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Spirit of Adventure blog


1st March, 2023

I was supposed to be on board until mid-March, however I got an offer I couldn’t refuse. My wife’s vocal ensemble “Lira”, and the choir that I support back at home “Zvijezda Danica”, received an invitation to perform three Lent concerts in the Church of San Girolamo in Rome. The Church is located on the river Tiber, next to the Mausoleum of Augustus, half way between Castel Sant’ Angelo and Fontana di Trevi. I am amazed with the understanding and grateful for the support I have received from Head Office and Captain Kreso Volaric, who will cover for me so I can experience such an honour.

Lira will perform Stabat Mater, composed by Giovanni Battista Pergolesi in 1736. The Stabat Mater is a 13th century Christian hymn to Mary, which portrays her suffering as Jesus Christ’s mother during his crucifixion, while Zvijezda Danica will perform the Passion of Christ from the Gospel of John. Along with those two pieces, we will perform traditional Lent tunes that represent our local heritage, and the Sunday singing service.

Zvijezda Danica is from Kraljevica, a small coastal town on the northern coast of Adriatic. My mom’s family is from Kraljevica and I attended the elementary school there. The Choir is the oldest active one in Croatia and was founded in 1894. My grandfather, Dusko Turina, was the conductor as well as a member of the choir in the late 50s’/early 60s’. Frane Frleta is the current conductor for both Zvijezda Danica and Lira and he is a good friend of mine. Lira comes from the city of Rijeka and is a younger choir than Zvijezda Danica.

The ensemble was founded in 1996 and my wife Sonja is the only member who has been in Lira from day one. I have been actively supporting Lira since Sonja and I started dating and I have the title of technical director of the ensemble. Lira has participated in the Croatian version of Last Choir Standing and finished 5th. Lira recorded their version of Silent Night in 2019, sang both in Croatian and English. Both choirs cherish gospel, traditional tunes and pop music.

I’m really looking forward to the trip to Rome and the whole experience, and I will write about it. Well, I’m signing off in Bergen, and I’m back on board again in May on Spirit of Adventure for the Norwegian Trilogy cruise.

Kind Regards
Captain Franko Papić

The opinions expressed are those of the author and are not held by Saga unless specifically stated.

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