20 Feb 2017


The famous tenor will be guest-performer in “Tosca” and “Un ballo in maschera”

The popular far away outside the boundaries of our country Bulgarian tenor Kamen Chanev will please again the Sofia audience in March with his guest-performance in two classical titles, directed by Plamen Kartaloff. In the last hours of 2016, the performer fascinated the spectators of the New Year Concert of the Sofia Opera and Ballet.

On 5 March, we shall see him in the role of Mario Cavaradossi in “Tosca”, together with Fiorenca Cedolins in the role of Tosca. Conductor will be Francesco Rosa.

On 9 March, Chanev will be Riccardo in “Un ballo in maschera”, in which will sing also CARLOS ALMAGUER in the role of Renato, Gabriela Georgieva – Amelia, Irina Zhekova – Oscar. For the first time in Ulrica will embody herself Vesela Yaneva. Conductor will be Boris Spasov.

For Kamen Chanev each return on the stage of our first opera theatre is exciting. “Here I have started my way”, tells he with a smile and reminds himself of his first role in “Il barbiere di Siviglia” by Rossini. With a little sadness, he speaks for those years, mentioning names, who are not among us anymore. 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 it is important not how many times you have sung an entire character, but how you perform it.

“My life passes from theatre to a theatre and from airplane to an airplane and before you turn around... It’s is frightening”, admits the considered as one of the best performers of tenor parts today. Among his newest furores on stage is Des Grieux in “Manon Lescaut” at the ultramodern theatre in Oman. He made his debut in this role in 2007 on the stage of the Wiener Staatsoper. “By me it happens so that my debuts were as a rule in capitals – Vienna, Berlin, Washington, Sofia”, tells Kamen Chanev. For him it’s not unusual to get down the airplane and to find himself straight on the stage. This happened to him more than once also at the biggest theatres. But one of the most tense moments in his career was when two hours before the spectacle of “Manon Lescaut” at the Washington Opera from the direction they asked him to take part on the same evening because of the dropping out of the performer in this part in the last moment. He accepted this challenge and managed brilliantly, quite often however, he refused participations in roles, which he didn’t feel like his own. 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 Frankfurt-Rome or back again they started thinking that I am working for them”, tells the tenor with a smile.

“Unfortunately, to a great extent things in the opera today became as in sport. There is no place for real competition of talents, now it is among the impresarios and the theatre directors.” Unexplainable for Kamen Chanev is that productions, which are hissed by the audience, don’t lead to adequate reactions of the managements of the relevant theatres and so their spectacles continue to revolt the spirits. The meeting of the great art with the new technologies is not a collision, but rather a friendly contact, convinced is the tenor. He considers that up to 50 % of the success of one opera in our days may be due to the costumes and the make-up. He indicates Italy as an example, where a specialized enterprise produces the clothes for different productions. “Only this country became an island of the true art”, categorical is Chanev, turning on for demonstration on his tablet a fragment from a production of “Turandot” at the Rome Opera. The make-up for it was made by a team of the film giant “Cinecittà”, and only the costume of Calàf, made of a blue painted leather, costs more than EUR 10 000.

The engagements of the recognized by the audience and by the critique tenor don’t finish till 2020. “The opera, as say the Italians, is “testa freda” (cool head in translation) – says Kamen Chanev at the end of our conversation. You have to be emotional, but also to keep cool. The sober-minded estimation helps to rule the things on the stage, as well as in life.”