Nurturing the audience is one of the constants of Don Branko’s Music Days. With the idea that approaching art music to the children is best done through the angle of their peers, KotorArt has so far implemented various programs titled KotorArt for Children – there have been musical plays, musical fairy tales, street entertainers and music workshops. This year, KotorArt for Children has been realized in cooperation with the GIPAC Academy (Global Intercultural Performing Arts Cast).

On Saturday, July 14th, at Kotor's Square in front of the St. Luke and St. Nikola Churches, there was staged a play Bach Rides a Camel, based on the motifs of the autobiographical book by Chinese composer Jean Y. Foo. The main idea of the play is the encounter and understanding of different cultures, while the plot is based on the adventures of a magic camel named Cameo from the Gobi desert, who takes a German baroque composer Johann Sebastian Bach on a journey through time and space, during which he reveals music and culture from around the world. The author of the play, Jean Y. Foo, in her compositional oeuvre uses noise as a musical expression, instrumental theatricalities and cross-references between Western and Chinese music. With the Focal Chinese Music Organization she has received a number of awards and recognitions. Jean Y. Foo is currently co-artistic director of the GIPAC. The director of this children’s play is Wanzhe Zhang who graduated in Voice and Opera Performance from the Central Conservatory of Music in Beijing, and completed master studies at the New England Conservatory of Music. She acts as Secretary-General and Voice Teacher at the Boston Chinese Musicians Association, as President of the GIPAC Academy – the Chinese Division in the United States, and as Lecturer at the Dana Hall School of Music in Wellesley (USA).

In the play held in Kotor, the attention was focused on musical culture of the East, America and, of course, Montenegro and the region. In the performance, besides director Wanzhe Zhang and members of the Alisa Dance Studio, there participated the students of the Vida Matjan Primary and Secondary Music School: Vjera Radulović (violin), Zlata Marković (piano), a choir prepared by conductor Dušica Cvetković, while Aleksa Balević played a role of Bach himself.

Boris Marković
Pobjeda, July 17th, 2018