Baritone Aleksandar Dragojevic has only lived in Columbia for a short time, but he has found our town a warm and welcoming place with great people. An Antique Carol will be his second time on the opera stage here, following an appearance in La Traviata at the Missouri Theatre’s Hot Summer Nights festival. You may also have seen him sing at Unity Church, or out of town as Morales in Winter Opera St. Louis’s production of Carmen. (Aleksandar notes that “I was extremely excited to have that chance because it was my first time to sing in the USA, my American debut—a very special moment of my life.”)
Intrigued by Aleksandar’s experience, and that amazing photo, from National Theater Banja Luka (Bosnia)’s production of Orpheus in the Underworld by J. Offenbach? Read on!
What was your musical training?
I finished my vocal studies at Music Academy in Sarajevo (Bosnia). But that was just the beginning of my learning about this beautiful and demanding art. Actually, as a musician you are never done with your studies and exploring your craft. So, after my official studies I continued to work with private voice teachers, as I'm still doing.
What was the first theatrical event you remember seeing? What was memorable about it?
It was a concert of young opera singers in my hometown. A friend of mine invited me to come and hear some of his friends from the Music school, and I did. After that I went home, found the only opera singer's cd (It was Maria Callas, of course), and listened her for hours, days... Actually it's still playing in my head. And all I wanted was to become one of these people with magical voices.
I hear that you moved here not so long ago. What has been your favorite thing about Columbia?
People. I met so many great and dear friends here in Columbia. I remember, two years ago right after we arrived, the friend of mine took my partner and me to a walk, and we were so surprised by so many smiled faces saying hello. We just weren’t used to it. I suppose that's the greatest thing about CoMo: a lot of nice people.
Have you found a favorite non-theatre thing to do around town? How about a favorite thing related to the arts?
I spend most of my free time with my art, learning and listening all the time. But I'm using every opportunity to go out and see concerts, art shows, movies, all things that make me happy.
What is your favorite holiday tradition?
I like Christmas. All that decorations, festiveness and gayness about it :)