Goran Bregovic was born from a mixed marriage of Serbian-Croatian parents in Sarajevo, 1950. Leaving his classical music studies behind he traded his violin in for a guitar at the age of sixteen, and appeared in several rock-bands (Bestije, Kodeks, Mica-Goran-Zoran) before becoming the member of the legendary ethno-rock squad Bijelo Dugme. The band released more than a dozen records only to split up with the impending Yugoslavian war. That was the time when Bregovic began to compose soundtracks basically in order to make ends meet, heavily encouraged by his film-director friend Emir Kusturica. Their first collaboration "Time Of The Gypsies" was extremely successful and instantly sent Bregovic's credit stratospheric: he wasn't only overwhelmed by requests but his songs were also sung by such giants as Iggy Pop (in "Arizona Dream" by Kusturica), Scott Walker (in "Toxic Affair" by Philomene Esposito), Ofra Haza (in "Queen Margot" by Patrice Chereau) or Cesaria Evora (in "Underground" by Kusturica). No composer could dream of more than what he achieved with some of his tunes. "Djurdjevdan" and "Mesecina" are worldwide spread as real classics of Balkan music. In the latter part of the 90's he had taken the theatrical world as well working with Slovenian Tomaz Pandur in Hamburg ("Divine Comedy", "Purgatory And Paradise"), contributing to "Hamlet" in Trieste on the request of Teatro Stabile and collaborating with Italian director Marco Balani in Palermo ("The Children's Crusade"). He didn't break up with soundtracks at all, though: see "Train Of Vie" by Radu Michaelanu or "Missing Kisses" by Nana Djordjaze. His most recent work is a musical based on "Carmen" and adapted to Balkan relations under the title "Carmen With A Happy Ending". Bregovic's main influences are wedding and funeral soundscapes which is manifested in the name of his large orchestra at the same time he treats Romani-Balkan folk in a perfectly delicate hand: he is capable of elevating the music to ethereal heights without losing the least bit of its genuineness. A simultaneous presence of locality and universality is the main characteristic of the show, which turned out to be one of the most successful performances of Sziget. This time - in this year's VOLT Festival - it's not Karmen but Goran Bregovic's brandnew show "Alcohol" accompanied by the Wedding and Funeral Band with songs unheard before: Bijelo Dugme covers with new arrangements.
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