Ida Kelarová


Ida is a personality of modern world music scene, internationally respected singer and music pedagogue. The range of her activities is very wide. Probably the most popular is her over 20-years-long intensive work with people and human voice, which she dedicated her life to. She fights with fire for truth, peace and tolerance. She is a very much respected singer, musician, choir leader, music composer and producer. Her work originates from her knowledge and experience she gained during her work in Western Europe and she is very much inspired by her Eastern and Roma roots. The most famous is her over 20-years-long work with people and human voice under the ISHV (International School for Human Voice) which she personally founded. She focuses her effort on helping to talented Roma children and youth.

Ida’s ability of opening her heart and giving out all her emotions in the voice is already well-known. The emotions, she evokes in people while singing, touch everyone including those who do not understand Roma lyrics and refer to feelings that are natural for every one of us. She comes from Roma-Moravian musician family. Since she was 5 years old she learned to play the piano under the strict guidance of her mother. Her father, Koloman Bitto, was an excellent and very famous Roma musician. He had beautiful, big and pure Roma heart; he lived by the music and led two of his three daughters to music – Ida and her not less known sister Iva Bittová. Ida studied the piano and violoncello at the Academy in Ostrava and Brno, depending on where the family was moving at the moment. After her studies Ida made her mind and quit with the music for a while. She left for theater. Ida started in theater Divadlo na provázku - the main reason was the freedom of living a tramp kind of life. Soon afterwards she moved to Wales and at the same time her father died. The death of her father Ida considers to be a breaking point in her career. She finds her father to be the greatest teacher of life and the source of her inspiration. ”After his death I started to perform and teach Roma songs that I remembered from my childhood. The gypsy music was played at our home in Saliby all the time but I never learned Roma language. Grandma and grandpa forbade my father and his brothers and sisters to learn Roma language because it meant something really terrible for them. I understood that dad’s blood ran in my veins so strongly that I could at least repay back all the love he had given me and I could interpret his message to other people.”

In 1985 Ida moved to Denmark, after three years to Norway and later back to Wales. She performed in concerts, played, sang and spread the strength of the Roma music to thousands of people who visited her courses. After some rare home visits at the beginning of the nineties, she finally returned home in 1995 and settled in Bystré in Czech-Moravian County. Here she founded the International School for Human Voice and continues in work she started on her journey. In 1998 she founded with Desiderius a Roma group Romano Rat (Roma blood) which consisted of young talented Roma artists. The group performed together until 2002 and the young artists achieved a very high professional artistic level. Besides the work with the group Ida organized several multiethnic projects, international workshops, founded a 50-member mixed choir Apsora, became a patron and art director of Roma civic association MIRET, and founded a group Jazz famelija which she makes concerts with and represents Roma culture in the whole world. She performed also in Roma slums and Roma ghettos, where she has successfully been inspiring and helping local people already for 15 years. She organizes beneficial concerts to support the poor Roma families in desperate social situation. The greatest project of many activities lead by Ida Kelarová – is her Roma festival Gypsy Celebration which takes place every last July weekend at the Svojanov Castle. The very important part of this project is a children’s camp. It takes place every summer and each time talented Roma children and youth, Roma children from foster homes, children from low social conditions and children of workshop participants and festival participants from all around the world meet there.

Ida has stepped on a long and uneasy journey “ Lungo drom… naked, pure, authentic, deep human expression through music which pours from the deepest soul, telling a story of her life without home and at the same time – that her home is everywhere. Nostalgia is the essence of gypsy song and it seems that it was like that ever since. Homesickness. Gypsies do not have home – it means “no place”. Nostalgia – return to no place – long journey… Lungo drom…”

Ida has an exceptional voice and is an outstanding personality of contemporary music scene, not only in our region. She loves her work very much and the list of her activities would be really voluminous. She performs in concerts, plays, sings and passes on the strength of Roma music to thousands of those who took part in her workshops all around the world.

More about IDA here

ProART Festival 2018

Brno 19. - 20. 7.

Vocal workshop

Workshop dedicated to all of you who do not believe that you can sing; who only sing in the bathroom or in the car; who never tried to perform in public; who have an inner urge and wish to sing.

Anybody can sign up for this workshop, who feels the need to sign. Ida’s method of opening and discovering of the human voice is not driven by striving for technical perfection or a mere wish to sing nicer, stronger or better. To sing and feel a song is just the pretext for seeking the voice within the man that noone ever hears: the voice that leads you back to your emotions. That’s where Ida finds the ultimate source of life and creativity.

The workshop is open for anybody, who is willing to cut through the immense power of prejudices, good and bad habits, fear that keeps us from breathing in freekly, from opening, from singing.