German, the performance will be sung in Croatian language with narrator setting the scene for the audience. After intermission the cast will encore with Opera’s Favorite Hits!

The production is sponsored in part through the generosity of Gideon Sorokin and The Mill Valley Community Center.


DARJANA BLACE ŠOJAT , Conductor, Pianist- Vocal Coach, Zagreb, Croatia

Ms. DARJANA BLACE SOJAT 's primary activity as has been as vocal coach and conductors' assistant in the Opera house of the National Croatian Theatre in Zagreb, Croatia. NOW SHE IS FREE ARTIST AND THE MEMBER OF CROATIAN FREE ARTISTS ASSOCIATION.

Ms. BLACE ŠOJAT conducted with Golden Gate Opera in 2005 for the production of Puccini's Suor Angelica, presented in the 2000-seat Marin Veterans’ Memorial Auditorium, at Marin Civic Center, in San Rafael, CA

She was born in Mostar (BiH) in 1966, where she attended elementary and secondary music school. Ms. Blace Sojat studied conducting from 1984-89at the Sarajevo Music Academy in professional Romaniæ class .

Her first coaching and conducting experiences were with the National Theatre in Sarajevo. She attended music seminars of Professor Joachim Harder in Grožnjan, Croatia, Günther Theuring in Vienna, Austria, and Conducting Perfectioning Course under Prof. Uroš Lajovic who is guest professor at the Music Academy in Zagreb. Darjana leads a Greek-Catholic church choir which has produced a CD with A Capella original singing. She also leads a Franciscan church choir.

Ms. DARJANA BLACE SOJAT has conducted La Bohème by Puccini in in HNK in Osijek, Barun Trenk by Albini in Komedia and HNK Osijek, Tell me about Augusta by Juraniae in HNK Zagreb, Rita by Donizetti in HNK Zagreb, Z.Juraniæ Chamber Orchestra in Mostar, La Fille du Regiment by Donizetti in HNK Zagreb, L’enfant e le Sortillege , La Valse, Pavane Pour Une Enfente Defunt, Bolero by Ravel in HNK in Zagreb, Swan Lake by Tschaikowski in HNK Zagreb, Die Fledermaus by Johann Strauss in N.T. Sarajevo, I Pagliacci by Leoncavallo in HNK Osijek, Stanc by Gotovak in HNK Osijek. She has conducted additional concerts of symphonic music and brass music, and the acclaimed New Year Concerts with the orchestra of HNK Osijek.

Her repertoire contains over fifty opera works and many of them she has prepared in several productions. At the International Opera Conductors Competition in Burgas-Bulgaria in 2009 she was semi-finalist. Darjana speaks English fluently, uses German, Italian and French only to read the opera libretto and continues with her studies of these languages.


Nikša Radovanović, tenor:
Niksa Radovanovic, tenor, graduated teacher and opera singer. Born on August 22, 1972 in Dubrovnik, he studied singing at the High school of Music in Dubrovnik and in 1994 he became a student of music of the Music Academy in Zagreb. He first studied with Prof. Ljiljana Molnar-Talajic and graduated in the class of Prof. Nada Putar-Gold in 1998. Since 2001 he is a soloist of the Opera of the Croatian Theatre in Zagreb. Mr. RADOVANOVIĆ has won the third prize at the competition of pupils and students in Rijeka, Croatia, in 1993. At the Zagreb Opera has performed the roles of Notary in Hovanshcina, Grigorij in Boris Godunov, Abdallo and Ismaele in Nabucco, Pedrillo in Die Entfürung von Serai, Pinkerton in Madama Butterfly, Rodolfo in La Bohème, Alfredo in La Traviata, Rinuccio in Gianni Schicchi, Laert in Hamlet, Gabriele in Simon Boccanegra, Juranic in Nikola Subic Zrinski (by Croatian composer Ivan pl.Zajc), Riccardo in Ballo in Maschera, Don Ramiro in Cenerentola, Ero in Ero s onoga svijeta (byCroatian composer Jakov Gotovac), Elvino in La Sonnambula, Ernesto in Don Pasquale, Nemorino in L'Elisir d'Amore, The Duke in Rigoletto, Arbace in Idomeneo, Lenski in Eugene Onegin.

The tenor has performed as soloist with Croatian Army Symphony Wind Orchestra, Zagreb Philharmonic Orchestra, Croatian Radio-Television Symphony Orchestra, Mostar Symphony Orchestra( B i H), Pecs Philharmony (Hungary) and Gradisce Symphony Orchestra (Austria), among others. NIKŠA RADOVANOVIĆ is permanent guest star of television and radio shows and attended a seminar by Prof. Pavel Kamas in the Czeck Republic. Mr. Radovanovic is a Member of the Croatian Association of Musicians.


Mia Domaćina, soprano
Mia Domaćina was born 1987 in Split, Croatia. She Graduated from gymnasium and music high school in Split, studying music theory and singing. In 2006 she entered Zagreb Music Academy as “first choice” artist. The soprano received her Bachelor of Music Degree Cum Laude in 2010 at Academy of Music, University of Zagreb, majoring in singing in the class of Vlatka Oršanić. In 2011 Mia was awarded her Master of Music Program also with Cum Laude in Opera Studies at the Academy of Music at the University of Zagreb, also in the class of Vlatka Oršanić.


Early in her life at age 4, Ms. Domaćina took part in the children's Festival “Prvi Pljesak”, performed her first solo recital at the age of 13, and was featured on TV shows such as „TurboLimach Show“ and „Parlaonica“. She is the winner of three first prizes in school and student competitions: Zagreb in 2003, Varaždin in 2007 and Sisak in 2009 and won two second prizes and one third prize in Dubrovnik in 2003 , 2007 and 2009. In 2010 she took a part in The International Vocal Competition of Mikuláš Schneider-Trnavský in Slovakia.

In 2012 in the International Vocal Competition for Young Opera Singers of the Sarzana Opera Festival in Italy for the preparation of opera, she was among the top ten singers selected from all over the world and performed the role of Gianetta in Donizetti’s L'elisir d'amore. There she also won awards in Master Classes with famous opera singers and renowned musicians Raina Kabaivanska, Giuseppe Sabbatini and Enzo Dara.

In addition to her regular education, the soprano completed a number of professional courses, seminars and master classes in Lieder and Opera with renowned musicians and voice coaches Giorgio Surian, Gerhard Zeller, Vlatka Oršanić , Marvin Keenze, Olga Šober, John Blake, Dr. Larry Alan Smith, Elisabeth Vidal , Andre Cognet, Helena Lazarska, and at the International Summer Academy Mozarteum in 2011 with Raina Kabaivanska.

As first soprano in the famous Croatian klapa „Čuvite“ Mia Domaćina has won numerous awards: 2010-Gold in the International Competition “Concorso Internazionale Di Canto Corale“ in Verona; 2011-Gold in the Klapas Festival in Pakoštane, Croatia; 2012- 1st prize for best musical arrangement at the „Omiš Festival „ on Korčula; 2012 1st prize winner in „46th Omiš Festival of Dalmatian Klapas“ in Omiš.

Ms. Domacina has performed numerous concerts in Croatia as well as abroad in Germany, France, China, Austria, Slovenia and Italy and has had engagements as featured soloist with many choirs. During her education she participated as a featured soloist in various projects:-2008 at the theater „Komedija“ in Donizetti’s L'elisir d'amore (Gianetta);-2009, “Vatroslav Lisinski“ concert hall in J.Haydn’s Nelson Messe as featured soprano soloist with choir and orchestra of Music Academy in Zagreb (conductor: Alun Francis);-2009 in “Vatroslav Lisinski“ concert hall in Mozart’s The Magic Flute. She performed the role of Queen of the night (conductor: Mladen Tarbuk); 2010 at the Church Sv. Katarina in Zagreb, in Cantata – Salve regina by J.G. Bajamontija (Soprano Soloist) with Academic Chamber Orchestra. In February 2011 in Croation National Theater in Zagreb she completed her Master's degree with role of Musetta in La Bohème by Giacomo Puccini.

Ms. Domaćina has been a member of Croation National Theater opera chorus and soloist during 2007, 2008 and 2010 seasons in Puccini’s Il Tritico; In March of 2009 in Verdi’s Rigoletto. She performed the role of Countess Ceprano; 2011 in Puccini’s La Bohème, the role of Musetta (conductor: Josip Šego); 2012 in Donizetti’s L'elisir d'amore, the role of Gianetta (conductor: Pietro Rizzo); In June 2012 with „Aplauz Theater“ she performed the role of Grilletta in J.Haydn’s Der Apotheker. In July of 2012 she performed the role of Gianetta in Donizetti’s L'elisir d'amore with Sarzana Opera Festival in Italy, under conductor Elisabetta Maschio and stage director Davide Garattini. For the fourth consecutive year she has organized a concert on her island Šolta called: “Summer Opera Nights – Mia Domaćina and Friends” .


Henrik Šimunković, Bass-baritone

Henrik Simunkovic was born in Cakovec, Croatia where he attended an Economics Magnet School, going on to study at the University of Economics in Zagreb. He began his voice studies in 1999. at the Music Academy in Zagreb under Prof. Nada Puttar-Gold, graduating with honors and going on to finish his Post-graduate study with Prof. Neven Belamaric. Simunkovic has worked with renowned singers KS Marjana Lipovsek, Alfred Burgstaller, Olivera Miljakovic and Giorgio Surian. Henrik Simunković sings regulaliy in the „Summer Baroque School of Aestas Musica" in Varazdin under the direction of English artists Catherine Mackintosh and Laurence Cummings. Along with his opera engagements, Mr. Simunković appears extensively in concerts throughout Europe. Henrik Simunkovic is singing in the 2012/2013 Season with the National Opera in Zagreb, National Opera in Split, Croatia and Kammeroper Vienna, Austria.

Roles in his repertoire include Aeneas in Purcell’s Dido and Aeneas, Colas in Mozart’s Bastien and Bastienne, Figaro in Le Nozze di Figaro, Leporello and Masetto in Don Giovann, Papageno and Sprecher in von Weber’s Der Freischütz, Don Basilio Il Barbiere di Sivilia and Gaudenzio in Il Signor Bruschino by Rossini, Ferrando in Il Trovatore and Monterone in Rigoletto by Verdi, Horatio in Hamlet by Thomas, Sempronio in Der Apotheker by Haydn, and Levi in Nikola Subic Zrinjski by Zajc.


Mario Bokun, tenor

Mario Bokun, tenor was born in Zagreb, Croatia in 1976. In 2012 he graduated in Electrotechnical Science on Faculty of Electrotechincs and Computing from the University of Zagreb, Department of Elecrtoacustics, and was also awarded his Master of Music Degree from Music Academy at the University of Zagreb in Department of Solo Singing, class of Snježana Bujanović Stanislav. Since 1995 the tenor has studied singing with Sergije Foretić (tenor), Branka Stilinović (soprano), Sotir Spasevski (baritone), Vitomir Marof (baritone). He began studying with Professor Marof in 2006 and with whom he still studies. Since 2000, the tenor has been a member of The Croatian National Theater Chorus in Zagreb.

Since 2005 Bokun has been Associated Member of The National Television Chorus. Since 2010 he is Chorus Master, Singer and Organist in a local church. In The National Theater in Zagreb, Mario Bokun has performed numerous roles in many operas such as Arlecchin in I Pagliacci, Venditore in Il Tabarro, Borsa in Rigoletto, Monostatos in Die Zauberflöte, Dr. Blind in Die Fledermaus, Bardolfo in Falstaff, Sokolović in Nikola Šubić Zrinjski (Croatian National Opera) and many others. He also performed the role of Don José in Carmen and Tamino in Die Zauberflöte while a student singing in academic production. Bokun has performed concert works such as Franz Schubert's Mass in Es-major, D.950 and Joseph Haydn’s Missa in Angustiis in d-minor, No. 11, Hob XXII: 11.

For a biography of the composer Joseph Haydn, click here.

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