SARAY Iluminado – Awakening

SARAY Iluminado.jpg

Presented by Melbourne Recital Centre & SARAY Iluminado


Sharing intimate rituals of belonging.

About the artists

SARAY Iluminado specialises in Sevdah, the traditional music from Bosnia, Herzegovina and Sephardic Jewish Romances. Straddling borders of music and theatre, the group shares intimate rituals of belonging. The unique style of performance aesthetic blurs the boundaries between performers and audiences, crafting a nostalgic melting pot of songs, stories, dreams and memories.

About the concert

Awakening is a garland of Bosnian and Sephardic songs that celebrate the power of human spirit and tell stories of overcoming and resilience. Through folk songs and tales, SARAY Iluminado will shed light on unique Balkan and Jewish cultural customs and traditions. Their memorable musical arrangements and fervor for performance will journey you through a dreamscape that blurs history, memory, fantasy and reality. This rare musical experience is not to be missed.

Praise for SARAY Iluminado

‘Trifkovic’s voice is something to behold; it cuts through the thick stifled air like a knife through butter, and her ability to draw you inwards through song is only made stronger by the rest of this ensemble as they interchange instruments.’ Melbourne Critique

COVID Safety

Melbourne Recital Centre is committed to the safety of our artists, staff and patrons. As we reopen, a range of public health, hygiene and physical distancing measures will be in place. Click here to learn more.


Nela Trifkovic artistic direction, vocals, frame drum
Irine Vela lutes
Ernie Gruner mandolin, violin
Kelly Dowall ney flute, clarinet, frame drum
Dan Witton double bass, vocals


Traditional Sephardic
Dror Yikra

Traditional Sevdah
Snijeg zapada na behar, na voće (Snow Falls on Fruits and Blossoms)

Traditional Sephardic
I fell In Love With the Charms
Yo M’Enamori Un Aire

Traditional Sevdah
Zapjevala Sojka Ptica (Song of the Morning Bird)
Song of the Old Book

Traditional Sephardic
Gülpembe (Song of the Little Rose)

Traditional Sevdah
Ah mene majka (Oh, my Mother)

Traditional Sephardic
Hija Mi Kerida
My Beloved Daughter

Traditional Sevdah
A Brief History of Mehmed Pasha
Zute Dunje (Song of the Yellow Quince)


This production is part of the following series: