- Star-studded cast shines in Aida

Renowned Italian maestro Giordano Bellincampi conducts one of the most beloved Verdi operas in Sofia

1europost.euFollowing a triumphant tour to Bolshoi Theatre, the Sofia Opera and Ballet is presenting a true musical feast, this time in Sofia, with three different casts performing one of Giuseppe Verdi's most beloved operas, Aida - on 8, 9 and 10 June. It promises to be an experience with a different emotional intensity, featuring Bulgarian singers enjoying global success.

2europost.euThe concerts will be conducted by Italian maestro Giordano Bellincampi, music director of the Auckland Philharmonia and chief conductor of the Kristiansand Symphony Orchestra. Born in Italy, he moved to Copenhagen at a young age. He began his career as a trombonist with the Royal Danish Orchestra before making his professional conducting debut in 1994.

3europost.euBellincampi enjoys regular relationships as a guest with many orchestras around the world, particularly in Scandinavia and Europe, but also in North America, Asia and Australia. With an enormous repertoire embracing classical, romantic and contemporary music, he is particularly celebrated for his interpretations of significant choral and vocal works. He has excelled also in the field of opera since making his debut with the Royal Opera in Copenhagen with La Boheme in 2000. He has since then conducted many of the great Italian works at the Royal Opera, with particular focus on Puccini and Verdi, including leading the acclaimed new production of Aida at the opening of the new theatre in 2005. The year 2016 saw the release of his first recording with the Duisburg Philharmonic, featuring Nielsen's Violin Concerto with soloist Kolja Blacher.

Bellincampi is an associate professor at the Royal Danish Academy. He also regularly gives masterclasses and serves as a jury member for a number of international conducting competitions. In 2010 he was created a Knight of the Order of the Dannebrog, an award bestowed by the Danish Royal Family for services to Danish culture, and he also holds the title of Cavaliere from the President of Italy for his international promotion of Italian music.

In the first show, scheduled for 8 June, the role of Aida will be played by the visiting star Tsvetelina Vassileva, a soprano that can be seen on the biggest of stages across the world. Ramphis will be portrayed by Georgi Kirov, also a guest performer.

The cast of the second show, on 9 June, features Radostina Nikolaeva as Aida. She was selected for the premiere of the 2013 Aida production, and Martin Iliev as Radames. These are two artists who regularly appear on international stages and who have been captivating audiences in Wagner productions and many other shows in Sofia.

The third date, 10 June, will see Kamen Chanev in the role of Radames, the tenor whose star on the Bulgarian stage first shined in maestro Plamen Kartaloff's unforgettable production of The Barber of Seville (Il barbiere di Siviglia) and who has been performing on the world's leading stages for years. Petar Buchkov, Gergana Roussekova, Bayasgalan Dashnyam and other familiar artists will conclude this Aida marathon.

The debut production of Aida marked the beginning of Sofia Opera and Ballet's partnership with the largest outdoor Verdi forum - the Arena di Verona Opera festival, in 2013, when the latter celebrated its centennial anniversary.

The Bulgarian audience will have the chance to experience a memorable evening with the beloved Verdi opera in the original production of Argentine director, set designer and costume designer Hugo de Ana, renowned for his unorthodox approach in modern opera theatre. He is the creator of the 2013 premiere of Aida.

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