A star was born - Author: Maya Filipova , impressio.dir.bg

A star was born - Author: Maya Filipova , impressio.dir.bg Collage: Pavlin Daskalov/Dir.bg

Vesela Delcheva – “The Bulgarian” Christine from the musical “The Phantom of the Opera”

Author: Maya Filipova / 9 February 2019


She is
Christine from "The Phantom of the Opera",
Sophie from "Мamma Mia!",
Betty Schaefer from "Sunset Boulevard",
Margot from "Love and Death at Moulin Rouge",
Sheila from "Hair",
Dorothy from "The Wizard of Oz",
Princess Badrul-Budura from "Aladin", 
Luisa from "Zoro"...

She is Vesela Delcheva – the new star of the musical in our country. She was born on 16 November 1986 in Sofia. She graduated from the National Academy of Music in “Pop and Jazz Singing" and has a second master’s degree in "Musical and Stage Directing". Since 2011, she has been member of the company of the Stefan Makedonski National Music Theatre, where she has performed many lead roles in musicals. At the moment she appears in the role of Christine Daaé in Andrew Lloyd Webber’s hit "The Phantom of the Opera", production of Acad. Plamen Kartaloff. The musical, dedicated to Sarah Brightman, is the longest time performed music show on Broadway, with more than 10 000 spectacles in New York. The Sofia premiere of "The Phantom of the Opera" took place on 25, 26 and 27 January 2019 at the Music Theatre.

We present you Vesela Delcheva – exclusively before Dir.bg:   


Photo: Personal archive

- Congratulations for your newest role! You are developing an impressive character of Christine. In Bulgaria "The Phantom" was the most expected premiere for 2019... What is the feeling to be a part of this whole process?
- Real happiness and enormous artistic satisfaction!
The success, which we achieved, is thanks to the great work of all artistic teams.

This is a collective art and if there is no cohesion between the different teams and full harmony, nothing will come out!


  Photo: Personal archive

- Have you seen "The Phantom of the Opera" on Broadway? And somewhere else?
- Yes, I had the chance to see it in West End and on Broadway.

Photo: Personal archive

- What did you say to yourself then?
- At first, I was shocked by what I saw, and I said to myself: “Let’s hope such magic to happen to us too!"

Photo: Personal archive

- You yourself are turning into a star. "The summer of "Mamma Mia" made you exceptionally popular. You are touching to the big love of the audience. Do you begin to get used to the attention and the interest in you?
- I am so thankful that I am doing what I really love and it makes me feel significant, appreciated and a really realized artist.

I have always said that one should have a purpose – one’s big dream, and follow it beyond measure with God’s blessing.


Photo: Personal archive

God’s gift and the chance have to be developed every day and moment on the stage, one must prove oneself before the eyes of the audience. For me the glory was not a purpose. What is obligatory for each job, is professionalism. My striving was to be excellently prepared. Without sparing myself in the long artistic process of preparing of the role, the entire image of the spectacle.

And indeed, this is the fruit solely and only of lot of work, work and again work. The recognition and the success are a consequence.

Only this way, when you make your dream come true in big professionalism, comes also the indescribable happiness.

I would like to thank my audience and I hope always to keep it close to me with the art, which I am making!


With Vladi Mihaylov in "The Phantom of the Opera" (Photo: National Music Theatre)

- In our country there is an extra euphoria around the production of "The Phantom of the Opera" at the National Music Theatre. The premiere passed with exceptional success on 25 January. Did you succeed to feel the reactions of the spectators as emotion?
- I am a person, who difficultly goes out of the characters after the end of the spectacles and curiously enough, I am going deaf during the bows, really... After that my relatives and close friends tell me how strong it was: “The audience exploded!”
Behind the curtain, and not only, I received many cordial congratulations! As you said – there reigned a big euphoria!!!

With Vladi Mihaylov in "The Phantom of the Opera" (Photo: National Music Theatre)

- What told you Acad. Kartaloff after the premiere?
- You have managed! The audience is on their knees before what you – the artists – have created!


As Christine in "The Phantom of the Opera" (Photo: National Music Theatre)

- What is your Christine? Please, describe her ...
- My Christine is really different from what we have seen.
The character undergoes a dynamical development, in many contrasting and changing at lightning speed situations, characteristic for the genre musical.
A character in transformation: maturing to her femininity and growth from the mousy girl from the mass scenes to the full development of her natural talent.
A double-faced character!

With Denko Prodanov in "The Phantom of the Opera" (Photo: National Music Theatre)

In the headlong course of the action, her ambivalency (according to the dramaturgy) makes her a heroine – leader in every situation of polyphonic action of Webber’s scores, read by the stage director, so that all characters become central, from the biggest to the episodical roles. The Phantom from the dream makes her dream to be great actress come true and turns into reality and philosophy of life for her. She believes that she has found her Guardian Angel (Angel of Music), who will lead and inspire her on the way of high art.

But awake, she is torn between the dilemma: to choose her childhood friend Raoul (the duty) or to be with the Phantom (her true love). The young woman asks herself the question: “Can the dream become reality?!” Love or egoism will be the categories, in which the three main characters demonstrate their attitude towards each other?


With Denko Prodanov in the role of Raoul in "The Phantom of the Opera" (Photo: National Music Theatre)

- With what distinguishes itself your interpretation of the role?

- With the rich emotionality and the deep mentality, which I am carrying myself, respectively my Christine. A strongly psychologically drawn up character in the directing’s concept.


With Vladi Mihaylov as Christine and The Phantom in the musical "The Phantom of the Opera" (Photo: National Music Theatre)

- In the Sofia production the role of the Phantom is entrusted to Vladi Mihaylov. He is your “Angel of Music”. Is it easy to work with him? 
- We have a rich background with Vladi. We know each other for 12 years. But the theatre stage Brought us together in 2011, when the musical “Zoro” was produced at the Music Theatre with stage director Boyko Iliev.

With Vladi Mihaylov in "Zoro" (Photo: National Music Theatre)

Then and there I understood what exceptional professional and partner is he.

Applauses after the premiere of "The Phantom of the Opera" (Photo: National Music Theatre)

I was sure that here also would reign harmony and understanding between us. The cohesion and the chemistry are the most important things in a partnership. We have countless happenings!

In the role of  Sophie in "Mamma Mia" at the Sofia Opera (Photo: Sofia Opera)

- You didn’t have an understudy for your role in “Mamma Mia”. This probably requires a strong mobilization?
- Several are the performers with the enormous responsibility to be alone in roles in “Mamma mia!”, but this is also the world practice. We are witnesses in theatre and opera productions, also in the largest companies, that they work with just one cast. Every evening is a premiere one and one is looking for the maximum for the success of the spectacles.

But for every artist then most important are the discipline, the regime and the constant self-training. In order to develop this kind of tenacity, one must really have the physical and the psychological training, which, I think, can be achieved with a lot of work and constant work.
In “The Phantom of the Opera” there are two more girls, who take part too: Temenuzhka Trifonova and Hristiana Luiso.


In the musical "Mamma Mia" at the Sofia Opera (Photo: Sofia Opera)

- In your repertoire you already have some of the most often performed musicals on the world stages. Among them – Betty Schaefer in “Sunset Boulevard”, Sophie in “Mamma Mia” and now – Christine in “The Phantom of the Opera”. Which one of them do you prefer?
- I cannot say which one is more preferred that the other, because the same came out in “Zoro”, as well as in other productions (“Aladin”, “The Wizard of Oz”, “Love and Death at Moulin Rouge”, “Escape”, „Hair“), but all roles are always very different and they have their importance for each casting and requirements to the artist, selected for big, as well as for small roles.

With Denko Prodanov in "Aladin" (Photo: Personal archive)

At the moment Christine is very favourite and interesting for incarnation character, exactly because of this deep psychology and two-facedness, which the character requires.

Photo: Personal archive

- Did the musical as genre turn into something more special for you? Did it make your dream come true?

- Musical is my life!

Still from an early age, I had the chance to do what I really love – to be actress in a musical.


Photo: Personal archive

- And when you were little? Did someone in the family directed you to the music career?
- Yes! Since I was 6-year old my parents brought me to the vocal and theatre formation “Talasumche” with Music Director Dimitar Kostantsaliev. Thanks to him I was involved in the genre “musical”. Every year we made one author’s musical. I will mention some of them: “The Magical Song”, “Sea Dreams”, “The Day of Forgiveness” and others.

Photo: Personal archive

After that I enrolled the Academy of Music – “Pop and Jazz Art”. I graduated with my both master degrees in “Pop and Jazz Singing” and “Musical and Stage Directing”. There I fell among another team keen in the genre: of the stage director Andrey Avramov and the choreographer Radoslav Radev. During these seven years seven musicals were born.

During my student years I took part in a casting at the Music Theatre and till this day I have been working in the company, for which I am thankful to Mariana Arsenova.


Photo: Personal archive

- Usually the artists, who take part in Andrew Lloyd Webber’s musicals, adore their roles, the music. How did you feel Webber?

- I am in love with my character! And the music is that niche, which makes you fly!


With Denko Prodanov in "Sunset Boulevard" (Photo: National Music Theatre)

- There is one more important meeting for you – the one with the stage director Plamen Kartaloff. How does one work with him? 
- He was invited by the director of the Music Theatre Mariana Arsenova to stage the musical “Sunset Boulevard”. And by her and the conductor Igor Bogdanov the role of Betty Schaefer was entrusted to me.

For the first time I got in touch with his work as artist and I was really entranced by the methods and the approaches, which he applied on us. We were like sculptures, which he was modelling and moulding to such details and precision that after the rehearsal period was over, we didn’t want to part. It was constructive, emotional and to be remembered for whole life. A year later, Maestro Kartaloff invited me for the role of Sophie in the musical “Mamma mia!”. For me this was the biggest trampoline in my career, after which I received this popularity and the positive esteem of the audience.

And now to me happened Christine!


In the musical "Mamma Mia" at the Sofia Opera (Photo: Sofia Opera)

I cannot describe my gratitude to this man! He developed me as actress, he held out his hand to me, he believed in my talent.

For me he is exceptional leader, manager, model for imitation and first of all a good man, who really loves his artists.


In the musical "Zoro" (Photo: Personal archive)

- Let’s talk about yourself. Which was your first lead role?
- My first lead role was on the stage of the Music Theatre: the role of Luisa in the musical "Zoro".

With Denko Prodanov in "Love and Death at Moulin Rouge" (Photo: Personal archive)

- You are extremely engaged at the moment. You enter from one premiere into another... And however, where are you in the first free evening?
- Always at home, by my family. But always concentrated in my new tasks too.

Il London in front of Shaftesbury Theatre (Photo: Personal archive)

In New York, on 44th Street, in front of Majestic Theatre (Photo: Personal archive)

- Does it remain time for friends? For journeys? For books?
- Not a lot, but I am doing my best to steal time for books and journeys.

On Times Square in New York (Photo: Personal archive)

On 44th Street in New York (Photo: Personal archive)

- Where is your secret place or what really fills you with positive energy?

- Besides the stage, which fills me in, the other place is the mountain. As well as the journeys with the beloved person.


On a walk in the mountain (Photo: Personal archive)

In Washington (Photo: Personal archive)

- What kind of music do you listen to?

- I am listening mainly to musicals, I like also jazz, classical music and I go often to the opera.


Beneath Musala Peak (Photo: Personal archive)

- We are in the beginning of 2019, what would you like to be the year for you?

- To be healthy and paved only with good intentions!


On Musala Peak in the Rila Mountain (Photo: Personal archive)

- Good luck to "The Phantom of the Opera"!
- God willing! Thank you!

Interview by Maya Filipova 


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