Interview by Petar Galev
with Hristina Staneva
Deputy Director Administrative Issues
of the Sofia Opera and Ballet
After one very successful year in creative aspect, the Sofia Opera and Ballet, in which thousands of spectators from Bulgaria, Europe and other continents enjoyed spectacles of highest quality, we turned to the Deputy Director of the cultural institution Hristina Staneva, because tickets for the Opera can already be purchased not only with bank cards at the Ticket office, but through mobile devices of any kind in the Internet. This way our leading opera and ballet stage becomes still more easily accessible.
- Mrs. Staneva, what changed in the accessibility of the Opera in 2016?
- The purchase of tickets can already be done entirely online – through a PC, laptop, tablet, smart phone. And after that, when someone opens his electronic ticket on the screen, at the entrance they scan it and let him in. Exactly as it is with the electronic board cards for a flight, with which we can easily pass through all formalities at one airport. Our goal was that people, independently where they find themselves and without losing time, be able to buy a ticket remotely and come at the theatre directly for the spectacle, at that without being necessary to pass through the Ticket office. Of course, it is also possible to print the ticket on paper.
- Recently I am observing that whole groups of people are coming for spectacles with busses from cities close to Sofia, including from Serbia and Macedonia. How do they buy tickets?
- The foreigners – most often online through bank cards, and the people from Bulgaria, who don’t wish to use a credit or a debit card, can pay cash and take their tickets from the offices of EasyPay. Of course, this possibility is valid also for Sofia.
- It is clear that the presence online is exceptionally important, especially for the classical cultural institutions, such as the Opera. How are you going to develop in this direction?
- Our site quite a while ago offers a very rich information – texts, pictures, videos and sound. Each spectator can see not only what for spectacles are upcoming, but also acquaint himself in detail with the history of a certain work, its synopsis, with interesting and important facts, connected with it and with the team, which creates it. At the moment we are working on an application (app) for mobile devices, with which to make still easier the acquaintance of our audience with the events in the theatre.
- What are you planning to attract to the Opera more foreign tourists, who come in Sofia?
- We are in contact with Sofia free tour, who organize free tourist tours of the city. I am sure that we shall find a way to be partners also with them, because undoubtedly the National Opera is among the emblems of the capital and of our country.