Highlights of the Sofia Opera autumn season October – December 2023
06 Oct 2023Sofia Opera and Ballet

Highlights of the Sofia Opera autumn season October – December 2023

Амадис Галски 

“Amadigi di Gaula”
12, 13 October

An unusual and interesting start to the artistic season is the performance of the Baroque opera “Amadigi di Gaula” – a magical love story set to music by Georg Friedrich Händel. This is Handel's fifth “Italian” opera and the second he wrote for the third Earl of Burlington while visiting the nobleman's home. Dramatic twists, fantastic digital imagery and 3Dmapping will show the beauty of Baroque music. We will see an international cast of young singers in the lead roles – Rafał Tomkiewicz, Rumyana Kostova, Carlotta Colombo, Margherita Maria Sala. The artistic director of this project is Zefira Valova – a violinist with European recognition in the field of baroque music making.

“Amadigi di Gaula” will also have its version for children, which will be presented on 29 October.

„Зорба гъркът“

“Zorba the Greek”
20, 21, 22 October and 12 November

With the music for the film “Zorba the Greek”, Mikis Theodorakis became a world-famous composer and the greatest figure in Greek music. The legendary actor Anthony Quinn takes on the character of Alexis Zorba and dances Theodorakis's famous sirtaki in the film from 1964. The film is based on the novel by another famous Greek, Nikos Kazantzakis, winner of nine Nobel Prize nominations for literature and the most translated Greek writer. A year after the premiere, the soundtrack was released with music by Mikis Theodorakis, which 24 years later the famous Lorca Massine turned into a brilliant choreography. The ballet, in 2 acts and 22 scenes, was first performed on 6 August 1988 on the stage of the Arena di Verona. The production has been performed all over the world, touching the hearts and souls of all who see it.

In Bulgaria the work was staged by Lorca Massine himself and premiered on 12 May 1995 on the stage of the National Palace of Culture. The spectacle is one of the most successful productions in the ballet history of the Sofia Opera and Ballet and is always performed to packed houses.

The long-awaited return of “Zorba the Greek” to the Sofia Opera is on 20, 21, 22 October and 12 November.

Festive concert
100 years of the Day of the Bulgarian National Enlighteners
1 November, 19 h

On 1 November the Sofia Opera will celebrate the Day of the Bulgarian National Enlighteners. We will pay tribute to the work of the Bulgarian enlighteners, scribes and revolutionaries and to the great Bulgarians – builders of modern Bulgaria.

The soloists, orchestra and chorus of the Sofia Opera will take part in a festive concert conducted by Zhorzh Dimitrov.

“Мадам Бътерфлай” от Джакомо Пучини

“Madama Butterfly”
17 November, /19 h/

The first premiere of the new artistic season will be of “Madama Butterfly” by Giacomo Puccini. One of the most moving characters in Puccini's oeuvre – that of the little Japanese woman Cio-Cio-San – moves the spectators with the power of love and hope. Puccini's perfect music tells of the far eastern world and its traditions.

This artistic season marks the 165th anniversary of Giacomo Puccini's birth and the 100th anniversary of his death. The Sofia Opera will join the world's most prestigious theatres in celebrating these two anniversaries.

On 17 November the main roles will be performed by Iordanka Derilova, Rosen Nenchev and Kiril Manolov, and the conductor is Andrey Galanov. The production is the work of a South Korean team, which has already offered its vision during the summer festival in Belogradchik.

“The Nutcracker”
29, 30 November
22, 23, /11 h and 19 h/ 26 December /11 h/

At the end of November begin the pre-Christmas spectacles of “The Nutcracker”, Tchaikovsky's fairytale ballet that tells the story of a little girl waiting in vain for her Christmas present on the festive night. The performances will continue on the eve of the most wonderful holidays of the year 22 and 23 December, as well as the day after Christmas – on 26 December. In the main roles we will see the prima ballerinas Marta Petkova and Boryana Petrova.

“Mamma Mia!”
2 and 3 December /14 h and 19 h/

We will start the holiday month of December with great mood and the musical “Mamma Mia!” After a spectacular outdoor summer season, “Mamma Mia!” will now welcome the audience into the cozy hall with the memory of the hot summer and the rhythm of the timeless music of “ABBA”.

“La bohème”
15, 16, /19 h/, 17 December /16 h/

A few days before Christmas the Sofia Opera will present three performances of one of the most popular and most frequently performed operas – “La bohème” by Giacomo Puccini. The tragic love story of Mimì and Rodolfo leaves no spectator indifferent, and Puccini's delightful melodies continue to sound after the curtain falls. The Italian maestro Paolo Andreoli will conduct all three performances on 15, 16, 17 December.

29, 30, 31 December – New Year Gala Concert

Traditionally, at the end of the year the Sofia Opera invites its friends and admirers to an unforgettable New Year Gala Concert. On the eve of the New Year 2024 the soloists, ballet, orchestra and chorus of the Sofia Opera will take part in a specially prepared spectacle.

The programme for the three concerts remains secret until the last minute to immerse the audience in an exciting anticipation and joyful spending of the last hours of the old year. On 29, 30, 31 December in the festively decorated hall of the theatre we will send off 2023 together and wish each other goodbye in 2024.


Chamber Concerts Cycle

From 24 October in the Main Hall of the Sofia Opera begins a cycle of 3 chamber concerts based on an idea by the eminent Bulgarian pianist Lyudmil Angelov. He will partner the Swiss mezzo-soprano Marie-Claude Chappuis, who is an outstanding interpreter of baroque and pre-classical music, and on 7 December, together with Ludmil Angelov, the remarkable Turkish tenor Bülent Bezdüz will give a chamber concert. Bülent is the first Turkish opera singer to win a Grammy Award. The first concert will feature a special performance by Alexandrina Pendatchanska, and in the third and final concert in May 2024 the world-renowned singer Krassimira Stoyanova will be a special guest.

Intensive and interesting programme for young opera and ballet admirers

The Chamber Hall of the Sofia Opera opens its doors for the spectacles for the youngest audience this season. “The Lost Princess”, “Winnie-the-Pooh” and “Cinderella”, “Das Rheingold”, “Die Zauberflöte” and “Shegobishko”, “Hänsel und Gretel” and “Little Red Riding Hood”, as well as the new title “The Grumpy Goat” are waiting for your children for new experiences and entertainment. Early next year we will also celebrate the 10th birthday of Concerts for Babies, dedicated to our youngest audiences.