O Castelli barons
The iron lady of the theater - why did Mani want Severina to play Baroness Castelli in the Glembays?
Mani Gotovac was an eccentric and creative theater expert, dramatist and director of several theaters. During his directorship at the Rijeka theater "Ivana pl. Zajca" was responsible for the outbreak of one of the biggest theater scandals. Namely, Mani assigned the role of the fatal Baroness Castelli in Glebayjevi to Severina. This decision stunned theater critics and the public. Various news stories were written about how the theater is collapsing, how it is becoming populist, how they only want to sell tickets at the expense of quality...
But persistent Mani never regretted her decision. Later, she explained why she decided to hire a pop artist for a role in one of the most important Croatian drama pieces. Namely, she just borrowed someone else's theatrical idea.
At that time, the Lithuanian Eiumentas Nekrocius was declared the European director of the century after directing "Hamlet". This famous director assigned the leading role in the play to the then most famous Lithuanian rock singer. That idea delighted me. She wanted to push the boundaries and connect high art and variety shows. She agreed with the director that the play would be a musical, and since Severina was at the top of the Croatian music charts at the time, she suggested her as the actress to Castelli. Later, convinced of her acting talent, she hired her for the role of Karolina Rijeka, the historical woman who saved Rijeka from the English destruction.
Due to the unprecedented interest in Krleža's piece, the play saw as many as three premieres. And so Mani left Rijeka HNK with a bang, which she represented for four full years.