Author: Ivan Varbanov

Sofia, 19-06-2019
Specially for

A massive, supersonic and powerful musical landing will make the Sofia Opera and Ballet in SUMMER 2019. It will start at the Military Academy in Sofia, it passes through the Belogradchik Rocks and ends at the Black Sea.

The management of the National Theatre for Opera and Ballet is using strategically flexibly, expediently, but also vigorously the repertoire resource and the portfolio of the premiere productions during the season, in order to take the opera out of the temple, to situate the strengths of the artistic casts in new spaces and conquer new audiences through the power of high art.

The music formats of presentation and the megaproductions of Bulgaria’s most applauded cultural institute – in Bulgaria and abroad, are based on the traditional expectations, but they are also upgrading, because they attract new audiences, conquer territories and open the fan of genres in the theatre’s portfolio with the realization of topical hit titles. The productions of the summer playbill feed the expectations of the music lovers for unknown super experiences through the power of music and stage art, fill in with prestige and top form. At that not only the Bulgarian audience, but also the guests and admirers of the Sofia Opera and Ballet from all over the world.

The strategy of the musical landing of the Sofia Opera and Ballet is to pass on three main fronts: “Opera in the Park” – Sofia, 21 June – 14 July; “Sofia Summer Wagner Festival 2019” – the seventh edition will take place from 7 to 12 July; “Opera of the Peaks – Belogradchik Rocks”, fourth edition, 20 July – 4 August; landing in the Albena resort with the revolutionary step – the opera’s team to make a hit performance from the world ranking list of musicals – “MAMMA MIA!” which will be presented as follows: in the period 24 – 25 June at the Military Academy in the capital city, 1 – 4 August at the Belogradchik Rocks, 24 August – Albena resort, 29 August – 2 September at the Varna Summer Theatre, 10 September at the Plovdiv Antique Theatre, 14 – 21 September at the Sofia Opera and Ballet.



A matter of fact of recognition for the high achievement in Acad. Plamen Kartaloff’s Wagner productions, presented on the stage of the Sofia Opera, is the recognition of the International Association of Richard Wagner Societies – RWVI, which announces to all its members and regional organizations the possibility to be in Sofia this way: “The artistic team of the last very well received productions of the Ring in Sofia will present two Wagner titles in July: “Tristan und Isolde” – on 7 and 10 July at 18:00 h, “Parsifal” on 12 July at 18:00 h”. It is also indicated that stage director is Plamen Kartaloff, and most of the singers are Bulgarians.


The International Association of Richard Wagner Societies (RWVI) works with its organizations and branches around the world in the name of the main purpose – to invoke interest and engross the understanding of Richard Wagner’s works, to provide support for the following generation of artists, maintain the Foundation’s activity for Richard Wagner scholarships, founded by Wagner himself in support of the festival in Bayreuth, but also for stimulation and expanding of the international cooperation.

I think here that it would work out to create a Richard Wagner Annual Premium in partnership between the Association and the Sofia Opera and Ballet. The prize to be awarded to a young performer, who should specialize – sound and music interpretation of the great programme composer and revolutionary visionary of the opera theatre – with most prestigious music capacities.




The format will be opened in the due form – with a Gala concert on 21 June, followed by the spectacles of “Don Pasquale” (21 June), “MAMMA MIA!” (24 and 25 June), a premiere of “Carmina Burana” to Carl Orff’s music on 28, 29 and 30 June. Here it is important to underline that the choreography is by Fredy Franzutti. Before that he made his own production of the work with the company of the founded by him in 1995 in the Italian city Lecce “Balletto del Sud”. 

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The inspiration comes from the original text of Carmina Burana, stepping on the verses, created by wandering poets, most often from the crises of the clergy or students, who shared the views that the world does not function in accordance with the moral rules which they would have to follow. This is why they created a community of their own which follows only the rules of virtues and test the freedom of life which is full of challenges and temptations.

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The spectacle presents the illusionary concepts and the imaginary characters of these young people. The gothic myth, interweaved as a code in Carl Orff’s music, provoking the evil in its most superstitious state, presents us one morally corrupted society, impartially resisting against the fear of God’s punishment. Actually, some of the songs are ironically turning everything upside down and start playing with the themes of the literature of the time: wine, women, plays, the pleasures of life, exalting themselves by the texts of this poetry, born in the cultural atmosphere and the parody of the dominating church dogmas and language.


The entire programme, including the dates of presentation of the ballet “La sylphide”, as well as the cycle of opera titles for children which the Opera produces with educational purpose and care for the cultivation of a new generation of audience, can be seen on the site of the National Theatre for Opera and Ballet – here

Among the titles for children are: “Little Red Riding Hood” by Alexander Vladigerov, “Die Zauberflöte” by W. A. Mozart – adaptation for children, the premiere of the concert-spectacle “Merry Kids”, “The Three Piggies” by Aleksandar Raichev, “Winnie-the-Pooh” – musical by Andrey Drenikov and “A Story with Ducks, Mecho and Lisa” by Georgi Kostov.




Beginning: 16:00
Beginning: 18:00




Costume Designer LEO KULAŠ

With the special participation of the soloist of the Bayreuth Theatre JUKKA RASILAINEN in the role of Kurwenal

Participants: Martin Iliev, Radostina Nikolaeva, Tsveta Sarambelineva, Petar Buchkov, Veselin Mihaylov, Angel Antonov, Krasimir Dinev, Nikolay Petrov

* * *

Beginning: 18:00




Costume Designer STANKA VAUDA

Participants: Kostadin Andreev, Atanas Mladenov, Petar Buchkov, Angel Hristov, Biser Georgiev, Gergana Rusekova, Hrisimir Damyanov, Stefan Vladimirov, Rada Toteva, Ina Petrova, Krasimir Dinev, Kalin Dushkov, Ayla Dobreva, Mariela Aleksandrova, Mirela Yabandzhieva, Angelina Mancheva, Aleksandrina Stoyanova-Andreeva, Angel Antonov, Georgi Dzhanov, Nikolay Pavlov, Ovanes Kasparyan, Tsvetan Tsvetkov



Far back in time – more than 250 million years ago, the legend tells that the Belogradchik Rocks were at the bottom of the sea. The water withdrew and the soft tissue of the limestones folded. After a time, under the influence of the water, sum, rains, even the storms, were shaped interesting figures, which provoke human imagination. Besides the popular rock plots and contours of nature plastics, depicting the Horseman, the Madonna, the Dervish, the Convent, the Rebel Velko, Adam and Eve and others, in the underground plastics, beneath these imprints of energies and messages from other worlds, are located also more than 100 caves.


Opera of the Peaks – Belogradchik Rocks is an extraordinary format of high art, designed by Plamen Kartaloff’s creative insight to feel and unite with one stone dimension all intransient symbols, messages, the eternal biblical and historical plots – since the existence of the world to the future infinity in the Universe, situating them here and now in front of the look of the audience. A realistic and shaking experience, equal to a travelling in time, as far as this is really absolutely possible through the channel of eternal opera music, the sensory influence of the stage impersonation and the spectacular presentation which transfers the spectator through an influence on his or her senses and strengthening of the perception with the power and the potential of the individual imagination of each spectator, in order to reach the quite distinct transformation – to transfer in other times and ages, back in time and centuries. 

Hundreds are the ones who would like to be part of this unusual experience, called “OPERA OF THE PEAKS”. The spectacles take place in the first yard of the Belogradchik Fortress at 20:00 h.


I consider that this format is an example for the creation of a successful model by Acad. Plamen Kartaloff for the conservation of the national and cultural identity, combined with propagating of the high standards of musical culture and art, the pillar of which is the National Opera and Ballet – Sofia.

The fourth festival will present the ballets “Carmina Burana” (20.07) and “La dame aux camélias” (21.07), the operas “Il trovatore” (26.07), “Carmen” (27.07) and “Turandot” (28.07), as well as four performances of the musical “MAMMA MIA!” – (1, 2, 3 and 4 August).

The event’s colouring is also the specially prepared performance “WAGNER MAGURA: Gods, Giants, Dwarfs and Valkyries”, with duration of more than two and a half hours. The first part is presented at the entrance of the cave, and the second one is situated in its internal part, in the underground rocks.

All spectacles – dates, beginning hours and cities, you could track on the site of the Bulgarian production “MAMMA MIA!” –

It is obvious that SUMMER 2019 will be merry, happy and extraordinary musical, because of the efforts of the team of the Sofia Opera and Ballet.




At the end of this active and beneficial season, in expectation of MUSIC SUMMER 2019 WITH THE SOFIA OPERA AND BALLET and on the threshold of next season, let us however set some outlines in perspective:

1. In the first place – active support for the undertaking: CREATION OF A SOFIA OPERA AND BALLET MUSEUM. For the achievement of this goal, the management of the institution would have to rely on a rich social support, as well as proportionally from the state and municipal institutions. It is necessary for the temple of Bulgarian operatic and ballet art to have its own “Golden Archive Fund”. Media support and pressure, you will have also on our behalf for this cause, dear Acad. Kartaloff.

2. I am asking myself: After the successful formats like “Opera in the Park”, “Opera of the Peaks”, etc., I wonder if it has come the time for the production and creation of a new format – “Opera at the Stadium” or the foundation of “ARENA OPERA”? The largest-scale project in Bulgaria would be exactly to the measure of the National Theatre for Opera and Ballet, because of the high professional potential of the whole team which is able to realize the large scale of the form, but also because of the necessity of creation of impressive megaproductions to transfer a unique experience from the world of the opera, ballet and musical.

3. And something more … Is there a place and did it come the time, under the hat of the Sofia Opera and Ballet to be founded Annual National Awards for Opera, Operetta, Musical and Ballet. And why should they not be in the name of Boris Christoff – ANNUAL BORIS CHRISTOFF MUSIC AWARDS.

4. It is already time to the Sofia Opera and Ballet to be instituted an Opera and Ballet Academy – master classes in interpretation, specializations and trainings in the classical music genres for Bulgarian and foreign artists.

These are just projections of some concepts and new corridors for further development and work. But let us before that meet the summer and enjoy the musical experiences with the productions of the Sofia Opera and Ballet. 

Good luck!


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Author: Ivan Varbanov

The News BG Reporter Нюз БГ Репортер ®

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