Lennon – opera by Ivo Josipović

Possibly the highlight of 2023 was working on Ivo Josipović‘s opera ‘Lennon’. As the proofreader I helped refine the text of the libretto written by Marina Biti and as a translator I translated most of the superb book that is included in this deluxe box set produced by Croatia Records.

The box set contains 2 CDs, 2 LPs, DVD, Blu Ray disc, a 64-GB USB that contains all the digital contents plus the super 88-page glossy, large format book with the libretto, essays, reviews and all the details of the stage production.

The opera was first publicly performed on 24th April 2023 at the Croatian National Theatre in Zagreb and I was lucky enough to meet Croatia’s ex-president Ivo Josipović before the show.

The Croatian National Theatre in Zagreb was the venue for the first performance of Ivo Josipović’s opera ‘Lennon’
The performers take a bow at the end of the show.

The deluxe box set was launched by Croatia Records at the Croatian National Theatre on 8th December, 43 years after John Lennon’s murder in New York. I was very pleased to be invited and chatted with Mr Josipović after the dignitaries and media left.

It was a honour to be involved in such a prestigious project about one of my musical heroes and a global icon. I look forward to working with Croatia Records in the future.

England to India by automobile, via Fiume in 1924

An 8,527-mile Trip Through Ten Countries, from London to Quetta, Requires Five and a Half Months


Our next stop was at Fiume (Rijeka), the scene of the coup of Gabriele d’Annunzio, Italy’s poet patriot. It is also a fine port, but a mean city in comparison with Trieste. A narrow river separates it from Susak, the Yugoslavian frontier town.

An impressive sight in the city was the great number of apparently idle young men with shock heads of hair fluffed out like a lion’s mane. We thought this must be the latest thing in Fiume masculine styles until an English-speaking friend explained that this is the hall mark of d’Annunzio’s “lions,” who, with him, captured the city.

We were warned not to upset any of them, as they have the reputation of being excessively irascible and a law unto themselves.

After a night in Fiume, we crossed the frontier bridge to Yugoslavia. The incredible change made by those few yards is impossible to imagine – a jump from stagnation and slackness to hurry and bustle.

The only place into which the general energy had not penetrated was the customhouse. We had a letter of introduction to the chief revenue officer, who told us that, as a great favour, they would rush us through the formalities. The “rush” required six hours to deal with our small outfit!

The officials seemed to like our company. As soon as the papers were passed to a fresh clerk, he would come and have a friendly chat with us on European politics, our trip, and, in fact, anything but the business concerned. They were so cheery and genial that we could not take offense; so we smoked endless cigarettes and waited.

Overland from England to India in late 1924 by Major Forbes-Leith. Here seen in Baghdad on 20th August 1924.


We were now in a new kingdom, a charming country of delightful, music-loving people. Every little village café has its orchestra of young men playing the guitar and mandolin, and accompanied by a trio or quartette of girl singers. The former stand and play; the latter sit in a row in front and sing national songs from dusk to midnight.

The Croats and Serbs are fine fellows of good physique, very hard workers, great patriots, and among the finest soldiers in the world. Serbia, before the World War, was spoken of as a little Balkan state; now she must be reckoned as a power in Europe.

English police uniforms used in Zagreb in the 1920s.

At Agram (Zagreb), the capital of Croatia, formerly part of the old Austrian Empire, we had a shock that made us rub our eyes. In front of us at the first crossroad, was the embodiment of an English policeman, with helmet, uniform, and baton complete. We heard afterward that the whole police force of the city was modeled and trained on British lines, even uniforms being supplied by outfitters in England.

In atmosphere, architecture, and general plan, Agram is a miniature Vienna. It has a fine opera house, and the architecture is for the most part typically Austrian.

Living is very cheap here for the man who carries either the pound sterling or the dollar.


The trip was made in 1924 and published by The National Geographic Magazine August 1925.

There was even a cameraman on the trip and there exists footage – called ‘Lure of the East’ of some of the trip available here on the British Pathe archives website. And on Vimeo – watch at 1:00 and you’ll see a Zagreb copper: https://vimeo.com/45439980

Thanks to Saša Dmitrović for the source material.

Nature – Laboratory of Colours exhibition

priroda - laboratorij bojaThis delightful, informative 56 page catalogue accompanies the ‘Priroda – laboratorij boja’ (‘Nature – the Laboratory of Colours’) exhibition at the Tehnički muzej – Nikola Tesla in Zagreb. The exhibition highlights the traditional use of natural colourants, dyes and limestone in the households of times past in Dalmatian Croatia.

priroda - laboratorij bojaThe exhibition and workshops run from May – September 2016.
Visit the museum’s website and Facebook pages for more info.

Andro Vid Mihičić – poetry in English

andro_vid_mihicic_youngAndro Vid Mihičić was born in the idyllic village of Beli on the island of Cres on 26th March 1896. He was an art historian, professor and poet. At an early age he enjoyed nature and philosophy. He was educated in Paris as a Franciscan Tertiary Friar and there he graduated from the Faculty of Art History at La Sorbonne. During the Second World War he joined the anti-fascist movement as a military chaplain. In 1944 he left the Franciscan Order. After the war he was chosen as professor at the Academy of Fine Arts in Zagreb. He only began to publish his poems when he was 92. Here are some excerpts from his beautiful short poems, translated from the original Croatian into English, which accompany the sculptures of Ljubo de Karina on the trails in the forests of Tramuntana on the northern part of the island of Cres.

Testament I have no sons, no grandsons. To whom shall I leave my poem and my dream and the great wings of foreboding which in infinity flap? To you, my people! From you I sprang, through you I return to immortality so I flow through the underground again with the flowers in the fields I blossom and build stalactites underground for a temple of beauty and dreams. All to you and only to you, my Croatian people.

beli alleyWhen I arrived in Beli it was dark. Stables full of dying sounds. Gorges and glens full of ghosts and spectres, the sea full of stars and the sky, full of deep secrets and an infinite blueness.

beli flowerHave you ever heard flowers talking at night? Around us everything is full of secrets. Even in a rock life is hidden – nothing is dead.


life in a rockLife is also hidden in a rock, dreamt of, but it’s there. Hit it, you’ll hear its heart beating.


beli ruined houseWhat are you looking for – a flower asks me – In the mist in front of the ruined houses In the darkness even trees pray. Talk to me, wind, about the sun On the field.


beli pathNature cleanses the man, It fills him with power of the mind, instinct and the forces of life, And reveals a secret of modesty.


beli cliff viewOn the cliff near my village griffons build nests into the sky they dive they circle they rise up and defy the storms.


His poetry accompanies the sculptures of Ljubo de Karina on the eco-trails in the forests of Tramuntana on the northern part of the island of Cres.

Ljubo-de-Karina-montageHe died on 26th January 1992 in Mali Lošinj.

Andro Vid Mihičić - picture from Tramuntana guide book, published by Eko Centar Caput Insulae 2007

Andro Vid Mihičić – picture from Tramuntana guide book, published by Eko Centar Caput Insulae 2007

Andro_vid_mihicic_bustA bust of Andro Vid Mihičić is placed on the side of the parish church in Beli in his honour.

Full texts:

The Testament
I have no sons, no grandsons.
Whom shall I leave my poem and my dream
and big wings of Foreboding
that wave in the infinity?
To you, my people!
From you I sprang,
through you I return to immortality
to ring through the underground
and like a flower blossom in the fields
and build the shapes in underground
for a temple of beauty and dreams.
All to You and only to You,
my Croatian people.


When I arrived in Beli
it was dark.
Stables full of dying sounds
Gorges and glens full of ghosts and phantoms
the sea full of stars
and the sky
full of deep secrets
and indefinite blueness.


Kneel before the truth,
Knock and pray before the door of the secret.


Roads and dreams and sorrows travel
with no shadow or trace on the road.
Loneliness dashes and smiles to the day
that climbs the hill
while the ants carry
their load silently.


Those who search for beauty, find God.


Have you ever heard flowers talking in the night?
Everything is full of secrets around us.
Even in a rock life is hidden
-nothing is dead.


It is hard to tread on the earth without
having support in the clouds.
Only those who search discover the truth,
the treasure, themselves and other worlds.


On hills, in forests, on meadows
the word of the soul is louder.


Life is hidden in a rock,
dreamed of, but present.
Hit him, you will hear his heart beat.


Light to everyone, everyone
until they notice the growth of a tree
in a grain
the beauty of a leaf on a thorn
and a brother in a worm
until they feel the brotherhood with
the bird, the wolf and the doe.


Life without religion is like desert
swept by desert winds.


What are you looking for – asks a flower –
Here, in the mist in front of the ruined house?
Even trees pray in the darkness.
Talk to me, wind, about the sun
On the plough-land.


You who sit on the throne of the Secret
Mover of the world and the universe…
I am looking for you.
I wander through the spaces
of the centuries and worlds,
… and call your name all the time…


Nature cleanses the man,
It fills him with power of the mind,
instinct and living forces,
And unveils the secret of modesty.


Spirit is cleansed in the beauty of the nature,
it is being calmed,
it becomes wider and deeper.


Stop and let me hear
the grass waking up
to the light
and offering itself to be kissed by the sun……


He is silent
and he is lighting the stars
to shed light on the paths and ways,
tracks and roads
and minds
that lead to the Truth.


On the Crown near my village
griffons nest
into the sky they dive
They circle
They fly up
and challenge the storms.


I always come back to you, oh bella Libella,
difana snella
with no veil
as you fly like an arrow –
over a well
by the water, near the water
always in the light and
world of the freedom
twinkling, easy
woven from searays
Libella, si cara, si bella, sorella


Auf Deutsch:

Söhne habe ich nicht, noch habe ich Enkel.
Wem soll ich hinterlassen das Gedicht und den
Traum und die großen Flügel der Ahnung,
die über alle Grenzen reichen?
Dir, mein Volk!
Aus Dir bin ich hervorgegangen,
durch dich kehre ich zurück
in die Unsterblichkeit,
um weiter zu strömen durch den Untergrund,
um mit den Blumen auf den Feldern zu wuchern
und mit Tropfstein unter der Erde zu bauen
am Tempel der Schönheit und des Traums.
Alles Dir und nur Dir,
mein kroatisches Volk.


Als ich in Beli ankahm,
war Finsternis.
Ställe voller ersterbender Klänge,
Schluchten und Schlachten voller Geister
und Gespänstergedränge,
das Meer voller Sterne und der Himmel
– voll von tiefem Geheimnis
und von unendlichem Blau.


Vor der Wahrheit verneige dich,
an die Pforte des Geheimnisses kolpfe an und bitte!


Es laufen Straßen und Träume und Leiden
ohne Schatten und ohne Spuren.
Die Einsamkeit eilt vorbei und lächelt dem
Tag zu, der sich den Berg hinaufwindet,
auch de Ameise trägt ihre Bürde ohne ein Wort.


Wer die Schönheit sucht, findet Gott.


Hast du jemals gehört das Gespräch
der Blumen in der Nacht?
Alles ist voller Geheimnis um uns herum.
Leben verbirgt sich auch in einem Stein
– nichts ist tot.


Schwer ist’s die Erde zu betreten ohne Halt
in den Wolken.
Nur die Suchenden entdecken die Wahrheit,
die Schätze, sich selbst
und die Welten.


Auf den Bergen, in den Wäldern
und auf den Wiesen hört sich
das Wort der Seele besser.



Auch im Stein verbirgt sich das Leben,
im Traum zwar, doch ist es da.
Klopfst du ihn,
hörst du sein Herz schlagen.


Licht für alle, alle, bis sie erblicken
das Wachsen eines Baumes aus dem
Samen, die Schönheit eines Blattes auf
einem Dorn, den Bruder in einem Wurm,
und bis sie fühlen die Verwandtschaft
mit Vogel, Wolf, Reh…


Ein Leben ohne Glauben
ist wie ein Ödland,
über dem die Wüstenwinde wehen.


Was suchst du – fragt mich die Blume –
im Nebel vor den Häusern mit den zerfallenen Dächern?
Im Dunkeln beten auch die Bäume.
Erzähl mir, Wind, von der Sonne
auf dem Feld.


Du, der du sitzt
auf dem Thron des Geheimnisses,
unbekannt, ewig,
Beweger der Welt und des Universums…
Dich suche ich.
Ich wandere durch die Räume
der Zeiten und Welten
…und rufe immer nach Dir…


Die Natur läutert den Menschen,
erfüllt ihn mit der Stärke des Geistes,
des Instinkts und der Lebenskraft,
Und sie offenbart das Geheimnis
der Bescheidenheit.


In der Schönheit der Natur reinigt sich der Geist,
kommt zur Ruhe und wird weiter und tiefer.


Warte, dass ich höre
wie das Gras erwacht
und dem Licht zuruft
und die Sonne um einen Kuss bittet…..


Er hüllt sich in Schweigen
und entzündet die Sterne,
um zu beleuchten Pfade und Wege,
Landstraßen und Stege
und den Verstand,
der zur Wahrheit führt.


Auf der Krone über meinem Dorf
bauen die Adler ihre Horste,
sie tauchen in den Himmel,
sie kreisen,
sie steigen empor
und trotzen den Stürmen…


Immer kehre ich zurück zu dir, schöne Libelle,
durchsichtige Schnelle, ohne Schleier
fliegst du dahin wie ein Pfeil –
über die Quelle
auf dem Wasser, an dem Wasser,
immer leicht im Licht
und in der Welt der Freiheit
wie ein Geflecht aus
Libella, du liebe, du schöne

In italiano:

Non ho figli ne nipoti.
A chi lascio la canzone ed il sogno
E grandi ali del Presentimento
Che salutano nell’infinito?
A te, popolo mio!
Da te ho germogliato,
Attraveso te, torno all’immortalità
Per scorrere poi nel sottosuolo
Crescendo poi con i fiori sui campi
E costruendo i stalagmiti nel sottosuolo
Per il tempio di sognante bellezza.
Tutto a Te e per Te
Popolo mio Croato.


Quando arrivai a Beli
Fu buio.
Le stalle piene di suoni morenti
I passi e valici pieni di spiriti e fantasmi
Il mare pieno di stelle
Ed il cielo
Pieno di segreto profondo
E di un infinito azzurro.


Inchìnati davanti alla verità
Bussa davanti alla porta del segreto e prega.


Viaggiano le vie ed i sogni e le tristezze

Senz’ombra etraccia sulla via.
Corre la solitudine e sorride al giorno
Che si arrampica sul monte
E le formiche portano i carichi


Chi cerca la bellezza, trova il Dio.


Hai mai sentito la conversazione dei fiori nella notte?
Attorno a noi ci sono tanti misteri.
La vita si nasconde anche nei sassi
– non e morto niente.


È diffidle calpestare Ia terra senza punto d’appoggio
Sulle nuvole
Soh i ricercatori scoprono Ia verita, il tesoro,
Se stessi ed il mondo.


Sui monti, nei boschi, sui prati
La parola dell’anima
si sente più fortemente.


La vita si nasconde anche nel sasso
Addormentata, ma è sempre Ii.
Dagli un colpo,
e sentirai il palpito del suo cuore.


La luce a tutti, a tutti
Finche non vedano la crescita dell’albero nel grano
La bellezza del foglio sulla spina
Il fratello nel verme
E sentano la fratellanza con l’uccello,
il lupo e
Il capriuolo.


La vita senza religione e come
il deserto su cui
Soffiano i venti del deserto.


Cosa stai cercando – mi chiede il fiore –
Nella nebbia davanti alle case dei tetti crollati?
Nel buio anche gli alberi pregano.
Raccontami, vento, del sole
Sul campo.


Tu che stai seduto sul trono del Segreto
Inizatore del mondo e dell’universo…
Ti sto cercando.
Vago per i vasti spazi dei secoli e
Dei mondi.
… e Ti chiamo sempre…


La natura purifica l’uomo
Gli da la forza dell’intelleto, istinto e
Le forze di vita
E svela il segreto della modestia.


Nella bellezza della natura lo spirito si purifica,
Si calma, e diventa più largo e profondo.


Fermati ch’io senta
Come si sveglia l’erba
E come riceve la luce
E come si offre al sole per esser baciata…


Lui tace
E accende le stelle
Per illuminare le vie e viuzze
I sentieri e le strade
Ed anche le menti
Che guidano verso la verità.


A Kruna vicino al mio villaggio
Le aquile si annidano
Scoscendono in cielo
Prendono il volo
E affrontano le tempeste


Ritorno sempre a te, o bella Libella,
Difana snella
Senza velo
Mentre voli come una freccia-
Sopra la fonte
Vicino all’acqua, lungo l’acqua
Sempre alla luce e nell mondo
della libertà
Tremolante, leggiera
Intrecciata dai raggi di sole
Libella, sì cara, sì bella, sorella


London Calling Stand Up Comedy June Tour

Despite Euro 2012, despite a holiday-riddled June calendar, despite all sorts of obstacles – we are delighted to announce the June tour!

This month, London Calling will also visit two excellent festivals in the region: Belef in Belgrade and Lent in Maribor.

So lets kick-off the summer with a bit of comedy from London:

ZAGREB 25 June 2012.
Doors open at 20:30, programme starts at 21:00
VIP Club – Trga Bana Jelacica

OSIJEK 26 June 2012.
Doors open at 20:30
Djecje Kazaliste Branka Mihaljevica

RIJEKA 27 June
Doors open at 20:30, programme starts at 21:00
Brod Klub Marina, Adamicev Gat, Riva


More info:

The London Calling Stand Up Comedy Show comes back to Croatia June 2012

Paul McCartney – Diamond Jubilee Concert

Paul McCartney was definitely the highlight of the Queen’s Diamond Jubilee Concert at Buckingham Palace, London on 4th June 2012. He ended the star-studded show by performing Beatles classics ‘Magical Mystery Tour’, ‘All My Loving’, ‘Let It Be’, ‘Ob-La-Di, Ob-La-Da’ and a spectacular version of his own ‘Live and Let Die’.


Back in 1976 Paul McCartney and his group Wings visited Zagreb. On the 21st September they played the Dom Sportova arena.

Paul McCartney and Wings, Zagreb 1976

Whilst in Zagreb in 1976 McCartney also met up with Veljko Despot, long time fan and friend of The Beatles.

Paul McCartney meets Veljko Despot in Zagreb in 1976

Were you there at the concert back in 1976?

‘Wings Over Zagreb’ live concert album cover

More links:
The Beatles Revival Band
– Croatia’s best tribute band based in Rijeka
The Beatles Fan Club Zagreb – the original fan club started in 1968 by Veljko Despot (Jugoslavenski Beatles Fan Club/The Yugoslav Beatles Fan Club)

Yugoslav Beatles Fan Club letters and memorabilia

Tražim zaposlenje u području medija/tiska/izdavaštva: