Two weeks remain until the start of Orlin Anastassov's first master class at the Sofia Opera
23 May 2023Sofia Opera and Ballet

Two weeks remain until the start of Orlin Anastassov's first master class at the Sofia Opera

A special award for the most outstanding participant in the master class will be presented by Academician Plamen Kartaloff. Due to increased interest, the application deadline has been extended to 29 May.

Orlin Anastassov is an artist with a worldwide career who made his debut on the opera stage at a very young age. His creative path began headlong in the biggest theatres and with the most significant roles in the bass repertoire. At the beginning of June, Anastassov will be in Sofia for 2 weeks for various initiatives.

“This will be my first master class at the Sofia Opera. I am happy and thankful for this invitation because this is the theatre where I started. In January it will be twenty-five years since I made my debut in Don Carlos as Philip II. I have gained serious experience during these years, which I will try to pass on to my young colleagues. I want to help them with things that are harder for a person to discover or there is no one to tell them. Sometimes these are small details that though small are important. If needed, let us talk about style, about pronunciation, correct cadence of the phrase, accents. The master class will be from 3 to 7 June, and there will be a gala concert on 8 June. The class is not for beginning singers. I see no point in me wasting their time and them mine. I want the level to be high and it will be. But there is no age limit. There will be interesting voices, there will be singers from abroad, as there are already requests. The deadline for registration is the end of May. Everything can be read on the website of the Sofia Opera. /

I do a lot of master classes in different conservatories in Europe. I was invited to the Wexford Festival in September. Every year I am in Georgia, at the Iași Conservatory in Romania. Next year I will be at the New York City Opera. It gives me great pleasure.”

For the first time, Sofia will host a preliminary tour of the major international singing competition “Voci Verdiane”.

The audition will be on 12 and 13 June at the Sofia Opera, which is also the host of the event.

“This is the fifty-ninth edition of “Voci Verdiane” – a very prestigious competition. I am exceptionally happy that I was invited by the new management of the competition to participate in the selection of young singers from Bulgaria and neighbouring countries, for Georgia and the whole region there. We will be here with Academician Kartaloff and Matteo Pais, who is in the organizing committee. But in Georgia I will be alone. This is a great responsibility and at the same time a compliment. Apparently they associate me with the Verdi repertoire, which has always occupied 95% of my repertoire. We have grandiose plans for next year with them, but the time has not come to reveal them. The contest is phenomenal and I can say that because I know all the contests. From this year they start with an innovative element. The final tour will also be working with a director, because they want to evaluate the singers not only according to their vocal abilities, but also according to how they react to working with a director. One does not need to be a phenomenal voice. It is possible to make an impression with acting presence and get good proposals. During the competition, the jury consists of six or seven members, and the final is attended by thirty, forty artistic directors from all over the world. Huge opportunities are opening up for young performers.”

For several years, Orlin Anastassov has been organizing a singing academy at Boris Christoff 's house in Rome.

“I made a proposal that was accepted by the Ministry of Culture. We have changed the regulation, which currently offers work with famous pedagogues twice for two months during the year. Usually it's January, February and then July, August. The project is running very well. We have ideas for enriching the project by introducing new disciplines. I'm very happy and I hope it continues. This year's course will now end. They had very good performances last year. Within the month of August alone, we had twelve or thirteen dates for concerts and opera spectacles. At the Massa Maritima festival, some of the boys debuted in Otello, La traviata. This is a great classwork with which they have the opportunity to participate in many concerts. We already have six concerts scheduled for this year, but we continue working. There are always proposals and I try to find as much room as possible. At each of these concerts or spectacles, I invite people to come and listen. You never know what might come out of the blue.”

Among his many commitments, Orlin Anastassov also finds time for something new in his career – directing. After several productions in Italy and Bulgaria, Orlin is preparing a very serious production.

“We are preparing a very large production of Attila by Verdi, a co-production between ten theatres on four different continents. It all starts in Georgia. The premiere will be at the beginning of April next year. I hope we will be able to show it in Bulgaria as well, because the plan is for this production to be seen by as many people as possible. In Georgia, the government and institutions care a lot about culture. When there are projects that are prestigious for them and show Georgian art, and when they can show it in Italy, for them it is something very special and the state sponsors everything. The premiere of Attila will be with Georgian singers. The main part of Attila will be sung by a Georgian bass singer whom I discovered two years ago and within these two years he already has a worldwide career. He has already sung twice at the Rossini Festival, three times at the Opera di Roma, at San Carlo in Naples. His name is Giorgi Manoshvili. He sang a Georgian song at a concert and then we met. To me, this is the most beautiful bass in the world right now. He is phenomenal. The tenor will be Aquiles Machado, who is the artistic director of the La Coruña Opera and wants to show the whole spectacle there, so we are doing this partnership. Odabella will be a young soprano, a 29-year-old Georgian with Armenian roots, Marina Shardinarova, who won the Mirella Freni prize for best soprano at the Nicolai Ghiaurov competition in Modena. The cast will be very impressive.

At the end of the conversation, Orlin shared that in January 2024 he will celebrate 25 years on stage with a special gala evening at the Sofia Opera. The surprises remain for the spectators and lovers of opera.