Croatia has gained independence only recently, nevertheless during Middle ages it was independent state and even after losing independence, it retained certain degree of autonomy up to the First world war. This means that through the most of its history Croatian nobility existed and Croatian soldiers had chance to fight for its homeland, not merely for the foreign ruler.
Solomea Krushelnytska, who was born in 1872 in Bila, Ukraine and rose to world fame starting at the Lviv opera theatre that today carries her name. She spoke seven languages, including English, and knew the entire score and full lyrics to some fifty operas by heart. She performed at La Scala in Milan, one of the ultimate theaters of the opera world back at the turn of the 20th century. She also traveled throughout Europe, Egypt, North and South America including appearances in New York and Montreal.