Singing traditions of Southern Croatian
Lado Vocalists is the name of the singing group in which male singers/dancers from Ensemble LADO perform in the characteristic manner of the singing traditions of Southern Croatian. The Vocalists began its work in September 2002, as an idea of Ivan Ivančan Jr., LADO’s artistic director at the time. The main goal was to introduce the singers with different styles and genres specific to this area, which is different from the accustomed style of singing that the men in LADO performed, which was mostly Northern Croatian music traditions. Liturgical singing and klapa singing, two complementary vocal-instrumental styles form the basis of the Lado Vocalists repertoire. Until today, the performers have mastered the techniques and styles of singing, vocal arrangements, and singing ‘formulas’ of individual parts (bass, baritone).
Non-standard distribution of signers
Compared to numerous singing ensembles of this type, the Vocalists differ in its non-standard distribution of signers. The ensemble is positioned in a semi-circle, into ‘two wings,’ where distinguished singers of lead parts (tenors) are placed on the outer ends, and the lowest parts (basses) are placed in the central position. Such distribution, where two singers lead the singing (responsorial singing) is a typical method of performing liturgical folk songs in Dalmatia. In singing klapa songs, this method creates an impression of a competition between two singing groups, different in timbre and temperament, which culminates in joint singing of all performers.
The Lado Vocalists have performed on various occasions within Ensemble LADO singing performances (Christmas and Lent), and independently as part of klapa projects (Bright Night - Klapas and Lent; Klapas on Šalata) and at several concerts in Austria (Burgenland: Christmas and Lent), at St. Mark’s Church in Zagreb, at St. Donatus Church in Zadar, at the Croatian Institute of Music, etc. The Lado Vocalists performed at the famous Home of Music in Moscow as part of the Days of Croatian Culture in Russia, which appealed greatly to the Moscow audience. They have performed at the UNESCO Palace in Paris and for the arrival of Pope Benedict XVI on his visit to Croatia at which time the Vocalists were chosen to sing him a song of welcome.
The liturgical part of the repertoire performed by Vocalists has received several awards (Porin, Orlando, Baroque Evenings in Varaždin), including two Porin awards for the Vocalists’ first solo album Holy Cross...