MAMMA MIA! – triumphally at the Sofia Opera –Newspaper “Trud”
Who doesn’t know by heart ABBA’s hits “Money, Money, Money”, “Voulez-vous”, “Dancing Queen”, “The Winner Takes it All”, “SOS” … From 18 to 22 July at the Sofia Opera, by exceptional interest of Bulgarian and foreign audience, took place the premiere spectacles of the world musical “MAMMA MIA!”, created after the songs of АBBА. The spectators saw that this was not just a compilation of the evergreen songs of the cult band, but a musical with original libretto, developed on a talented combination of the song texts. The spectacle (after the idea of Judy Craymer, libretto – Catherine Johnson, music – Benny Andersson and Björn Ulvaeus) amused the spectators with a dynamic plot of turns, love intrigues, misunderstandings and traps for the action characters. On a small Greek island is being prepared the wedding of the 20-year old Sophie. Who, however, is her father? She wants to reveal this secret, without asking her mother, and she invites the three presumptive fathers to lead her to the altar. The surprises in the plot are based on frequently alternating “windows” – a parallel plotting, which is typical for a TV serial. But the main character is ABBA’s music, and the dance show and the interweaved situational humour take down the tension. The impressing set and costume design imports lyricism in the paradoxical worldly drama.
After dozens of productions all over the world and applauses of leading music critics, this musical fascinates the home audience with the innovative director’s look of Acad. Plamen Kartaloff. He is the creator-institution in our music culture. Only for 6 weeks after the coming back of the Sofia Opera from the tour in Moscow, Acad. Kartaloff mobilized his team and in a shortened rehearsal format he succeeded to realize the production. From the stage is shining youth, beauty, good mood, hope…
How, however, is working the world “machine” of this popular musical? In the beginning of 2018, the American company, owner of the copy rights, held a casting, then a second one, in order to choose the best singers and actors in Bulgaria – among them were staff members of the Opera and the Musical Theatre, but there were also quite new names. The co-producers Prospot and the owner of the rights Music Theatre International (Europe) were willing not only to sell their rights at a profit, but they insisted on the quality of the performers, on the overall image of the spectacle. They were keeping an eye on each detail, on the reaction of the audience, the work of the conductor, the set and costume designer, the choreographer. A high standard, which has to be maintained also after the premiere spectacles.
And the next performances are on the “Stage of the Belogradchik Rocks” – 26, 27, 28 and 29 July. Because of the big interest in the premiere spectacles, the Sofia Opera will open its doors before the season’s beginning for seven extra spectacles of Mamma mia! on the following dates: 12, 13, 14, 15, 16 and 18 September at 19:00 h. and on 16 September at 11:00 h.
In the main roles: Vesela Delcheva, Lyusi Kozareva, Edelina Kaneva, Vladi Mihaylov, Orlin Goranov, Kiril Ivanov, Niki Sotirov, Aleksandar Georgiev, Nikolay Pavlov, Simeon Vladov, Yanitsa Maslinkova, Elena Stoyanova, Denitsa Shopova, Radoslav Vladimirov, Denko Prodanov, Boyan Arsov, Zhivko Simeonov, Georgi Dzhanov, Yoana Kuleva, Marina Dragomiretskaya, Boryana Yordanova, Tsvetelina Kotseva, Sandra Petrova, Plamen Granzhan.
Stage director: Plamen Kartaloff; Conductor: Svetoslav Lazarov; Set design: Nela Stoyanova; Costume design: Hristiana Mihaleva; Choreography: Riolina Topalova; Musical training: Violeta Dimitrova; Translation: Milena Borinova.