14 Jan 2015


The famous tenor will be guest-performer in Rigoletto”, Un ballo in maschera”, Don Carlo” and Tosca”

The popular far beyond Bulgaria’s borders Bulgarian tenor Kamen Chanev again will bring joy to the Sofia audience at the end of January and in the beginning of February with his guest-performances in four classical titles, directed by Plamen Kartaloff. In the last hours of 2014, the performer fascinated the spectators of the New Year’s Concert of the Sofia Opera and Ballet with his interpretations of Mario Cavaradossi from Puccini’s “Tosca” and Canio from Leoncavallo’s “Pagliacci”.

On 23 January we shall see him as the Duke of Mantua in Rigoletto”, together with Ventseslav Atanasov – Rigoletto and Veselina Vasileva – Gilda, conductor will be Borislav Ivanov.

On 28 January Chanev will be Riccardo in another of Verdi’s masterpieces, Un ballo in maschera”, in which will sing also Niko Isakov, Gabriela Georgieva, Rumyana Petrova, Irina Zhekova and conductor will be Boris Spasov.

On 1 February the guest-performing at the Sofia Opera and Ballet singer will transform himself into Don Carlo in Verdi’s work of the same name, with the participation of Petar Naydenov as Filippo II, Niko Isakov – Marquis of Posa, Gabriela Georgieva – Elisabeth de Valois, Daniela Dyakova – Eboli, Petar Buchkov – the Grand Inquisitor. Conductor will be Grigor Palikarov.

On 4 February the cycle of four titles with the participation of Kamen Chanev will complete with Puccini’s Tosca”, where the audience will have the chance to hear his interpretation of the celebrated arias and duets of Mario Cavaradossi. In the role of Tosca will take part Gabriela Georgieva, Biser Georgiev will be Scarpia. Conductor will be Erich Wächter.

About Kamen Chanev each coming back on the stage of our first opera theatre is exciting. “Here I started my way”, tells he with a smile and reminds himself of his first role in Rossini’s “Il barbiere di Siviglia”. With a bit of sadness he speaks about those years, mentioning names, which are already not among us. His growth in the profession is consistent, step by step. “Festina lente” remains his credo also today, after so many roles and countless spectacles all over the world. Chanev is convinced that the important thing is not how many times you have sung a concrete character, but the way you make it.

“My life passes from one theatre to another and from one airplane to another and until you turn around... This is terrible”, admits the considered to be one of the best performers of tenor parts today. Among his newest furores on stage is De Grieux in “Manon Lescaut” in the ultramodern theatre in Oman. He debuted in this role in 2007 on the stage of the Wiener Staatsoper. “So turns out to be with me, that my debuts as a rule were in capitals – Vienna, Berlin, Washington, Sofia”, tells Kamen Chanev. For him it isn’t unusual to get off an airplane and to find himself directly on the stage. This happened to him not only once and at the biggest theatres. But one of the tensest moments in his career was when two hours before the spectacle of “Manon Lescaut” in Washington Opera from the management of the theatre he was asked to take part the same evening because of the sudden dropping out of the performer in this part in the last moment. He accepted this challenge and coped brilliantly. Quite often, however, he has refused participations in roles, which he doesn’t feel as his ones. In 2013 he made a real “marathon” between Frankfurt, where he took part in “Don Carlo” in its 5-act version, and Rome, where at the same time was presented “Cavalleria rusticana”. For eight days Kamen Chanev sang four spectacles of both titles. “From the airline company, with which I was flying once a day in direction Frankfurt-Rome or vice versa they were thinking I was working for them”, tells the tenor with a smile.

“Unfortunately, to a great extent the things in the opera became like in sport. There is no place for real contest of talents, now the competition is among the impresarios and the theatre’s directors.” Unexplainable for Kamen Chanev is the fact that productions, which are booed by the audience, don’t lead to adequate reactions of the managements of the relevant theatres and that way their performances continue to excite the spirits to rebel. The meeting of great art with the new technologies is not a collision, but it is rather a friendly contact, convinced is the tenor. He considers that up to 50 % of the success of one opera in our days can be dewed to the costumes and the make-up. He points as example Italy, where the specialized enterprise produces the cloths for different productions. “Only this country remained an island of real art”, categorical is Chanev, starting for demonstration on his tablet an excerpt of the production of “Turandot” at Teatro dell’Opera di Roma. The make-up for it was made by a team of the movie giant “Cinecittà”, and only Calàf’s costume made of blue painting leather  costed more than EUR 10.000,-.

Kamen Chanev’s look still since the first days of the new 2015 is directed to his upcoming participations – first in the four spectacles of the Sofia Opera. “It is a challenge to sing in “Rigoletto”, says he and speaks about his last participations in “Un ballo in maschera” in Tel Aviv, Berliner Staatsoper and Wiener Staatsoper. He will take part in the opening of the new season at the Budapest Opera with “Pagliacci” and “Cavalleria rusticana”, and then he will sing at the same theatre also in “Il trovatore”.

His next engagement will be in Astana, Kazakhstan, where in the end of February he will be guest-performer in “Aida”. Then follow “Turandot” in April at Deutsche Oper in Berlin and “Tosca” in Savonlinna, Finland. The engagements of the recognized by the audience and by the critics tenor won’t finish up to 2018. “The opera, as say the Italians, is “testa freda” (cold head – Ed.) – says Kamen Chanev at the end of our conversation. – You have to be emotional, but also keep a cool head. The sober judgement helps to manage the things on the stage, as well as in life.”