"Lohengrin" is an opera of light and optimism, according to Acad. Plamen Kartaloff
Photo: Представяне на „Лоенгрин“ в Софийската опера и балет, снимка – Даниел Димитров/БТА / Photo: Presentation of Lohengrin at the Sofia Opera and Ballet, photo – Daniel Dimitrov/BTA
05 Jun 2024BTA

"Lohengrin" is an opera of light and optimism, according to Acad. Plamen Kartaloff

"Lohengrin" is an opera of light and optimism. This said Acad. Plamen Kartaloff today, presenting the premiere spectacle with the music of Wagner, which on 13 June opens the Wagner Festival in Sofia.

"This is a composer who says everything – like a prophet, because his music is prophetic, about the future. He makes a leap into the future, into time – so that he can open the hearts and souls of people who will look to a world creation in a way that they themselves will express their attitude and need. I had this need to give it to the artists and to the whole opera, and to the world. And I think we succeeded," said Acad. Kartaloff.

"What moves me is that this composer, as a musician, as a playwright, as a lyricist, has captivated me. I found in every bar a piece of a soulfulness and an expression of me in how I would visualize his music - from the score to the stage. My attitude and need is that we, collectively, together, make a Wagner theatre on our soil," said the director of the Sofia Opera and Ballet.

He said that for nearly half a year Anna Tomowa-Sintow has been working mostly online with the singers. "I invited her because there is no other interpreter and colleague of our artists more philosophically committed to this music. She worked effectively with our performers, sometimes for six or seven hours a day," explained Acad. Kartaloff.

He pointed out that the Sofia Opera has the help and support of the Bulgarian National Radio (BNR). "A theatre with its chorus of 60 people cannot cope with this title, so we have an increased chorus," said acad. Kartaloff.

"We are honoured to be part of this premiere and to work together with, dare I say, the most prestigious cultural institution in Bulgaria in recent years, without, in any way, belittling the achievements of all our colleagues from operas, philharmonics, theatres and other cultural institutions. But the successes of the Sofia Opera and Ballet are indisputable. In recent years the opera has not only filled its halls. The opera has come out into the open. The opera has gone abroad. The opera is a shining example of Bulgarian cultural diplomacy that brings good news for Bulgaria all over the world," said BNR Director General Milen Mitev.

"Lohengrin" is the reason I am a conductor. It grabbed me when I was 11 years old. The first time I heard it, I was just giddy. That was my inspiration to get into music. So today I am very grateful to be part of this team," said Constantin Trinks, conductor of the spectacle.

"For me, the most important thing in an opera is to be the composer's best advocate and to present the opera in the best way. My job is to work with the team I have in the best way – so that no one is exposed and we present what we imagine the composer had in mind," he added.

Set designer Hans Kudlich said the key word on working on this spectacle was "teamwork, teamwork, albeit of a small team".

The first production of "Lohengrin" on the stage of the National Opera was directed by Dragan Kardjiev, then in the 1960s it was directed by Mihail Hadjimishev, recalled Acad. Kartaloff.

As BTA reported, the production of "Lohengrin" is by Plamen Kartaloff. Conductors are Constantin Trinks (13 June) and Evan-Alexis Christ (23 June), chorus master is Violeta Dimitrova, scenography – Hans Kudlich, in collaboration with Sven Jonke, Gudrun Geiblinger, Nela Stoyanova, Kristian Stoyanov. The costumes are by Mario Dice.

In the roles are Kostadin Andreev – Lohengrin, Tsvetana Bandalovska and Radostina Nikolaeva – Elsa von Brabant, Gabriela Georgieva, Mariana Zvetkova – Ortrud, Ventseslav Anastasov and Thomas Weinhappel as Friedrich von Telramund, Stefan Vladimirov and Georgi Kirov as Heinrich der Vogler, Kalin Dushkov as Duke Gottfried, Atanas Mladenov as Royal Herald. In "Lohengrin" takes part the orchestra and chorus of the Sofia Opera and the Male Choir of the Bulgarian National Radio, conducted by Lyubomira Aleksandrova.