Archives of Memories: Presentations of the History of Novi Bečej through Anecdotes, Photographs and Untold Stories

Breathe life into the forgotten stories of Novi Bečej through our rich collection of articles dedicated to people and events from the past. Travel through the ages, exploring the colorful array of historical moments that shaped our city. Here, memories and reality meet, bringing old streets, stories and events to life through interesting anecdotes, untold legends and rare photographs. Experience Novi Bečej from a new angle, through the eyes of the past that shaped our present, while we try to preserve the spirit and heritage that makes our city unique.

Dubravka Nešović

Dubravka Nešović

Dubravka Nešović, an outstanding interpreter of old urban songs and romances, was born on August 31, 1932, in Novi Bečej. Dubravka's parents, her Belgrade-born mother Nataša Nešović and Novi Bečej father Milorad Majin, were actors in the Novi Sad-Banat traveling theater. Due to their profession, which required frequent travel, Dubravka was coincidentally born during one of their tours, almost on the stage itself.

"I was born on stage; my mother played Act I, felt unwell in Act II, and in Act III, I came into the world!"

According to Dubravka's parents' colleague, actor Viktor Starčić, he brought her to her grandparents' house in Novi Bečej as a newborn, with a message that the traveling theater troupe couldn't take care of a newborn. Her name was chosen in a rather interesting way – her grandfather, Bogdan Čiplić, and Viktor Starčić drew the name from pieces of paper in a hat.

Dubravka Nešović in the TV show 'Romances' in 1966.Nataša and Milorad were successful theater actors, and their roles in Yugoslav cinema are well remembered. Nataša starred in films such as "Mirisi, zlato i tamjan" (1971) and "Sarajevski atentat" (1968), while Milorad appeared in films like "Kozara," "Zaseda," "Uzrok smrti ne pominjati," and many others. He was also awarded the Golden Arena in Pula for his role in the film "Četiri kilometra na sat" (1958).

In the distinguished tavern and cinema of Dubravka's grandfather Slavko Majin Krka, various events took place. Dubravka practically performed in front of an audience from the age of four, singing. The first song she publicly performed was "Kad sam sinoć ovde."

"At that moment, everyone told me that the song was demanding for a four-year-old, but I insisted on singing it."

In Novi Bečej, she had a piano, sang in the choir, and learned the first notes. After completing her elementary education, she went to Niš, where her parents were acting at that time. Her mother took the place of the famous Mira Stupica, who had permanently moved to Belgrade from the Niš theater.

"Watching my parents struggle and travel constantly, the calling of an actress never attracted me. But from a young age, I performed in front of an audience, singing in front of the stage while the scenery changed, and perhaps that's why I never had stage fright."

Dubravka Nešović during the recording of the show 'Zujte struneIn Niš, she enrolled in a music school with the intention of improving her piano skills. However, when the local professors and the dramaturge of the Niš theater, Velimir Živojinović Massuka, heard her sing, Dubravka was given the role of Koštana, which she continued to play on stages throughout the former Yugoslavia for three years after her time in Niš. On the advice of her professors, she continued vocal training in Belgrade, first at the Stanković Music School and then at the Music Academy, in the class of Zlata Đunđenac. As the top student at the academy, with straight A's, even though her classmates included exceptional talents like Biserka Cvejić and Radmila Bakočević, and with her unique and very rare voice (contralto), Dubravka received a state scholarship after graduation to continue her studies in Belgium. There, she spent two years perfecting medieval church singing in Bruges, after which she earned the title of Master of Singing, becoming the first singing master in the former Yugoslavia.

Upon her return to Belgrade, she continued her career as a soloist for two prominent choirs: the Radio Belgrade Choir and the well-known and respected Branko Krsmanović - Krsmanac Choir, with which she traveled the world, performing at La Scala in Milan, Salle Gaveau in Paris, and more. A critic from the famous Parisian newspaper Figaro commented on her performance of Stravinsky's "The Wedding": "The loudest piano ever heard at Salle Gaveau!" In addition to singing with choirs, Dubravka built a successful career as a performer of old urban songs and romances, both in Serbian and in Russian and Hungarian. She performed with numerous orchestras, participated in many festivals, and was a regular guest on Yugoslav Radio and Television programs. She recorded for the Radio Belgrade archive, opened the famous Skadarlija Summer, and acted at the Terazije Theater.

"Despite my thorough education and preparation to become an opera singer, I never liked opera. Once I decided on the repertoire of old urban songs, I never changed it, even though I could sing whatever I wanted. I especially loved Russian romances and songs from well-known plays with singing."

One noteworthy performance was when the Russian President Nikita Khrushchev first visited Tito, and Dubravka was given the responsibility and honor of singing a Russian romance for Khrushchev. She performed it so convincingly that Tito approached her after the performance and spoke to her in Russian.

"After the performance, Tito approached me and spoke to me in Russian because he was convinced I was Russian. When I told him that I wasn't, both he and Jovanka were very surprised."

It is also interesting to note that during the ten years of the construction of the Đerdap hydroelectric power plant, Dubravka was the musical editor who organized events for the workers. On the day of the power plant's opening, she was awarded a golden plaque with the inscription: "While we built the dam with concrete, Dubravka built it with her voice."

In Belgrade's Skadarlija, at Đura Jakšić's house, she led her School of Beautiful Singing for several years, teaching singing and stage performance to many young singers, such as the Teofilović Brothers. She insisted that her students have a good ear, as, in her words, the voice can be improved, but the ear is crucial.

For the Radio Belgrade archive, she recorded hundreds of old urban songs. PGP was her publishing house. She released 18 singles, 5 LPs, and 2 CDs.

She also performed in more than 3,500 charitable events, was a member of the Belgrade entertainment scene and the Association of Jazz Musicians of Belgrade. She retired with the status of a prominent entertainment artist, a status enjoyed for many years only by Dubravka and Cune Gojković. However, she did not receive a national pension. Nevertheless, she regrets not having performed a major solo concert.

Dubravka always fondly emphasizes that her childhood days in Novi Bečej were the most beautiful days of her life. In honor of those days, she released her first album in 1958, titled "Kad bi ove ruže male posvetila Novom Bečeju." Today, she lives near the Danube and enjoys the fact that she can recall her favorite river, the Tisa.

Regarding her songs, she says, "I don't have a favorite song. I love each one I perform at the moment, and I sing with great concentration and dedication, giving myself completely to each song." Some of her most famous songs include "Kad bi ove ruže male," "Bolujem ja," "Ima dana," "Crveni šal," "Tišina nema vlada svud," "Oči čornije," "Crveni sarafan," "Rastanak," and more.

Thanks to Dubravka Nešović and her diligent work throughout her life, many old and beautiful songs have been permanently preserved, enriching the musical heritage of our people.

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