Tereza Kesovija

Tereza Kesovija

Tereza Kesovija (2009)
Background information
Birth name Tereza Ana Kesovija
Born (1938-10-03) 3 October 1938
Konavle, Kingdom of Yugoslavia
Origin Dubrovnik, Croatia
Genres Pop
Adult Contemporary
Easy Listening
Occupation(s) Singer
Years active 1960s–present
Labels Jugoton, PGP RTB, ZKP RTLJ, Croatia Records, Columbia Records, Dallas Records, EMI, Barclay Records, Hayat Production
Website tereza-kesovija.com

Tereza Ana Kesovija (Croatian pronunciation: [tɛrɛ̌ːza âna kɛsɔ̌ʋija]) (born 3 October 1938) is an internationally acclaimed Croatian singer.[1] She is one of the most recognizable figures on the Balkan music scene, and is renowned for her wide vocal range and operatic style. She also had a successful career in France. She has held many concerts around the world.

Early years

Tereza was born in Dubrovnik and grew up in Konavle and Dubrovnik where she got her early music education. She won a federal young Musicians Competition in Ljubljana, Slovenia. Afterwards, she graduated from the flute program at the Zagreb Music Academy and as a student began appearing in amateur music events. In 1962, shortly after the start of her professional career, she won her first international contest at Saint-Vincent, Italy. After this success Tereza had a tour in USSR and she recorded there one EP with Italian songs for the biggest Russian music company – Melodiya. She spent 1963 and 1964 touring USSR, Poland, Finland, Denmark, Germany, Switzerland, Norway and Sweden. She also had a lot of TV appearances in these countries.


In 1965 Tereza, not knowing the French language, moved to France. There she became a famous star. At the beginning she was singing in cabarets. Mostly in cabaret Carević. She said: “Six tough months. I used to remain in smoke until early in the morning. Waiting for my performances I didn’t know what to do. I was sitting all alone smoking cigarette after cigarette.” In 1967 Tereza, first in the world, recorded La chanson de Lara (Lara's theme) from the popular film Docteur Zhivago. It was Tereza's first big French success sold out in more than 50 000 copies. After album La chanson de Lara she recorded her second French album C’est ma chanson with song Je l'aime, je l'aime. It was sold out in more than 160 000 copies. With the song Bien plus fort, Tereza was chosen by Grace Kelly to represent Monaco on Eurovision. She was frequently called as La bête de scène or Super-Dalida by French press. In 1968 Tereza performed with Enrico Macias at the Olympia Concert Hall in Paris. It was her second Olympia after 1966. She had tours all over France.


During the 1970s Tereza became world-known start representing Yugoslav and French song worldwide. In Yugoslavia her song Nono moj dobri Nono was sung everywhere. Claudio Villa recorded Il tuo mondo. It is Italian version of Tereza's Nono and Mireille Mathieu recorded French version – Pour deux coeurs qui s'aiment. She performed on many famous festivals (in Mexico City, Rio de Janeiro, Sopot, Palma de Majorca, Sofia, Istanbul...) In Yugoslavia she was honored with The best female singer of year award for six years in row (1974–1979). Her performs on Yugoslav festivals were always finished with Tereza's triumph. She won many golden records and for it, she won for several times the Yugoslav award for Best Record Seller - Golden Bird. In 1972 she represented Yugoslavia on Eurovison with Muzika i ti (The Music and you). She won ninth place and she recorded French cover under the name La Musique et toi. At the beginning of 70s she moved from Paris to Zagreb, the capital of Croatia, and she neglected a bit her French career. In 1978 she returned to France with superb interpretation of song Je suis née ce jour-là. She recorded for EMI several French records. At that time she had many tours in Russia, Egypt, Mexico, Japan, United States, Germany, Eastern Europe... At the end of 70s she was at the height of her fame. All her records were awarded, she sang to Yugoslav president Josip Broz Tito and she was Tito’s favourite singer. Her biggest hits are from late 70s are Što je ostalo od ljubavi, Zaboravi ako možeš, Sviraj mi sviraj, Sve se vraća sve se plaća, Na Stradunu…


During the 1980s Tereza continued to touring all around the world. She recorded also several records in France. She continued to win on many important Yugoslav festivals in Split, Zagreb, Belgrade... She was honoured with The best Yugoslav female singer of year award for several times and she realised golden, platinum and diamond records. But the most important event was in 1988. She gave a concert at Olympia Hall in Paris. It was announced as the event of season. She got excellent critiques. The best one was written for France Soir by Monique Prevot. She said: “ (…) Tereza Kesovija made of copper and fire. It is simple, this passionaria whose name brings the pride all over the world became for the French public, for which she came back after a long abstinence, La Kesovia... In the sale, the audience goes wild. There is the copper in her magnificent voice, the fire breaking out in her hair and a beautiful reflection of gold in her eyes. (...).“ She also recorded some records in France. Tereza finished 80s touring in Scandinavia and representing Yugoslav football team on Italian TV during Football World Cup. In the 80s her songs changed. They were more serious and more romantic. Her biggest hits from 80s are Ja sam pjesma, Pronađi put, Molim te ostani, Moja posljednja i prva ljubavi, Sutra je novi dan, Na kušinu…

1990s and 21st century

In the decade following the breakup of Yugoslavia in 1991, there were wars all over the former Yugoslavia, including the Croatian War of Independence between 1991 and 1995. She defended it with a song. She had a lot of concerts in Italy, France and Germany for collecting money to the defence of Croatia. She had some concerts in Zagreb with Serge Lama. Jacques Chirac honored Tereza in 1999 with Knighthood of High Decoration of Arts and Culture. And she and was also bestowed with the Golden Chart of Humanism. She started to reconstruct a house from 18th century near Dubrovnik. It was a house of an old aristocratic family.

In new millennium Tereza entered with her big hit – I ni me stra' (And I don't have any fear). In 2002 her concert from Olympia was realised on CD edition. This 2002 is important year in her career, because she had some concerts together with Michel Legrand, Oscar and Grammy winner. They performed together superbly Les parapluies de Cherbourgh. It was announced as a concert of the year. In 2005 Tereza celebrated 45 years of her career with a concert Mojih 45 skalina in Lisinski Concert Hall. Her fourth concert at Olympia Concert Hall was realised in 2007. It was her big retour in France. French press was amazed by her voice. The most remarkable song is Je suis malade of Serge Lama which she dedicated to Dalida. She recorded her Croatian album Zaustavi vrijeme (Stop the time). It was third best-selling album in Croatia. She also realized CD and DVD from Olympia. After 2008 she was touring Slovenia, Macedonia, Croatia, Bosnia and Herzegovina... In 2010 she celebrated 50 years on stage with a beautiful concert Još se srce umorilo nije at Lisinski Concert Hall in Zagreb. Tereza's press conference for her first after war concerts in Serbia was very visited. There were more than 200 journalists. And in 2011 she decided to come back in Serbia and Crna Gora. Concerts in these countries were simply unforgettable and it was her triumph.

She also participated in charity work, which included UNESCO's gala concerts. She recorded songs in 6 languages (Croatian (ijekavian), English, French, Italian, Poruguese, Serbian(ekavian),[2] Macedonian and Slovenian) and her discography includes 12 records released for Columbia Records and about 30 LPs, 70 singles, and 12 CDs for other labels.



  1. "Tereza Kesovija: Moj dom je letalo". RTV Slovenija (in Slovenian). 3 March 2009. Retrieved 1 August 2012.
  2. To wit: Serbian from Serbia (in ekavian) e.g. a Desanka Maksimović poem Strepnja which she sings here
Preceded by
Marjorie Noël
with "Va dire à l'amour"
Monaco in the Eurovision Song Contest
Succeeded by
Minouche Barelli
with "Boum-Badaboum"
Preceded by
Krunoslav Slabinac
with "Tvoj dječak je tužan"
00Yugoslavia in the Eurovision Song Contest00
Succeeded by
Zdravko Čolić
with "Gori vatra"
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