Novi Sad, located north of Belgrade, the capital of Serbia, is the capital of Vojvodina Province and the second largest economic and cultural center in Serbia. The City of Novi Sad, located along the Danube River, still retains the appearance of the former Austro-Hungarian Empire; and its cultural influence is strong.
Novi Sad is home to the Serbian National Theater, the oldest in Serbia. Nearly 200 operas, ballets, and plays are performed annually in the theater, and it is considered the center of performing arts in Serbia. As such a city of culture, Novi Sad was chosen as the European Capital of Culture in 2021 and 2022, and many cultural events were held throughout the year.
Jelena Končar, principal soloist (mezzo-soprano) at the Serbian National Theater, came to Japan and gave a concert. At the Embassy of Serbia, Ambassador Aleksandra Kovač planned and held a “Concert for Women” symbolizing the active role of women in society. Many of the female ambassadors stationed in Japan were present at this concert as guests.
Jelena Končar hails from Novi Sad where she studied vocal music at the National University of Belgrade and started her career as a student. She is a beautiful opera singer blessed with talent and a gorgeous voice.
She appeared on the Embassy stage in a pink and black dress. While her voice is gorgeous, her Eastern European heritage provides depth, and there is a hint of a palpable shadow in her presence. It’s often said that opera singers’ voices change when they cross the Alps, and Jelena Končar has that charm with added depth and a sense of secrecy.
Jelena Končar performed Serbian and Japanese songs, and the highlights were the “Habanera” and “Seguidilla” from the opera “Carmen”. Jelena Končar sang these two difficult arias, changing her facial expressions. The way she controlled her voice, emoting as Carmen, a gypsy woman who goes from man to man captivated the audience. Everyone presents truly enjoyed her wonderful performance as Carmen.
Jelena Končar is still young. We believe she will further hone and refine her art in the coming years. We expect she will be invited to perform at opera houses in countries other than Serbia, as well as perform on the world stage.
It was a fantastic concert that left the audience longing for more and looking forward to her next visit to Japan. If possible, I would like her to play the gypsy woman “Azucena” in Verdi’s opera “Iltorvatore”.
Jelena Končar, mezzo-soprano
Jelena Končar is a soloist (mezzo-soprano) with the Serbian National Theater in Novi Sad, the second-largest city in Serbia. She graduated from the Belgrade University of the Arts Faculty of Music under the guidance of Radmila Bakocevic. She received the Anita Mezetova Scholarship, the Biselka Zveitch Scholarship, and the CEE Music Theater (Vienna) Scholarship while still in school, and she won top prizes in numerous national and international competitions.
Her career as an opera singer began at a young age (while still a student), and she has performed in many famous operas, including Carmen, Aida, The Queen of Spades, Tales of Hoffmann, Madame Butterfly, Nabucco, Rigoletto and The Girl of Orléans.
She frequently performs at the National Theater in Belgrade, the Madrenianum Theater in Belgrade (Zemun), the National Maribor Theater in Slovenia (Ljubljana), the Croatian National Theater (Zagreb), and the Macedonian National Theater (Skopje). She has performed with the Belgrade Philharmonic Orchestra, Serbian Radio and Television (RTS) Orchestra, St. George String Orchestra, Serbian Military Orchestra, and many others.