Author: Rositsa Kavaldzhieva
Photo: Sofia National Opera and Ballet
The final performances of the "Muses on the Water" festival became the culmination of the summer season in the field of musicals – not one, but a series of evenings with completely sold-out stands on the stage of Lake Pancharevo.
The Sofia National Opera and Ballet can afford more than one strong cast of soloists, so it can perform its hit musical "Mamma Mia" with huge audience interest on 4 consecutive nights – from 24th to 27th August, 5 years after its premiere on the stage of the theatre. I would only add to my review since then that the production team's adaptation for the open stage at Lake Pancharevo is excellent, the impact there is even more magical, and the spectacle has matured like an expensive wine. And if I had to sum up my evening in one word, it was happiness. I felt happy. I felt the artists on stage happy. We all saw the director and Director of the Opera, Acad. Plamen Kartaloff happy when at the final songs and applause he arrived with one of the boats on stage, jumped, sang and danced with the artists. I empathised with the happiness of the people around me in the audience – and the little boy who followed the action with excitement and at the end said to his father "That's very cool!", and the young lady with a disability who, seated comfortably, expressed her gratitude to the Opera team and smiled happily, and the two lovely girls my daughter's age who took a selfie as a memento. Listen to what they shared after the performance in the audio file.
I also shared the experience with 10 businesswomen who were special guests of the Deputy Director of the Sofia National Opera and Ballet Hristina Staneva. Before the performance, together with them we had the special opportunity to meet the Director of the theatre and director of the production Acad. Plamen Kartaloff and to see the stage and the sets. At the interval we were invited to a fine cocktail reception and after the spectacle – to meet and take a photo for a souvenir with the stars on stage. I have been a guest at such a VIP event at the Masada Opera Festival in Israel and although on a much smaller scale here I was very pleased to recognise the same idea, style and class in the writing. Listen in the audio file to what two of the participants in our event – Irena Bushandrova and Lilia Stefanova shared.
It's wonderful when the audience wants to watch a spectacle over and over again! I found it very interesting and enjoyable to watch "Mamma Mia" with a new cast, in which the great Bulgarian musical star Vesela Delcheva shone again in the role of Sophie. Lyudmila Kozareva was a magnificent Donna, and the discovery for me was the soprano Silvana Pravcheva – fascinating in the role of Rosie, in a completely different from her usual line.
"The spectacle is really very interesting, very entertaining! We as performers are having much more fun than the audience, and in doing so we are transmitting our energy to them. It in turn returns our affection and applause, which is great for us! After singing a magnificent Wagner, we are now ending the season with "Mamma Mia" and we are really very happy" said Silvana Pravcheva after the performance.
Happiness was the word that sounded most often in my conversations with both performers and spectators. Let's wish a happy new 2023/2024 season to the Sofia National Opera and Ballet – for the company and for us – the audience!