KLAPE IN THE KAŠTELET
A gathering that nurtures the original art of klapa singing
For the past 20 years, the atrium of Tučepi's Kaštelet Hotel has been the venue for the gathering of klapas, which has brought the magical spirit of old Dalmatia to visitors through the sounds of the original Dalmatian klapa singing. The story of this gathering began quite incidentally in 1994, when a number of local klapa groups gathered to sing in spite of the war that was then raging through Croatia. Already the following year, the gathering came under the direction of Milan Jakić and klapas from all over Croatia were brought together. Quickly, performing at the Tučepi gathering became a sign of prestige for klapas, and only the best were issued an invitation to perform in this idyllic ambience. A specificity of this gathering, which has hosted numerous renowned klapas and theatre and music stars, is its task to nurture the original klapa song, which in recent years has been inching towards oblivion due to the overwhelming influences of popularisation. It is precisely for that reason that the klapas performing in Tučepi each year have songs on their repertoire that their elders once sung 'in half tones' in the streets and under the windows of their fair ladies.