It is only with the heart that one can see rightly”, says Saint-Exupéry’s Little Prince. What truth shared Martin Tzonev about his character Fiesco in the new production of the Sofia Opera of the historical title “Simon Boccanegra” by Giuseppe Verdi.

- After the long journey with Richard Wagner’s characters, what means for you the plunging in the waters of Maestro Verdi, and that with a title like “Simon Boccanegra”, which many years was not perform on the Sofia stage. What means for you to play in this title on home stage after the reincarnations of names like Nicolai Ghiaurov, Nicola Ghiuselev and other artists. What kind of a challenge is this personage and how your Fiesco comes to life in the new production of the Sofia Opera?

- I perform the legendary part of Fiesco, a counterpoint of Simon Boccanegra. This was a big dream of mine since my youth years. Of course, I bow dawn before the generation, which left traces in the world opera with this character.

This role is alive in me since years in succession. I have prepared it in my head and in my heart. The character of Fiesco comes from the history, we know him as such. The music, on the other hand, is exceptionally romantic. I would compare it to a waltz, which is moving in three.

This terrible and brutal story could be compared to today’s serials about missing children, vendetta and other similar plots, if we look superficially at it. For me this is one drama, a real challenge for every artist, which has to be performed with a Shakespeare’s dash. Maestro Verdi’s music is exceptionally emotional, it predisposes the singer in the interpretation.

In this director’s concept one works in depth, the character of the different personages is being developed. I remember my youth years, when I acquainted myself with special passion with Shakespeare’s and Schiller’s plays. Maybe this is why everything runs somehow naturally, just because the character of Fiesco has matured in me. It must come to life in his different ages, as a young man and in his life maturity. This requires the colour of the voice to be different, something important for the interpretation and for the suggestion. So that the conduct and the vocal creation of my character is different in the prologue, when he is young, and after that in the development of the drama. Something important. This is the time of the Renaissance age, when the human emotions were born, they are decisive in the creation of the whole spectacle and of the message to the contemporary audience.

- How in the work process is being developed this quite complicated plot intrigue in the director’s interpretation of Arabela Tănase, so that it becomes understandable for the contemporary? How do you accept her concept, how do you feel in it?

- I have excellent contact and dialogue with the stage director, we are mutually complementing one another in the development of the character. I like to propose some views of mine, for example how are arising the dynamics and the waves of the heart, the emotions in situations. On my own account, I am working in such depth and I am always glad, if together with my colleagues we are able to create a strong performance. The audience is always feeling, when the globe is completed, when whirls that energy, which encompasses the entire spectacle.

At the end of the opera Fiesco says: “All joy on this earth is illusory, the human heart is a well of endless sorrow”...

A shaking final, grandeur of the human relations, inherent to Shakespeare.

So far “Don Carlo” was my opera, but in this one I discovered everything, how human relations make progress, how is led the power, the way is important and the direction, not what happens to the left and to the right, important is how one walks one’s own path and which are the lessons.

- You are working again with Maestro Erich Wächter after the long journey with Wagner. What is the feeling in the creation now of this historical canvas with Verdi’s music?

- For me it is important that after Wagner we are again together with Maestro Erich Wächter, with whom fortunately I have worked more than once in Bonn. We know each other very well. The colours by Wagner are different, but sometimes I am using them also by Verdi, especially in this title. A question of interpretation, and not only of the singing of one role. We easily made the rich palette in the dynamic, in the development of the dramaturgy.

This wonderful music, which carries you on its wings, is inspiring, I am feeling also that unique vibration in the music making with the entire ensemble of the Sofia Opera, which means future in the primordial Bulgarian opera tradition.

Dr. Magdalena MANOLOVA


Magdalena ManolovaД-р Магдалена МАНОЛОВА

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