History of Sofia's National Opera

In 1890, three Bulgarian musicians Dragomir Kazakov, Ivan Slavkov and Angel Bukoreshtliev organized the first opera troupe in Bulgaria as a branch of the "Sofia Drama and Opera Troupe". The performances - 12 whole operas and excerpts from 11 operas, with the participation of Bulgarians, Czechs and Italians accompanied by piano, the Guards Orchestra, the orchestra of the Sixth Infantry Regiment and people of the Italian Singing Society are accepted with unexpected success.

In May 1891, the drama department was established as a separate troupe "Tear and Laughter", and the opera - as the Sofia Bulgarian Opera. Due to financial difficulties and lack of state support, on October 1, 1892, a decree announced the disbandment of the troupe.

At the beginning of the 20th century, the interest gradually awoke again and the public was prepared for the creation of an opera in Sofia. Petko Naumov's article "Opera" marks the beginning of a long struggle "for" and "against" Bulgarian opera. His words in the newspaper "Den" / 1908 / sound prophetic - "More self-confidence, pessimistic gentlemen, more respect for the musicians, dedicated entirely to a work that will be the pride of Bulgaria."

Finally, opera fans take over. On October 18, 1908, the Bulgarian Opera Society performed its first rehearsal performance - excerpts from Gounod's Faust and Verdi's Troubadour. The company "Opera Druzhba" is officially registered in the names of Dragomir Kazakov, Konstantin Mihailov-Stoyan, Ivan Vulpe, Dimitar Popivanov and Stoyan Nikolov. Besides them, the troupe also includes Zlatka Kurteva, Bogdana Gyuzeleva-Vulpe, Mara Vasileva, Olga Orlova, Doichinka Kolarova, Zhelyu Minchev, Panayot Dimitrov, conductors Henrich Wisner, Alois Matsak, Todor Hadjiev, choirmasters Dobri Hristov and Konstantin. From the end of 1908 the formation of a full-time choir began.

On June 5, 1909, the first production of an entire opera was presented - "Clowns" by Leoncavallo. Along with works from world opera classics, the first Bulgarian operas are performed - "Poor Woman" by Emanuil Manolov, "Stone and Price" by Ivan Ivanov and Vaclav Kautsky, "Borislav" by Maestro Georgi Atanasov and "Tahir Begovitsa" by Dimitar Hadjigeorgiev.

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History of the National Ballet

The first ballet troupe in our country has a history of almost 90 years. So many years have passed since the first ballet performance in Bulgaria, which is considered the beginning of the ballet of the Sofia Opera. For less than a century, the artists dedicated to this art in our country have recorded achievements that only the greatest in dance can boast of. In addition to the contemporary repertoire, the troupe maintains a respectful portfolio of nearly 30 classic titles, considered the most difficult both financially and creatively. Among them are "The Hazelnut Crusher", "Swan Lake", "Giselle", "Don Quixote", "Bayaderka", "Kopelia", "Sleeping Beauty", "Romeo and Juliet", "The Lady with the Camellias", "Sheherazade". "Zorba the Greek", "Carmen", "Rhapsody in Blue", "Sylphide", "Cinderella" and others. According to this indicator, the ballet from Sofia can be compared with leading theaters such as the Bolshoi, Mariinsky, Grand Opera, Covent Garden.

Alumni of the Bulgarian school today are in leading positions in the world's largest troupes. Praise for the achievements of native ballet dancers comes from all over the globe. The troupe constantly collaborates with leading foreign choreographers and directors. Names such as Yuri Grigorovich, his alumnus Sergei Bobrov, Diana White, Kipling Houston, Irene Schneider, Sonia Alonso, Pavel Stalinski, Catherine Pouzin, Catherine Benets, worked with the most famous artists, compared the Bulgarian primi and prime soloists with the greatest, greatest recognized names of the dance.

The troupe's repertoire includes ballets with foreign directors such as "Antigone", "Electra" - S. Bobrov, many titles by George Balanchine, "Scheherazade", "Stepping Stones" - Catherine Pozin, "The Concert" - J. Robbins, "Slightly Raised in the Middle" - W. Forsythe, "Zorba the Greek" - L. Massine, "The Lady with the Camellias" - Irene Schneider and others.

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