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On unconventional courtship, birthmarks, her new project and fame

Fast Confession - singer Sisa Lelkes Sklovská: During the pandemic, I had an overhaul. Our second wedding will be the party of the century!

Kristina Valachyová
16.Jul 2021
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10 minutes

In January, ten years have passed since the charming singer Sisa Sklovská said her "yes" to the 14 years older financier Juraj Lelkes. It was all caused by a single compliment: Sisa, you have a beautiful freckle on your ear. Now, Mr CEO, I've seen men try to hit on me in all the possible ways, but no one has ever tried it over a mole on my ear. Even though many people didn't give their love high chances, today they are beautiful proof that stereotypes are not to be trusted. Sisa Lelkes Sklovská and her husband get along perfectly. He has revealed without any reservation that Sisa is his dream woman and he admires her in every way. Sisa talked to about their fairytale chateau wedding, the secret to a happy and long-lasting relationship, and we even learned a few juicy details about their relationship from her husband.

Nowadays, we witness relationships that end before they could begin. Mr. and Mrs. Lelkes have been together for a beautiful 10 years. What's the secret to a happy and contented relationship?

When we got married, all the tabloids, both Czech and Slovak, claimed that they were giving us six months. This here is proof that we married for love. I've never been married before, and I didn't want to get married. My husband is married for the third time, but his motto is: If I didn't divorce twice, how could I marry Sisa Sklovská? /laughs/.

You've been through several relationships, you've even been engaged several times, but no one before Juraj Lelkes managed to have you walk the aisle. Was he different from the rest?

He shocked me. I would have never thought that a man who had been divorced twice would want to enter into marriage ever again. When I was 24, my mother sat me down in the kitchen and said, "You have your age now, you should get married." What did I say to her? That I'm not the one for that at all, I'm an artist, I'm not getting married yet. She said it's a family tradition. Once you're 24, you have to get married. But she realized very quickly that that didn't apply to me. We never talked about it again. When Juraj and I were already together and I had just come back from Shanghai where I sang at the Expo, he took me to dinner and said, "Sisa, could you imagine a life with me?" And I was so shocked that I said yes.

Juraj Lelkes replies: Sisa got a little misty-eyed, because she was known for never wanting to get married. She took charge of the wedding preparations. The best part was when the TV media arrived during the wedding congratulations. The anchor ran up to Sisa and asked her, Sisa, you said you would never get married, so this is your first wedding. I didn't even pay attention to what she was talking about, because I knew she was then going to ask me, "Mr. Lelkes, this is your third wedding, though..." And that’s what she did.

Luxusní byt na prodej s terasou a výhledem
Luxusní byt na prodej s terasou a výhledem, Praha 1

It certainly didn't all happen overnight. It took you five years to find your way to each other. How did people from two such different worlds — a businessman and an artist — come together?

Juraj first saw me sing live in 2002 at an event where his two good friends, Silvia Lakatošová and Ivana Christová, took him. When he saw me, he was thinking and asking himself: who can have such a woman...? I was wearing this red dress with a slit, my whole leg out... he kept asking himself... who could have such a woman... I’d want to... He couldn't get that thought out of his head. Alena Heribanová, the PR manager of Kooperativa, called me to sing at the opening event for the central building of the insurance company. I'm a very sociable person. When I sing, I interact and dance with the audience. I chose the most sympathetic and best-looking person there to dance with. It was Juraj. I didn't know him, I didn't know he was the CEO of Kooperativa... At the luncheon, Alena sat me next to him. Juraj was courting me hard, but I couldn't stay until the evening, so we exchanged numbers. One thing led to another, we went out for lunch a couple of times. Juraj, being a man, tried to push it. But he was married, I had a boyfriend, so it went nowhere, we didn't see each other for a while. In 2010 I met him over one thing, and we are still together.

Your previous partner was 14 years younger, now you have a partner 14 years older. How do you feel about that?

You can’t make this stuff up! Juraj is an intelligent, tolerant and well-read person... mind you, tolerating me... that's where it always failed. My profession is specific. My husband can't expect regular breakfasts, lunches, dinners... I'm either at the theatre or at a concert, plus I'm teaching... I'm always on the go. Nevertheless, they say a woman looks for her father in her partner. I've never looked for him... but I found him in Juraj.

How and when did you and Juraj first meet? Was it love at first sight?

There was a great affection. I was used to CEOs looking a little out there, and Juraj was a very good-looking guy.

Juraj was the one to give you the most unusual compliment of your life.

Juraj Lelkes replies: Sisa is a gourmet. At the luncheon, she went to take something from the tray, leaned over, the sun shone and the rays fell on her right ear. I noticed she had a birthmark on that beautiful earlobe. Before Sisa could even take that meat, I said to her, Sisa, you have an amazing birthmark on your right earlobe. Sisa paused, turned around and said: "Now, Mr CEO, you can't imagine all the bullshit men have said to me to hit on me. But you're original. No one's ever tried it over a mole on my ear yet" implying "yes, you may hit on me."

How did those words strike you?

I could tell he was detail-oriented. That he knew how to dazzle a woman.

You had a luxurious wedding in a romantic, fairytale-looking church on the Žitný island. Yet you, as the bride, omitted the traditional white wedding dress.

There’s nothing traditional about me! I wanted to wear a yellow dress. Every bride wears a white dress. Mine was made by the fashion designer Andrej Baraník, and we bought the fabric in Vienna.

And what about your husband? Did he match your dress?

He wore a yellow tie and a yellow pocket square.

Even your wedding guests were interesting...

Yes, there was, for example, our friend, the former Slovak Republic president Ivan Gašparovič, Ivan Mikloš, my long-time friend Peter Dvorský, Jozef Golonka, Juraj’s bosses from Vienna, Michal Hudák, Erika Barkolová, Erika Judýniová, Štefan Skrúcaný, Peter Marcin… The interesting thing was that Ivan Gašparovič was, according to the official protocol, supposed to leave a long time ago, yet he felt so good among us, that he stayed much longer. Because I had so many prominent guests there, as a hostess I wanted to spend time with them. Silvia Lakatošová gave me a beautiful gift; she organized the traditional folk "capping of the bride" for me. At six in the morning, I figured I could finally relax and let loose. Bad luck! Everyone was groggy and tired at that point.

Apart from being so high class, your wedding was amazing in another way as well...

The wedding was amazing because we were the first couple to get married at the Amade Château. I would like to thank the staff at the chateau. They had jitters because it was the first wedding held there, because the president was coming... Everything worked out just fine. When we came to arrange the wedding and we were sitting with the mayor who was going to officiate it, after half an hour of discussions about what the ceremony should look like, what we wanted to have there, the mayor asked: So who’s the one getting married, son or daughter of which of you...???)

Juraj Lelkes replies: On All Saints‘ Day, we visited the graveyard in Orechová Potôň, the village where I grew up. And I read that in Vrakuňa, where I was born, a new chateau was opened. So we went there for lunch. Sisa liked it so much that she decided right there and then she wants to have the wedding there. The mayor officiated it, and he had this perky secretary, who checked, whether I was really born in there. After the ceremony, she comes to me and says: Mr Lelkes, I was asking around, who still remembers you here. And I found these two elderly gentlemen saying that you were a very naughty kid.

Mrs Sklovská, do you feel this relationship changed you?

It made me calmer. More settled down. I used to have this wild, bohemian lifestyle.

Juraj Lelkes replies: Sisa was testing me in the meantime. We were already seeing each other every day, but we have never spent a whole weekend together until that point. So I asked her if she had any plans for the weekend and she agreed to spend it with me. When the day came, I saw her getting off the car with a huge suitcase. So I think to myself, I love this woman, but having her move in with me, that’s something we haven’t discussed yet. And then I saw that the suitcase is actually a cat carrier. She brought her first cat with her! And that was the test she put me through. That was the beginning of our serious relationship, because that cat never left. After a week, there were already three of them.

Luxusní vila na prodej, Dolní Měcholupy - 616m
Luxusní vila na prodej, Dolní Měcholupy - 616m, Praha 10

You are a charming lady with plenty of sparks to go around. Where does all this energy come from?

I’m self-charging and very optimistic! My mom used to say: you keep laughing even in your sleep. And my husband says the same. It’s what he loves about me.

I’m sure your husband likes this disposition of yours.

We’re both optimists, we enjoy life. Also, with Juraj I can finally put my hobby to use. Juraj is the first man I can cook for.

Juraj Lelkes replies: Sisa is this kind of homemaker that cooks a meal for four, then she makes me eat it with emotional blackmailing, saying – why won’t you eat, it’s made with love.

How does your temper show in, say, rows? They say it’s the woman who decides how the row shall unfold. Does this apply to you?

Our rows take all of three minutes, then we make up. That’s what I appreciate about my husband.

Besides your charm, you’re also a very beautiful woman. Have you ever thought of trying modelling?

Thank you for the compliment. I’ve been a model since I was 16 years old, and to this day I still enjoy walking the runway every now and then. I didn’t want to be a singer, I wanted to be a vet. But then, my high school physics teacher gave me four F's in one lesson, so I said – enough! and went to the conservatory, where there’s no math, physics or chemistry!

How did you spend the pandemic?

Very well. It made me pause. I live at a breakneck speed. The pandemic saved my life in the sense that I was able to focus on my health. I've undergone necessary surgeries without which I could no longer practice my profession and live a full life. I call it having my overhaul. I'm a forever optimist. Even during the surgery, I was singing. I was like a human CD player, debating, laughing, entertaining the whole team.

You like cats, you have a few living with you. I bet they have paradise on Earth with you...

I only have two cats at the moment. My 18-year-old cat died on my birthday. My friends tell me they want to be my cat in their next life. /laughs/

You've lived in Prague for 15 years, now you live in Slovakia. What did Prague give you?

A very good friend of mine lived in Prague. She called me and told me that there was an audition for Landa’s musical Krysař (The Pied Piper). I won the audition. This was in 1996... as they say, in his own country the prophet goes unhonored. The Czech Republic "discovered me". Lasica and Satinský brought me back to Slovakia. They saw me singing in Prague and invited me to their show Někdo je za dveřmi (Someone's at the Door). They didn't even know I was Slovak. Years later, I came back to Slovakia and I'm grateful for that, because otherwise, I wouldn't have met my husband. I love Bratislava so much. Prague is a beautiful city, but Bratislava is my favourite.

Are you a romantic soul?

Among other things.

You must have a taste for extravagance, you've been collaborating with fashion designers for years. Now you also take advice from Juraj, who is a fashionista and buys you mainly original gowns.

I've been the extravagant type since I was a kid. Juraj doesn't forbid me to wear extravagant clothes, on the contrary. He likes when I‘m turning the heads of men... and women. Other men would kill me for that, he enjoys it. He has excellent taste, he's the one who wants me to have my leg out, cleavage and all. He says I'm his trophy wife, and that he enjoys it.

What do you feel most comfortable in?

Everything. When I look in the mirror, I have to be happy with myself in the first place. I wouldn't dare go to the store or out on the street unkempt. I'm a bit of a colour-coordination freak. Even my underwear always has to match my clothes.

Do you have a dream dress you'd like to wear one day?

My last photo shoot was "The Emperor's New Clothes". I'm gonna do a show we're calling Sisa or Cher. It's a tribute to the goddess of pop, Cher, and I designed the dress I’m wearing in the show‘s billboards and posters in collaboration with Jana Pištejová. I've been compared to Cher my whole life.

There have been a lot of babies born in Slovak show business recently, and it’s not only younger women who became mothers, but also ladies of mature years. Are you thinking of joining the ranks of celebrity moms?

Unfortunately, that ship has already sailed. I live the way I live and I'm very happy with it. Kids love me and I love them. I don't regret not making it. In fact, I have two children. One is Juraj's daughter, and the other is one of my pupils who I’ve sort of "adopted." My pupils are like my children. The academy has given me something in these four years that I think I've been missing so far. I discovered another dimension of life there.

You and your husband were planning a second wedding this year to renew your vows. But the coronavirus pandemic put a stop to that. Does it look promising now?

It's gonna be the party of the century. I didn't enjoy the first wedding because I was too busy tending to the guests. So I have to do it again for the party. I’ve even had rings made for this wedding that we’re gonna wear as "second" rings. This year is very important for the two of us. It's our tenth wedding anniversary, my husband is celebrating his life anniversary on my name day, plus I'm premiering another femme fatale, my husband is publishing a book. We have reasons to celebrate. And as the pandemic recedes, this giant celebration can finally happen.

And now an important message for your fans. What do you have in store for them?

Juraj Lelkes replies: Last year, a week before everything closed down, Sisa sang at the premiere of the musical Turandot. After the premiere, we went for a drink with the lyricist. They were talking about the next femme fatale they were preparing. Following Mata Hari, Madame de Pompadour and Maria Theresa they planned to do another historical figure. For the last three years, a very successful production of Mamma Mia! had been running at the New Stage. It has songs that all generations know and listen to. And so I say to Sisa: you like to listen to Cher's songs and they say you look like her. Why couldn't you play Cher? They gave me the "What's this cultural dilettante talking about?“ look. But after five minutes, my idea was a success.

So may all your plans work out as soon as possible and thank you for the interview.

Fast confession:

Do you believe in love at first sight?

Yes, I do, it works.

If you weren't a singer, what would you do for a living?

A veterinarian.

How many languages do you speak?

I can speak three languages well, and I sing in a lot of languages, like twelve or thirteen, including quite exotic ones.

Many compare you and your husband to the controversial Geissens. What do you think about that?

Well, that's totally rude, because we're not like the Geissens at all. We're two highly intelligent people, educated, successful in our professions, so I find that insulting.

What's your relationship to dance?

I studied ballet.

Do you enjoy opera or classical singing more? And why?

Wrong question. I enjoy all music genres.

What's the most expensive cosmetic procedure you've had and how much did it cost?

None that expensive yet, but when I need it, I'll definitely be first in line.

Do you buy cheap, off-brand clothes too?

Of course, I do. It's often better than the designer stuff.

Would you say your live a fairy-tale life? Is there anything you long for?

I'd say try it for yourself. My cousin tried it because she kept pestering me that she’s jealous of me and wants to see how it all works. So I took her on a concert tour, and she was like "never again."

You have beautiful hair. How do you take care of it?

I‘m trying, even though they get stressed, flat ironed, curled left and right. And I only use professional products.

Your favourite place in the world and why?

Mykonos, because it never sleeps. There's partying 24 hours a day.

The most expensive piece of jewellery you own?

Probably an heirloom from my mother.

What bothers you most about show business?

Hypocrisy, lying, fake confidence... just about everything that’s fake.

It's getting close to holiday time. Where are you going this year?

Interviewee asks the editor:

What do you think of me, now that you’ve met me in person for the first time?

That you're a wonderful, beautiful lady, kind and open to conversation.

Thank you for the compliment, from a woman at that.

And thank you for the interview.
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