Ladarice and Lado
The history of the legendary Ladarice begins in 1965. Božo Potočnik, dedicated to folk tradition and music with both his heart and soul, informally gathered a small group of female Ensemble LADO members with whom he recorded covers of traditional folk songs. One year later, brothers Zlatko and Božo Potočnik formally formed this female singing ensemble, which mainly performed as a nonet. All the singers from this group originated from and were dancers and singers in the professional Ensemble LADO, but performed independently as a group of singers in the Ladarice. In the beginning, they performed under the name Nine Young Ones, but the name was changed to Ladarice in 1968, at Božo Potočnik’s suggestion. On the wings of Božo’s incredible energy and his thorough his understanding of the iconic beauty of folk music and composition, Ladarice breathed new life into many folk songs and customs with their melodic voices and unique vocal talents. They impressed audiences in Croatia and abroad with their impressive live acts and many of their performances recorded for radio and television, expressing through each performance their profound love of Croatian folk art and tradition.
Even though the members of the nonet occasionally changed with time, the recognizable sound of Ladarice was marked by the distinctive voices of Anđela Potočnik, Ana Kelin, Antonija Precca, Vjekoslava Bauer, Nevenka Šokčić, Mira Tunuković, Mira Šulina, Đurđica Šuster, Jadranka Gračanin-Putnik, Jelena Andrijanić, Slavica Košutić, Katica Petričević, Morena Kovač, Branka Krsnik, Gabrijela Zalepugin, Milena Vučković and Ljiljana-Janja Ivančan.
In 1998, Ladarice celebrated their 30th anniversary with a concert held at the Croatian National Theatre in Zagreb, and performed together on several more occasions until 2003. It is impossible to put in words their enormous contribution to the preservation of Croatian folk songs and heritage, but it remains extremely valuable and important to this day - in every possible sense!
Due to their similar names, but also since all members of Ladarice were also the members of Ensemble LADO, the audience often confused the two. However, the formal and legal unification of Ladarice and Ensemble LADO transpired in 2008, initiated by Ivan Ivančan Jr., with the approval of Božo Potočnik, who has always remained faithful to LADO. With their appearance at the 43rd Festival of Kajkavian Songs in Krapina, Ladarice officially became part of Ensemble LADO. Today’s Ladarice are dedicated to living up to and continuing the work of their legendary predecessors.