BRAVURA PREMIERE OF “SIMON BOCCANEGRA” ON THE STAGE OF THE SOFIA OPERA AND BALLET

After more than 30 years, Giuseppe Verdi’s famous work appeared again on the stage of the Sofia Opera and Ballet. The premiere of “Simon Boccanegra” took place on 17 November 2018, but as premiere one turned out to be also the next spectacle on 18 November, in which took part other soloists.

The new production is a fruit of the already 4 years long cooperation between the Sofia Opera and the Opera in Craiova, Romania, and it was entrusted to the stage director from Craiova Arabela Tănase.

In one of her interviews, Mrs. Tănase shared that she has done the possible by this production of the well-known opus to achieve the exceptional level, which the Sofia Opera realized during the last years. Together with the set and costume designer Rasvan Draganescu in her creative task the stage director was searching original artistic means to express Verdi’s hope and faith in the fight for independence, by looking for similar moments in the different political ages. But the political situation, which was moving Maestro Verdi, in this staging is considered from the position of our time.

CHAP7706 600On the photo: MARIA BOCCANEGRA (AMELIA GRIMALDI) – Tsvetana Bandalovska, SIMON BOCCANEGRA – Nikola Miajlovic, PAOLO ALBIANI – Atanas Mladenov, GABRIELE ADORNO – Rafael Alvarez and chorus of the Sofia Opera

The direction of this moving spectacle manifests a philosophical raising over the political games and conspiracies in the past and in the present, by finding the vast dimensions of the universal human feelings. In the staging concept the hatred, the desire to win the love and the possible reconciliation are the key, through which was found the point of intersection between the enemies. One of Arabela Tănase’s aims is the presented action to be set in no concrete historical age

CHAP7776 600On the photo: SIMON BOCCANEGRA – Nikola Miajlovic, JACOPO FIESCO – Martin Tsonev

A real provocation for a modern direction is to work with several soloists, even four for one role! Arabela Tănase with a great penetration has convinced every performer in what exactly she wished from him, taking into consideration his or her individuality. She preferred not to create personages, good or bad, but to be achieved different, even unexpected nuances in each character. By so many performers was used the chance every one of them to import his or her own shades in the character, something, which would oblige the real music lovers to watch several spectacles, which for this reason have the value of premiere ones.

600 S.B 2On the photo: SIMON BOCCANEGRA – Nikola Miajlovic

In the catharsis final of this amazing production is reached the essence of the primordial human messages and maxims. Jacopo Fiesco at the very tragical end utters the unforgettable ominous wail: “All the happiness on this earth is illusory, because the human heart is a never running dry well of misfortunes.”

CHAP7659 600On the photo: SIMON BOCCANEGRA – Nikola Miajlovic, MARIA BOCCANEGRA (AMELIA GRIMALDI) – Tsvetana Bandalovska

Conquering is the achieved by the set design symbolic – the stage is solved, like a spiral of time, in a temporal implied meaning, which comes to life also in the costumes. Even in Amelia’s garments we rediscover this spiral of time. The movements on the stage, the personages and the chorus express one action, passing in the spiral-like development of the spectacle. The lighting, on its hand, delicately reflects each emotion and state of the characters.

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On the photo: PIETRO – Valentin Vatev, SIMON BOCCANEGRA – Kiril Manolov, PAOLO ALBIANI – Atanas Mladenov, chorus of the Sofia Opera

More than once we have heard from eminent conductors that the orchestra of the Sofia Opera and Ballet is able to do everything! This magnificent cast seems to consist of real virtuosos, who with their unforgettable interpretation have always managed also with the most complex artistic tasks! They have many times presented before us and before the world the boundless universe of Wagner and of all known classics, but you see that in this production was demonstrated through Erich Wächter’s baton “every touch of the passion, every shade of the rebellious feeling of Giuseppe Verdi, who in “Simon Boccanegra” for the next time in succession was fighting against the melancholy of the dark present and in this opera with powerful culminations
he expressed the eternal impulse to glory, which leads boldly towards the future”.

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On the photo: PIETRO – Valentin Vatev, SIMON BOCCANEGRA – Nikola Miajlovic, PAOLO ALBIANI – Atanas Mladenov and chorus of the Sofia Opera

The famous chorus of the Sofia Opera under the baton of Violeta Dimitrova deserved again selfless ovations! The wonderful members of the chorus incarnated brilliantly into sailors, soldiers, servants, people, senators and courtiers of the Doge!

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On the photo: MARIA BOCCANEGRA (AMELIA GRIMALDI) – Radostina Nikolaeva, SIMON BOCCANEGRA – Kiril Manolov, PAOLO ALBIANI – Atanas Mladenov, GABRIELE ADORNO – Daniel Damyanov and chorus of the Sofia Opera

In the role of Simon Boccanegra in both premiere days Nikola Miajlovic and Kiril Manolov presented all possible nuances of their conquering talent and moved the numerous audience with the tragedy and the dramatical dimensions of the character, presented by them.

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On the photo: GABRIELE ADORNO – Rafael Alvarez, MARIA BOCCANEGRA (AMELIA GRIMALDI) – Tsvetana Bandalovska

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On the photo: GABRIELE ADORNO – Daniel Damyanov, MARIA BOCCANEGRA (AMELIA GRIMALDI) – Radostina Nikolaeva

Tsvetana Bandalovska and Radostina Nikolaeva were brilliant in the part of Maria Boccanegra (Amelia Grimaldi), demonstrating the magic of their vocal heights and presenting to us the complex emotionality of this loving personage.

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On the photo: GABRIELE ADORNO – Rafael Alvarez, JACOPO FIESCO – Martin Tsonev

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On the photo: JACOPO FIESCO – Svetozar Rangelov

The basses Martin Tsonev and Svetozar Rangelov showed the best of their artistic individualities and, incarnating in the tragical character of Jacopo Fiesco, moved the audience with their captivating artistry.

CHAP8139 600On the photo: JACOPO FIESCO – Svetozar Rangelov, GABRIELE ADORNO – Daniel Damyanov, MARIA BOCCANEGRA (AMELIA GRIMALDI) – Radostina Nikolaeva and chorus of the Sofia Opera

The tenors Rafael Alvarez and Daniel Damyanov performed with worthy self-confidence and fascinating mastery the role of Gabriele Adorno, achieving perfect harmony in the duets with Tsvetana Bandalovska and Radostina Nikolaeva.

CHAP7918 600On the photo: PAOLO ALBIANI – Atanas Mladenov and chorus of the Sofia Opera

In both spectacles the baritone Atanas Mladenov conquered the audience with his successive unique incarnation in the personage of Paolo Albiani!

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The loud and enthusiastic applauses of the grateful audience after the finale of both premiere performances were a wonderful apotheosis of the new season of the Sofia Opera and Ballet, with which our first opera theatre again and again declared its big ambition to present before the thankful Bulgarian and foreign audience the best of the Bulgarian and the world opera classic.

 

Good luck!

 

Venelin TOMOV

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