Dear Professor Kartaloff
My husband and I had the very great pleasure of visiting Sofia last year, especially to see Wagner’s Ring.
I am writing belatedly (we are both busy with books we are writing) to congratulate you on fulfilling the vow you made by Wagner’s grave and bringing it to such triumphant success. We have seen many productions of the Ring around the world and yours was undoubtedly one of the best. (If you are interested to know which we consider the best, it was in Seattle, which had almost unlimited funds to accomplish the aims of the director and was given a generous donation just to create a realistic dragon!)
May I add that we also enjoyed the experience of roaming around Sofia. I happened to pass through the city in 1964, on my way back to London by bus from India, and stayed for two nights at the Balkan Hotel overlooking St. George’s Church. It was marvelous to see Sofia again, now freedom has come, and my husband and I stayed at the same hotel and this time I was able to go inside St. George’s Church and hear a service being performed.
The statue of Sophia is very impressive; has any other city put up such a beautiful monument to wisdom? I think none.
Yeas ago I worked for a company in which the sister-in-law of Georgi Markov also worked. I have one of his books and feel particularly sympathetic to everything he wrote about the sufferings of Bulgaria under the communist regime. The fact that he was killed on a London street makes his death specially painful for English people.
The excellent programme for your Ring contains a photograph of you with Tony Palmer, with whom I am in touch. He remembered very well his visit to Sofia and discussions with you.
Please, when time permits, pass on our congratulations to everyone involved in putting your Ring on stage. It was a terrific achievement.
With kindest regards