Newspaper Weekend, Eliana Mitova 8 – 14 July 2017, page 68  - 6 HOURS WAGNER AND NOONE GOES AWAY
07 Jul 2017

Newspaper Weekend, Eliana Mitova 8 – 14 July 2017, page 68 - 6 HOURS WAGNER AND NOONE GOES AWAY

With admiration music lovers from the country and such, who have arrived specially from abroad, welcomed the first Bulgarian production of Wagner’s mystery “Parsifal”, which gave a possibility of our first opera theatre to prove, that it is on a world level. The company of the Sofia Opera has already an invitation from the eminent “Bolshoi Theatre” to perform the long opera by Wagner in Moscow.

The challenge – 6 hours (with the intervals) – is worthy. The producer Academician Plamen Kartaloff uses in the best possible way the singer’s soloist cast, the orchestra, the chorus and the ballet. The technical services and ateliers of the Sofia Opera have faultlessly manufactured the sets. The costumes by Stanka Vauda are impressive, and the chorus master Violeta Dimitrova could match her colleagues in Bayreuth. Cheerful mood imported in the mystery the Children’s choir of the Bulgarian National Radio with director Venetsia Karamanova – the lady, who inherited the legend Hristo Nedyalkov.

In the society there is a general opinion, that we, the Bulgarians, aren’t good for Wagner – we don’t have singers for his long operas with hard vocal parts. Kartaloff refuted also this statement – the tenor Kostadin Andreev is a strong Wagner voice, the soft baritone of Atanas Mladenov, who created recently a remarkable Eugene Onegin, is wonderful as Amfortas. Best words deserve both performers of Kundry, who will alternate in the role – Radostina Nikolaeva and Gergana Rusekova. Both knights of the Grail are worthily defending their roles – Daniel Ostretsov and Stefan Vladimirov.

The seducers are probably also seducers in life: Lyubov Metodieva, Mariela Aleksandrova, Ina Petrova, Mirela Yabandzhieva, Angelina Mancheva, Aleksandrina Stoyanova. On the conductor’s stand is the stable and unflinching maestro Constantin Trinks. The audience – especially the German speaking spectators – commented the good pronunciation of the Bulgarians, who impeccably coped with the difficult language. The merit is of Richard Trimborn – an adherent of the legendary conductors Karajan, Sawallisch, Kleiber, who was charged with the musical training. Obviously the pure-blooded German didn’t listen attentively only to the notes, but also to the syllables and to the words. In spite of this, maestro Plamen Kartaloff has foreseen also subtitles. They are a deed of Prof. Ana Dimova and Yulia Krasteva. Congratulations deserve also the conductor Velizar Genchev, whose expert mastery gave its reflection in the musical training. The artistic lighting by Andrej Hajdinjak immersed the whole spectacle into mysterious colours.

Unfortunately, the politics were not in the hall of the Sofia Opera. Here was Georgi Yordanov – the cult Minister of Culture from the socialist epoch, who doesn’t miss a premiere. Missing weren’t also eminent musicians and connoisseurs – the virtuous pianist Antonia Boneva, Prof. Boyanka Arnaudova, representatives of the Wagner societies. The great Bulgarian opera prima Stefka Evstatieva has arrived from America and deservingly accepted congratulations. Kartaloff himself gave her many kisses and shared: “She was my Elisabeth in “Don Carlo”. Here was also Valeria Kartaloff – wife of the director, in the recent past – a wonderful opera performer. Valeria has succeeded to preserve untouched her appearance – slim, with perfect make-up, very elegant. The great opera director Vera Nemirova appeared with her mother – the opera artist from the recent past Sonja Nemirova. Both of them are for a short time in Bulgaria, that is why they don’t miss a spectacle at the Opera.

“Parsifal” is a work, which has been produced over and over again on the international stages, but we have to rediscover a new and our world in its interpretation – without seeking an approach to the German theatre of the everyday problems of today of the street or the day. We are attracted by the unearthly, divine burning in the spiritual and sparkling mystic of the plot”, said Kartaloff.

The spectacle continued six hours, but no one went away before the final. Acad. Plamen Kartaloff sets off for Italy right after the premiere, in order to produce “La Rondine” by Puccini. There is also another curious news: next year the collective of our first opera theatre will be guest-performer with Wagner at “Bolshoi Theatre” in Moscow.

Eliana Mitova