The opera “Don Carlo” – 30 years on the stage of our first opera theatre

Alexandrina Pendatchanska and Kamen Chanev Alexandrina Pendatchanska and Kamen Chanev

Ivan Marinov 200
Ivan Marinov

Mladenov Andreeva

The jubilee spectacle is dedicated to the 90th Anniversary of the composer and the conductor Ivan Marinov. In “Don Carlo” on 23 December this year will take part eminent artists, whose names are well-known not only in Bulgaria, but also on the big opera stages. These are Alexandrina Pendatchanska in the role of Élisabeth de Valois and Kamen Chanev in the role of Don Carlo.

For the first time in the role of Rodrigo, Marquis of Posa, on the stage will appear the young baritone Atanas Mladenov, and in the role of Princess Eboli – Aleksandrina Stoyanova-Andreeva.

Filippo II will be Svetozar Rangelov, and The Grand Inquisitor – Petar Buchkov.

Balke 250

Conductor on 23 December is Michael Balke  from Germany.

Since the premiere of this production of “Don Carlo” on 18 April 1988 to this day have passed entire 30 years. Professor Svetozar Donev, who at that time was Director of the Sofia Opera, commissioned the stage director Plamen Kartaloff to make a new production of Verdi’s famous opera. For Plamen Kartaloff’s “Don Carlo” today he said the following: “The directing is interesting and modern. Until then the production was traditional. The innovative art of the Maestro took expression in the fact that he made the old characters, the mise-en-scenes and the chorus to be recognizable, topical characters. And the result is surprising – the opera has triumphed already 30 years on Bulgarian and foreign stages.”

Through this spectacle passed four generations of world-known singers – basses like: Nicola Ghiuselev, Nicolai Ghiaurov, Dimitar Petkov, Dimitar Stanchev, Yulian Konstantinov and the young ones: Angel Hristov, Orlin Anastasov, Petar Buchkov and others.

In “Don Carlo” was demonstrated the high professionalism of the tenors Kaludi Kaludov, Emil Ivanov, Kostadin Andreev, Boiko Zvetanov, Daniel Damyanov, of the baritones Niko Isakov, Vladimir Stoyanov, Ventsislav Anastasov, Plamen Dimitrov and others


The sopranos Ghena Dimitrova, Anna Tomowa-Sintow, Valerie Popova, Stefka Evstatieva, Zvetelina Vassileva, Maria Belcheva, Dimitrinka Raycheva proved their talent also in this spectacle.

The mezzo-sopranos Stefka Mineva, Violeta Urmanа, Ivanka Ninova, Daniela Dyakova conquered the audience of the Sofia Opera in Verdi’s opera of genius.

“Don Carlo” conducted great, recognized artists like the conductors Ivan Marinov, Boris Hinchev, Georgi Notev, Adam Fischer and others. With Verdi’s famous work made their debuts the conductors Alessandro Sangiorgi and Grigor Palikarov.

The spectacle “Don Carlo” is one of the most demanded and watched not only in Bulgaria, but also abroad. In 2002 the Sofia Opera and Ballet visited with it Japan, and Germany as well.

The genial Nicolai Ghiaurov chose the opera “Don Carlo” in the staging of Plamen Kartaloff, to celebrate with it in Sofia his 40th Jubilee. Today it is stored in the Golden Fond of the Bulgarian National Television.

“This was a wonderful experience at that time – remembered Stefka Mineva. Every respecting itself theatre musted to have this title in its repertoire. Undoubtedly, it is one of Verdi’s most beautiful operas, but also the most difficult for performing for all soloists without exception.”


Professor Boyanka Arnaudova shared about the premiere of “Don Carlo” the following: “Plamen Kartaloff proved that his version of the famous opera is with exceptional merits. The dynamically directed stage action, personal work with every soloist, the colouring in the performances and the perfectly worked out movements of everybody – this is Kartaloff’s “trademark”. A fact with a high value in “Don Carlo” is the multi-flow connection of the staging idea and the director’s intentions of Maestro Kartaloff. He has sought that grade of convention, definite dramatical accents, in which the action breaks up the acting, in order to turn into a visible, authentic human reaction.”

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