Under strict observance of all pandemic requirements, Sofia Opera and Ballet offered to its loyal audience in February a unique programme from the opera and ballet titles, favourite for the music lovers from the Capital. Among them stood out the chance to be seen four spectacles of the musical “MAMMA MIA!”, which had unparallel success on Sofia stage. For the spectators of all ages, in Saturday and Sunday /13 and 14 February/ in the forenoon and evening hours were performed spectacles, which reaped enormous success!
The spectacle on 13 February for the next time in succession exploded the hall with unceasing applauses, and at the end the audience turned into an active participant in the performance, rhythmicizing with applauses and accompanying its favourite performers! This presentation of the genial work of the favourite of several generations Benny Andersson and Björn Ulvaeus was with the participation of the having turned into favourites in their roles actors, and in this spectacle too, they demonstrated conquering inspiration and full devotion at the recreation of their characters. “MAMMA MIA!” is really a peak achievement of the Director of the Sofia Opera and Ballet Acad. Plamen Kartaloff, who took brilliantly advantage of his right of creative freedom in his own reading of the famous musical! In his interpretation of the original plot, he achieved the presentation of a highly moving story! And as he himself says: “All songs of ABBA I am turning into a theatre of situations and scenes, in which the audience won’t stay as at a pop concert, but it will take actively part in the action … It will be a moving spectacle, because I require from the actors to speak, act, sing and dance with their full naturality and devotion, passion and professionalism. We all build together personages, which make their characters strong, emotionally affecting, alive and contemporary.”
Vesela Delcheva, again and again, was the charming and life-giving Sophie, presenting on the stage not only her boundless vocal potential, but also demonstrating exceptional plastic and choreographic abilities! Edelina Krasteva showed ascending mastering of the role of Donna, entrusted to her, at that this evening her velvet soprano and her exceptionally impressive representation of the dramatism and emotional transports of the mother had a strong effect upon the audience! Orlin Goranov for the next time in succession was unimpeachable and gave a lot of of himself in the still more conquering presentation of his character Sam! Aleksandar Georgiev /Bill/ and Simeon Vladov /Harry/ were charming and ingenious as before in the interpretation of their characters! Elena Stoyanova /Tanya/ for the next time in succession impressed with her vocal possibilities and her plastic culture! All the rest of the soloists Radoslav Vladimirov /Sky/, Boyan Arsov /Pepper/, Georgi Dzhanov /Eddie/, Marina Dragomiretskaya /Ali/, Tsvetelina Kotseva /Lisa/, Plamen Granjean /Priester/ took part in the spectacle with their inherent ardour, temperament and charming feeling of improvisation!
We should not spare our admirations for the perfect music making of the orchestra under the baton of Svetoslav Lazarov, as well as for Riolina Topalova’s choreography and the musical training of the ensemble under the direction of Violeta Dimitrova!
On 13 February, after the spectacle was celebrated the 60th Anniversary of one of the first ladies of the Musical Theatre Denitsa Shopova. In her artistic career so far, she was remembered with her unforgettable transforming in the roles of the Story Teller in “Joseph and The Amazing Technicolor Dreamcoat”, Maria Magdalena in “Jesus Christ Superstar”, Evita, Demeter in “Cats”, Norma Desmond in “Sunset Boulevard”. In “MAMMA MIA!” she gave her artistic contribution in the role of the comically presented Aunt Rosie, inputting her inherent temperament. In her performance, besides her bravura vocal qualities, were shown also her former devotion to the art of choreography!
After the unceasing applauses at the end of the spectacle, Denitsa Shopova was congratulated on the occasion her anniversary on behalf of the Director of Sofia Opera and Ballet Acad. Plamen Kartaloff, by receiving a special plaquette and flowers from the team of the Opera. Baskets with flowers the heroine of the anniversary received from the President Rumen Radev, from the Director of the Musical Theatre Mariana Arsenova and from friends and colleagues of hers.
After the end of this unforgettable spectacle, we asked the well-known actress Tatyana Lolova about her impression from the experienced. She was exceptionally delighted by the production and shared: “What we experienced tonight from the spectacle of “MAMMA MIA!” returned to me the hope that it was worthy for me to be born and deal with art! I am happy that at the meeting with such actors and with such staging I can enjoy them, applaud them and from all my heart to wish them new successes! How pleasant it is to live with such actors against you, to get in touch with them, with those, who with their humanity and art inflame in us the desire to live! You are wonderful!
I am a secret admirer of the opera since the age of 6, and when I was awarded my diploma for actor, I went to the Ruse Theatre, because at that time it had a wonderful opera company and my whole free time I was spending at the Ruse Opera.
I had beside me a beautiful colleague, who once decided to surprise me and during one opera spectacle he asked me unexpectedly: “Your ticket?” Then I tried in confusion to answer something, and he edifyingly snapped: “No, you don’t have a ticket!” Then I pulled myself together and I replied curtly: “No, I don’t need a ticket!”
And today’s spectacle of “MAMMA MIA!” was amazing! I was thinking that this was for example your fifth performance, and you told me that it was the 63th?! Well, how is it possible for you to be so fresh, so life-giving, so wonderful!!! I embrace you on behalf of everybody and on behalf of my friends, who were with me tonight!
When I was 29, I went to Mrs. Elisaveta Jovovich to become a singer. She got me into voice and said: “O, you have a wonderful soprano!” I, however, asked: “Am I not a mezzo-soprano?” She nodded: “One moment!” Then she proved me in the lower register and in no time she said again: “O, you have a wonderful mezzo-soprano!”
In Paris after some time we met again with her and I apologized to her that I had put an end to my career of a singer, because I found that at this age it was late to become an opera singer yet. But here it is that at my age of today I still have desire to be in the world of art! You are doing today a lot for your audience, which is a little bit tortured and is almost thinking that there will be no life on this planet any more. Since you are able to create such a spectacle, this means that life will continue and we shall have the possibility to embrace each other again without fear and we shall charge ourselves with the joy that we have melt into one another!”
After this intriguing interview with Tatyana Lolova, we asked other spectators about their impression from the experienced too.
Here are their comments:
Vera Nedkova: “I am delighted by this performance! We are very excited! I have watched this spectacle for a second time and everything seemed to me still steadier, more harmonical and more impressive! This was an indescribable pleasure for me and for the people around us. You are splendid!”
Stela Petrova: “I am highly moved too! This performance was a present for me from my cousin! Everything was wonderful, given the final touch, and the actors were really not sparing themselves on the stage! By you everything is wonderfully organized! The hall was prepared precisely according to the imposed anti-pandemic requirements! And this is an exceptional respect for the audience!”
Tina Trifonova: “It was marvellous! This spectacle gives a new life to ABBA’s music! It gives possibility to the youngest generations to feel it in a new way!”
Elisaveta Vladova: “The lyrics of the songs are translated wonderfully! The spirit of the musical is preserved, although it is adapted according to the tastes and the inclination of the Bulgarian audience, of the young people!”
Desislava Deliyska: “I would add that I am watching “MAMMA MIA!” for the third time. And every time the experience is fantastic! Incredible acting and vocal perfection of your unique actors! You should be proud of your art!”