Ivona Šimunović, Gaia (2020)

His concerts are a very special experience when every person is completely overcome with emotions, whether it be on the stage or in front of it – the unique approach, enthusiasm and passion of this great man cannot leave anyone indifferent.
(Sound Report, 2020)

INTERVIEWS

IVAN REPUSIC: “EARLY VERDI OPERAS PLACE HIGH DEMANDS”
Ivan Repušić interviewed by Remy Franck for Pizzicato (06/05/2020)

“I have heard many comments about the alleged simplicity of the early Verdi operas and the so-called accompaniment »alla chitarra«. Such views are dangerous because these works require great technical mastery, clarity and transparency in sound and structure, as well as purity of the melody lines. They place high demands on the soloists, who have to immerse themselves in the characters properly, and on the performance of the orchestra, which takes on an important and powerful role in the overall dramaturgy.”

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THE CHEMISTRY IS RIGHT
Ivan Repušić interviewed by Arnt Cobbers for Fono Forum (February / 2018)

“Every orchestra has its position and its task. And we [conductors] have to fulfill them with all our passion and in the best way possible. (…) No matter where I am, I try to do my all.”

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SEIZING OPPORTUNITIES FOR CLASSICAL MUSIC
Ivan Repušić interviewed by Doris Sennefelder for the MRO Programme brochure for the 2018/2019 season

“I wanted to stay true to Verdi’s style. His language is very clear. And the dramatics in his operas is based on this special connection of text and music, on the expression that singers give to every phrase. The orchestra should not only provide accompaniment, but it really has to flow along. Verdi’s early and less known operas are sometimes simpler in their structure than his late works; one knows the typical accompaniment »alla chitarra«, as if played on a big guitar. But the more I conduct Verdi’s early works, the more I notice how difficult they are – like Mozart’s operas. It is a big challenge for singers and even more so for the orchestra.”

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READY FOR MUSICAL ADVENTURES
Ivan Repušić interviewed for the MRO Pogramme brochure for the 2017/2018 season

“As guest conductor I have appeared with the Munich Radio Orchestra several times: at a concert performance of Puccini’s La rondine, at a New Year’s Eve Gala Concert in 2015 and, for the last time, within the concert series Paradisi gloria. In addition to that, I experienced the orchestra from the listener’s perspective at the Salzburger Festspiele in a concert performance of Puccini’s Manon Lescaut with Anna Netrebko. But my very first contact with them dates back to my student days in Zagreb. I had two CDs with the Munich Radio Orchestra, Puccini’s Gianni Schicchi under the baton of Giuseppe Patané and Ponchielli’s La gioconda under Marcello Viotti: wonderful recordings that deeply impressed me. Today one can also hear immediately that the orchestra has a special sound. I myself have performed quite a number of Italian operas with them and noticed right away that the orchestra loved playing this sort of music; thanks to chief conductors, such as Lamberto Gardelli, Giuseppe Patané, Roberto Abbado and Marcello Viotti, it has picked up a certain tradition.”

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CRITIQUES, REVIEWS AND ARTICLES

Jana Haluza, »The highlight of the concert season«, Vijenac, 678 (27/02/2020)
Ivan Repušić, Munich Radio Orchestra and Bavarian Radio Choir within the concert series Saturday at Lisinski

“One thing is certain: as far as the importance of the event and the quality of performance are concerned, we have reached the highlight of not only the 2019/2020 season, but probably also that of the year 2020, (…) hearing this performance live, in the acoustics of our well-known Lisinski Hall, was a true privilege: the work [Croatian Glagolitic Requiem by Igor Kuljerić] composed in 1996, often performed in Croatia, released by the Cantus label, was now presented in a new way, with precise impulses of the orchestra, the choir’s chanting worked out to the utmost detail, and meticulously balanced colours of the soloists’ voices.”

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Paul Schäufele, »Croatian Glagolitic Requiem by Igor Kuljerić delighted the audience«, Süddeutsche Zeitung (16/02/2020)

“The committedly singing choir, the scintillating orchestra conducted by Ivan Repušić and four excellent soloists performed the programme with zest. Repušić (…) it was with precise conducting that he celebrated this Mass that received a roaring applause from the audience at the Sacred Heart Church.”

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Maja Stanetti, »Brilliant performances of the orchestra and soloists«, Klassika.hr (26/02/2020)
Concert of the Munich Radio Orchestra and Bavarian Radio Choir, Lisinski Concert Hall, Ivan Repušić, conductor

“One can really say that the last concert within the Saturday at Lisinski series is one of the climaxes in this attractive selection of concerts. (…) The full inner tension of the dramatic arc of the piece [Croatian Glagolitic Requiem by Igor Kuljerić] left room for interpretation and it was such as one could only wish for. (…) Maestro Repušić committedly united all participants in the common endeavour in a peformance that can undoubtedly set a standard for future performances that will be hard to reach. Hats off and a deep bow!”

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Maja Trstenjak, »Maestro Ivan Repušić presented at Lisinski a spectacular and emotional musical evening to remember!«, Sound Report (23/02/2020)

“ (…) when our internationally reputed conductor Ivan Repušić steps onto the stage, things are raised to a whole new level that is hard to describe in words. His concerts are a very special experience when every person is completely overcome with emotions, whether it be on the stage or in front of it – the unique approach, enthusiasm and passion of this great man cannot leave anyone indifferent.”

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Tobias Hell, »20 years of ‘Paradisi Gloria’«, Münchner Merkur (13/02/2020)

Paradisi Gloria remains the chief conductor’s business also under Ivan Repušić, with whom Gitta Jäger believes to detect some parallels with Viotti. Marcello had a talent to make the musicians feel that every single concert was something special, something never experienced before. It could be perceived at every performance. And that is what I feel with Ivan Repušić too.”

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David Chandler, »The New Season at the New National Theatre«, Opera Today (20/12/2019)

„The third production of the new season, first staged on 28 November, was La Traviata (…) Ivan Repušić made his first appearance at the NNTT, conducting the Tokyo Philharmonic Orchestra with great authority.”

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Thomas Jordan, »The team player«, Süddeutsche Zeitung (22/10/2019)

„Ivan Repušić, the team player among the conductors, speaks a lot about feelings when he explains his work. One of his core beliefs is that musicians perform better when the atmosphere is positive. (…) Musically, the Croatian-born conductor wants to dig deeper into the meaning of the works with his orchestra. For him, this includes working out the emotions hidden in the scores even better and emphasizing the different timbres of the composers. Programmatically, he continues to trust the strength and musical richness of his favourite Giuseppe Verdi. After Attila, two more, rarely played operas by the Italian composer are planned for the coming seasons. Ivan Repušić is also attracted to Verdi’s ballet music.”

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Tobias Hell, »ITALIA PRIMA: Giuseppe Verdi’s Attila as a concert performance at the Prinzregententheater«, Münchner Merkur (15/10/0219)

„ (…) it was precisely here that Repušić let the emotions boil up to effervescence and kept on building up the pressure that a pathos-impregnated work like Attila simply needs to a certain extent.”

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Michael Stallknecht, »Singers’ festival – Verdi’s Attila in concert at the Prinzregententheater«, Süddeutsche Zeitung (14/10/2019)

„Ivan Repušić, chief conductor of the Munich Radio Orchestra, gives Verdi’s early work sinewy power and springy momentum, rhythmic drive and dryly exploding force, lets atmospheres colour-fill and strings sing intently, which even the BR Choir discovers a hitherto rarely heard pleasure in plump theatrical sensuality. Even during the performance, the audience does not save with Bravo storms, as is otherwise known from Italian opera houses.”

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Teresa Pieschacón Raphael, »PORTRAIT OF IVAN REPUŠIĆ. In the depths, not in the width«, concerti (24/09/2019)

„Repušić describes his work with an orchestra as follows: ‘I receive what the orchestra offers me and vice versa’. Of course, as a conductor you also have to have a feeling for the structure and be familiar with the history of music. But what counts above all in the end is the emotional moment, which can only come into play if the conductor and orchestra are one. Conductors, he says, should act confidently, ‘show everything with gestures and speak little’. And have enough imagination for the pictures with which they can describe their sound concept. Carlos Kleiber is a great role model for him: ‘He makes music the way I feel it: very free, very inspired, very clear’.”

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Maja Stanetti, »An evening to remember«, Vijenac, 673-674 (19/12/2019)
Verdi, Requiem in memory of Vjekoslav Šutej, Vatroslav Lisinski Concert Hall

Bravo, bravo, bravo! (…) And all that for a live performance of Verdi’s Requiem within the concert series Saturday at Lisinski under the baton of Ivan Repušić. He assembled the very best participating musicians and presented the well-arranged forces right in an imposing, moving and exciting performance with a grand dramatic arc. (…) Repušić, who had given an unforgettable final concert at the very same place some twenty years ago, evolved into an exceptional conductor who carved himself a niche on a larger scene, who does not betray the composer and gives an extraordinary impetus to the many-membered ensemble.

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Ileana Grazio, »A splendid performance of Beethoven’s Ninth Symphony«, Klasika.hr (27/07/2019)

“Conductor Ivan Repušić anchored the one-hour composition with sensitivity and determination. His dynamic elaboration throughout the four movements of contrasting moods with perfectly chosen tempi was precisely controlled. In the famous Finale, feverishly pulled back and forth in sudden mood changes, in those most delicate Beethovenian changes in the weave of instrumental and vocal parts, the conductor held the reins tight and received a standing ovation from the audience.”

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PM-Bavarian Radio, »Ivan Repušić extends his contract as the chief conductor of the Munich Radio Orchestra until 2023«, nmz-neue musikzeitung (17/07/2019)

“In his first two seasons with the versatile BR Orchestra, Ivan Repušić has already given valuable artistic impulses, such as the commitment of an artist in residence or the initiation of a cycle of early Verdi operas. In addition, Repušić has expanded the cultural-political significance of the Munich Radio Orchestra through numerous appearances of the ensemble in Bavaria and outside the Free State, as well as by its programmatic bridge to other nations and cultures.”

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„Ulrich Wilhelm, Intendant des Bayerischen Rundfunks: ‚Ich freue mich sehr, dass Ivan Repusic sein Engagement beim Münchner Rundfunkorchester verlängert. Er hat in den vergangenen drei Jahren großartige künstlerische Impulse gesetzt und mit technischer Brillanz und Leidenschaft das Orchester geleitet‘.”

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Ivana Mikuličin, »Germans and the FC Bayern assistant coach gave a ten-minute standing ovation to Ero in Munich. It is time for us to make our mark on the world map as a land of opera too«, Jutarnji list (07/07/2019)

„I would be happy if this concert performance would provide an incentive for Croatia to do everything on its part in order for Munich or some other German town to experience Ero in fullness, i.e. as a staged performance. I am sure that the new recording will also help promote the work and it would be great if a new production could be staged elsewhere in the world.”

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Henning Queren, »Ivan Repušić conducts Mahler«, Neue Presse (17/06/2019)

„These are enormous choral and orchestral masses, whoever knows how to tame them always wins eventually: Mahler’s Second Symphony makes every opera house shake and was also because of that suitable for Ivan Repušić’s farewell concert. 80 minutes of high voltage and at the end standing ovations and a ten-minute round of applause for the Resurrection Symphony.”

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Stefan Arndt, »Chief conductor Ivan Repušić bids farewell with Mahler’s 2nd Symphony«, Hannoversche Allgemeine Zeitung (17/06/2019)

“For his last big appearance, the conductor brought once again all the forces of the State Opera together: besides the huge orchestra there are also the Choir and Extra Choir of the State Opera, as well as the soloists Dorothea Maria Marx (soprano) and Julie-Marie Sundal (alto). The mere sight of this music-making mass was impressive – and the resulting sound proved that a lot can sometimes really help a lot. But Repušić knows how to cleverly wield the enormous forces of his sound apparatus. With swift tempi and courage for rubato he kept the Funeral Rites of the first movement in constant motion, and there was a lot of verve afterwards too – even the slow Primal Light, that was made to shine by Julie-Marie Sundal with restrained elegance, did not falter at any moment. It was as if Repušić had kept accumulating the energy of the music in the first movements until after a good hour in the Finale it was finally discharged. Thus the enormous effect that this music displays anyway was intensified one more time.”

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Henning Queren, »Ivan Repušić conducts Mahler«, Neue Presse (12/06/2019)

„MD Repušić draws a positive balance after his six years in Hannover: ‘Through our concerts and opera performances we managed to forge a deep and direct connection with the audience’.”

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Stefan Arndt, »Conductor Ivan Repušić bids farewell to Hannover«, Hannoversche Allgemeine Zeitung (14/06/2019)

„Of course, one must build a basis during rehearsal ‘so that the structure would be right’, the conductor says. However, that is by far not all: ‘One has to seize the opportunity at the performance to create something special – and it is possible only if chemistry is right.’ That he has succeeded in establishing the right chemistry is something of which Repušić is very proud when looking back: ‘I believe that a leader’s most important task is to create a positive atmosphere. (…) As a conductor one must be very well prepared and show willingness for good music-making. That works like a magnet: good music is the best way to a good atmosphere’.”

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David Renke, »Jubilee in 3/4 time: a beguiling Strauss festival with the Munich Radio Orchestra« Bachtrack (04/06/2019)

„Earthy and with lascivious ambiguity was Repušić’s interpretatin of the Rosenkavalier suite that functions like a miniature version of the 3,5-hour opera. Repušić left the musicians room to blossom, but kept the sound lean at the same time. He shaped the tempo of individual passages flexibly and cleverly worked out the dramatic quality of the suite rich in lascivious ambiguity. Unsentimentally and yet spiced with the right portion of emotions Repušić accomplished an impressive and electrifying interpretation.”

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Zrinka Matić, »Shifting the borders of recognizability of Croatian music«, Klasika.hr (24/05/2019)
Prinzregententheater, Munich, a concert performance of the opera Ero the Joker by Jakov Gotovac, conductor Ivan Repušić, 19. svibnja 2019.

„Rare are performances in which it is hard to pinpoint the best participant. The Munich performance can already be considered anthological – the inspired leadership of Ivan Repušić functioned as its pulse. (…) One of the greatest novelties in his interpretation is a modern approach to tempi that are slightly brisker than those to which we are accustomed in performances in Croatia, but that gave special liveliness to Gotovac’s music, leaving enough room for understanding every single orchestral gesture, every melody and every word – whether it be in the chorus or in the soloists’ parts.”

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Wolf-Dieter Peter, »Croatian Hans-in-Luck – Jakov Gotovac’s national opera Ero the Joker in Munich«, nmz-neue musikzeitung

Before that the Munich Radio Orchestra under its Croatian-born chief conductor Ivan Repušić brought the colourful, time and again dancingly pulsating Gotovac’s music probably as idiomatically as possible: a beautiful love duet, a few good little character numbers for the parents, a lot of commenting for the ever and again present choir – but also a lot of merely nice accompanying music with slightly folkloric features. And yet, the overall impression was as authentic as possible: the Croatian Radio Choir sang and all good soloists came from Croatia, led by Valentina Kobić as Djula and Tomislav Mužek as Ero.

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Robert Braunmüller, »From Nuremberg to Croatia«, Abendzeitung (21/05/2019)

„Ivan Repušić, the Croatian chief conductor of the Munich Radio Orchestra, mobilized the Croatian Radio Choir and some of the best singers from his homeland – such as Valentina Fijačko Kobić and the powerful Tomislav Mužek with secure high notes, who had already appeared as Ero in Bayreuth. The plot of Ero the Joker does not necessarily push itself onto today’s stage, but the music is colourful and powerful enough not to become boring during a two-hour concert performance.”

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Klaus Kalchschmid, »The opera Ero the Joker at the Prinzregententheater«, Süddeutsche Zeitung (20/05/2019)

„In the end the Prinzregententheater boiled with enthusiasm, and not only Croats celebrated their national opera Ero the Joker by Jakov Gotovac in a blazing, highly lively concert performance, excellently sung in the original language and played under the baton of Ivan Repušić, with the Croatian Radio Choir and Munich Radio Orchestra.”

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Christiane Tewinkel, »Oh, Istria is so beautiful«, Der Tagesspiegel (08/04/2019)

„Ivan Repušić and the Berlin Radio Symphony Orchestra carried off, as the saying goes, their audience to a more beautiful realm, in this case to Istria. As an introduction to a concert evening that ended with the terrifying Symphonie Fantastique by Hector Berlioz, we heard the wonderfully orchestrated, in formal terms brilliantly balanced Istarska suita (Istrian Suite) by the Croatian composer Natko Devčić. Thus, the evening at the Philharmony began in a truly restful manner, with the swinging sounds of a floating Prelude, the finely formed jumping dance of Poskočica (Repušić has long been displaying mastery at the conductor’s stand, his inner peace and precise grasp of the orchestra).”

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Melissa Korbmacher, »Burn-out in the Faust Company«, Die Deutsche Bühne (17/02/2019)

„The State Orchestra of Lower Saxony under the baton of General Music Director Ivan Repušić contrasted the rationality on the stage with great richness of colour. Faust’s descent into hell becomes a highly dramatic musical ride through the underworld.”

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Wolf-Dieter Peter, »Male power and female suffering – Verdi’s early work I due Foscari in Munich«, nmz-neue musikzeitung (27/11/2018)

„Carlos Kleiber used to judge many colleagues maliciously ‘Just another wagging creature’ – Repušić was just the opposite with his clearly leading right hand and time and again quite independently accentuating, additionally forming and demanding left hand. The result: a fulminant early Verdi.”

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Maja Stanetti, »Youthful energy in the foreground«, Klassika.hr (19/02/2018)
Guest performance of the Berlin Radio Symphony Orchestra; conductor Ivan Repušić, pianist Aljoša Jurinić, Vatroslav Lisinski Concert Hall

„Ivan Repušić’s considerable experience in leading a whole was of undeniable high quality. (…) There was his meticulous and exceedingly articulate reading of the score, control over the fragmentedly structured whole, and at the same time restraint from an empty effect to which the Symphony entices mainly those who try to imitate some of the numerous recordings of this work. Repušić did not let himself be seduced by the formula that everyone is familiar with Mahler’s First Symphony anyway; he paid attention to every single detail, with the same sort of feeling for a simple Ländler and for Mahler’s symphonism in building the gigantic whole. He seems to be always intensely aware of the importance of a live performance: a controlled ‘now or never’.”

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Zdenka Weber, »Hat off, Maestro«, Vijenac, 625 (15/02/2018)
Guest concert of Berlin Radio Symphony Orchestra at  Lisinski Hall

“Ivan Repušić enchants with the charisma of a musician whose artistic convincingness is simply irresistible, so the RSB [Berlin Radio Symphony Orchestra] agreed to open their concert in Zagreb with a work by a Croatian composer, i.e. with the Istrian Suite by Natko Devčić (1914-1997). (…) A roaring applause followed every single piece performed and there was a standing ovation at the end to which Repušić responded with an encore, orchestral rendition of Vatroslav Lisinski’s idyll Evening – a wonderful gesture of our conductor, but also of the Berlin orchestra that arrived in Zagreb ready to offer a supreme performance of even two works by Croatian composers.”

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Branimir Pofuk, »Maestro Ivan Repušić is a true ambassador of our culture«, Večernji list (12/02/2018)

„Repušić, like very few before him, makes use of his great authority and brilliant artistic reputation gained in Germany, where he was appointed to leading functions at important and outstanding musical and cultural institutions, also in order to promote Croatian music. Thus, he began his tenure as general music director of the Hannover State Opera, i.e. his inaugural concert with their ensemble by playing the Symphonic Reel by Jakov Gotovac. The in many ways historic concert held on Saturday at the crammed Vatroslav Lisinski Concert Hall showed that it was not only a one-time symbolic gesture.”

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Stefan Amzoll, »Overloaded with outside world: Ole Anders Tandberg staged Georges Bizet’s Carmen at Deutsche Oper Berlin«, Neues Deutschland (31/01/2018)

„On top of that was what the conductor Ivan Repušić pulled off with the orchestra and choirs of the Deutsche Oper Berlin, i.e. a brilliant, in technical and artistic terms superb performance.”

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Jürgen Gahre, »Provocation Carmen«, Kieler Nachrichten (22/01/2018)

„Ivan Repušić, general music director of the Hannover State Opera, guided the orchestra of the Deutsche Oper Berlin through the score with prudence and a fine feeling for dynamics and Bizet’s refined tonal nuances. He did not give in to the temptation to blaze up the fire immanent to this music escessively, but always found the right measure for the great passions in this opera, instead.”

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