The Slovenia Times

Borderline incident: a breach of privacy?



So it happened that a home video showing Croatian diva Severina in a very private moment, quickly became a part of everyone's computer video collection. The whole world exploded and time stood still while everybody tried to decide whether it was something that should never ever be seen or that as making love is the most normal thing in the world - so what if the tape came out. To tell the truth, the majority of people probably didn't think at all but instead just went with the flow and gossiped about the whole thing, repeating the same story over and over again and, of course, downloaded the piece. There is a series of questions in connection with the tape: who made it, who stole it, who gave it to the media, and how was it that a reputable - or so it's claimed - TV broadcaster came to play a part of the tape during the evening news? Is that really the type of thing to be showing on the news? The footage then circulated with the breakneck speed usually reserved for this kind of material. Severina herself was outraged (a fa‡ade?) and in the heat of the moment her lawyers announced lawsuits against the public showing of the footage and against those who initially distributed it. They also asked everybody who had the video at home to destroy it. Since then though everything has fallen silent; has she changed her mind and decided to forget the whole thing? There are all manner of rumours going around about who might have stolen the tape and released it to the public, some go as far as saying that Severina did it herself in some misguided attempt at self promotion. Why do sexual scandals of famous people get the public worked into a lather? Does the public image of a famous person blur reality to such an extent that it is honestly believed that they have no life, no feelings, no desires, no fear, no tears? No sin? Did the Lewinsky scandal make Clinton any better or any worse a President? Will Severina's voice be any better than it was beforehand? She will certainly have bigger crowds at her next gigs as every living creature will now want to see her in the flesh, to compare her body and stage act to the images seen on the screen and in their imagination. Croatian music fever Croatian singers and groups were always very popular in Slovenia and there is a tendency to forget that they are foreign. As there was no such thing as a party or picnic without singing songs from the old Yugoslavia (now termed Yugo-nostalgic) or new hits by Petar Graso, who recently filled the open-air theatre in Krizanke to capacity, they were taken in as a part of Slovenian folklore. What do they have that Slovene singers don't? Most of the very popular singers are from Dalmatia, so that may answer the question. Perhaps it's that they have a touch of the Mediterranean in their blood, some special vibe that Slovenes lack and wish to have so much. The fact is that Croatian performers know how to communicate with audiences, how to make them move and have a great time at their concerts, and they show respect to the public for putting them where they are and for making their lifestyle possible. Decades ago, when there was still a Yugoslavia, festivals like the one in Split had an enormous impact on the audience, the winning song was guaranteed to be a hit and at that time the songs were really good. They were written by poets and sung by accomplished singers who could beat a path into the hearts of the listeners. People still follow these same artists and some of the younger performers who have the same style of singing and message in their lyrics. They sing about love, which can be passionate, heartbreaking and happy or sad in a way that everyone can relate to without making it sound absurd or sugar-coated. A quarter of the century ago, Oliver Dragojevic charmed his listeners with his hoarse voice; now in his fifties, he still keeps on working and frequently tours Slovenia. Though very few know him by his real name Zlatan Stipisic, there are even fewer who have not heard of him through his stage name. Gibonni is a superb vocalist, whose eloquent lyrics, often sung in his native Dalmatian dialect, show incredible depth and soul. There are a number of female singers from the Croatian scene who were always well received. The one with the royal title is Tereza Kesovija who retired a few years ago; however, she is still well recognized for some of her "immortal songs". Right now, there is no one single female vocalist that stands alone at the top. Although Vesna Pisarovic, Danijela and Severina are all very popular, they share the same audience therefore if you like one you'd probably like the other two as well. To add a spicy detail at the very end: even Petar Graso was surprised when a flying bra hit him while on-stage performing in Krizanke; that speaks for itself when trying to sum up the emotions Croatian singers can induce from an audience. Who knows what might fly up at Severina during her next gig?


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