Deban: It’s no secret: I’m in love with Kaliopi and her song “Crno i belo.” This video interview is one of the reasons why. However, for the sake of our readers, I’ll be as objective as possible about her first rehearsal.
Kaliopi is the biggest star in the Former Yugoslav Republic of Macedonia. She’s an exceptionally talented singer, composer, musician, poet and is also renowned for her humanitarian work domestically and with The United Nations. She takes her art very seriously. It was no surprise she needed an a cappella warm-up: she may look youthful, but she’s definitely old school. Kaliopi demonstrates that in a song contest you need to strip down the intro and belt it out with your voice. 10 out of 10 for that. The backdrop of an opera house is befitting for her mezzo-soprano voice.
But just as you get comfortable with her opening, she changes gear to Rock-a-Vision. This lady is not a one trick pony. She is as good a rock star as she was an opera star moments earlier. Her backing band pick up the pace in total synch with her. Even though most of her attention is fixed on the audience, she is clearly the conductor on stage. The wind machines add to the pizazz of it all. Simply put, Kaliopi is magic.
Wiwi: I’m going to keep this short and sweet: Lady needs to make the final! Her ability to mix opera and rock in a cohesive way proves her mettle as an artist. Her soprano shriek at the 3:00 mark melds the edginess of rock with the power of opera. If a lesser singer attempted this we’d laugh at them. But with Kaliopi I just sit back in awe.