The grande dame of Croatian pop music, whose age is now left carefully indeterminate. We know that she won a prize for young singers in Ljubljana in 1958, and began to appear in Yugoslavian music festivals from 1961 onwards, but otherwise, it's one of those sweet mysteries of life.

A cross between Edith Piaf and Petula Clark, with alarmingly increasing quantities of Dolly Parton, Tereza comes from Dubrovnik, and she won't let you forget it. While many of her songs from the 1960s have more to do with Split, further up the coast and the venue for most of the festivals she sang in, some of her hits from the 1970s could almost be a Dubrovnik travelogue.

In fact, she's probably at her best in her 1970s recordings (collected on her 1999 compilation Gdje ima srca, tu ima i ja (Where There's A Heart, I'm There Too)), before she started adding quite so much melodrama to her mandolin. Instead, the theme's nostalgia, not least in Na Stradunu (On Stradun, the main street of old Dubrovnik):

Šetala sam kao sada i tad kad sam bila mlada
šetala sam još i onda kad mi nisi bio znan

(When I was young, I also walked like I do now; I still walked back then, when I didn't know you. It's a good thing she sings about hanging around the fountain and not the old harbour, or people might start to think rather different things.)

Tereza then made several cameo appearances in Actual History during the war in Croatia, even cropping up in Marcus Tanner's history of the country for her stint among the Croatian great and good on a large yacht, the Slavija I, commandeered by the future president Stipe Mesic to draw attention to the siege of Dubrovnik by Serbian and Montenegrin forces, who had swept up the coast from Montenegro sacking villages as they went along. 700 houses were burned down in Konavle alone, a figure which, ill-advisedly for anyone who didn't want to hear about it for the rest of the next decade, included hers.

It's also said that the Montenegrins took her lingerie home with them and paraded it around, but that's the kind of allegation of which one would rather like to see proof. Or, to rephrase that, one wouldn't. No no no.

Her musical output since then can be conveniently paraphrased as: 'I will survive, God save Croatia, I'm ready for my close-up now Signor Puccini, and did I ever mention that I come from Dubrovnik?'

She likes her cover versions too, does Tereza. In fact, if she's two tracks short of an album one would be forgiven for wondering if she takes her remaining inspiration from hitting the Shuffle button on a karaoke machine. Her last few CDs have seen her have a go at Croatian versions, very loosely translated indeed, of I Will Always Love You, The Winner Takes It All, I Have A Dream, Fernando, Don't Cry For Me, Argentina and Time To Say Goodbye. Not to mention adding a vocal, on the standard Tereza theme of watching the Adriatic sunset, to the theme from Chariots of Fire.

Still going strong at what must be a minimum age of sixty-cough, Tereza has remained a fixture on the Dalmatian-festival circuit, although threw something of a hissy fit in 2001 when the Croatian public failed to realise that her soaring ode to a Golden Key of Destiny, whatever that might be, wasn't the foregone conclusion to represent them at the Eurovision Song Contest, a competition she'd previously entered for Yugoslavia and even for Monaco, winning the principality the infamous nul points in 1966. Her successors clearly have some way in the Diva Stakes to go.

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