Sofia, 26 October 2018 | The Ministry of Culture re-elected Academician Plamen Kartaloff for Director of the Sofia Opera and Ballet. The news became clear not until 26 October, 2 days after the holding of the conversations with the candidates and signing of the Minutes. Here it the information from the Ministry of Culture:

“With Order No. РД 16-60/24.07.2018 of the Minister of Culture was announced a competition for the position “Director” of the Sofia Opera and Ballet, which was held on 24.10.2018.

With regard to the received number of points the commission classified the candidates as follows:

1. In the first place – Plamen Ivanov Kartaloff

2. In the second place – Darinka Kostadinova Takova

The candidate Slavil Zdravkov Dimitrov did not gather the necessary minimum of 400 points, by reason of which he was not classified in the hold competition.”

Praiseworthy is the practice of the cultural institution to make a video recording of the hearing of all candidates for the announced competitions and to publish them in YouTube. This is the way to do it – absolute transparency! This way stop the speculations and the interpretations. One can see everything with his own eyes and form an opinion on his own.

By watching how have passed the conversations and with all my respect – for the President of the commission Prof. Djurov, as well as for the other members, especially for the President of the Union of Bulgarian Musicians and Dancers Mr. Stanislav Pochekanski, in me, however, aroused one question: Wouldn’t it be more appropriate the number of the members of the commission, electing the Director of our National opera theatre, to be higher? I make my reasonings with the stipulation that I respect the right of the employer – the Minister of Culture, to nominate the commission with an order of his. But is it not necessary it to be enriched also with representatives of the cultural, music and opera elite? With persons, who have an attitude not only to the profession, to the musical creative process, to the cultural management, but also with personal contribution – national and international, to the institution Sofia Opera and Ballet (except for the candidates or the persons, employed in it)?! Why not, for example, include in the commission Raina Kabaivanska, Anna Tomowa-Sintow, professors from the Pancho Vladigerov National Academy of Music, eminent singers, instrumentalists, conductors, stage directors – respected Bulgarian artists, who give concerts and make career all over the world at the most prestigious theatres, at the head of leading world orchestras, appearing on the most reputable stages?

The management of a theatre is always connected with the ability to be a good financier and manager. This is why in many of the boards of the cultural institutions abroad are included approved jurists, leading bank or financial experts, specialists in marketing and sales, who supervise the executive managers (directors) of the relevant activities.

I express this principled opinion of mine, considering the fact that the Sofia Opera and Ballet overfulfills the set parameters for its budget and is always in plus.

I personally lack the fact that to both institutions – Sofia Opera and Ballet and Stefan Makedonski National Musical Theatre, there are no Public councils.

Let’s hope that also on the website of our First opera theatre will appear information who will be the General manager during the next five years.

Let’s wish a successful season to the company of the Sofia Opera and Ballet!

To its Director today I have sent my personal congratulations.

Ivan Varbanov

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