The most often performed musical of all times – “Les Misérables” returned on the stage of the Sofia Opera after one and a half year of interruption because of the extraordinary pandemic circumstances. In four evenings in succession, from 26 to 29 June, the revolutionary spirit of France conquered the Opera, and the characters from Victor Hugo’s emblematic novel raised barricades to raise voice and fight against injustice. They waved the red flags of revolution, believing that a society could be created, based on social justice, in which people won’t be exploited by those, who possess power and money.
The musical was created by Alain Boublil and Claude-Michel Schönberg, and in Bulgaria it was produced by the stage director Plamen Kartaloff under the baton of the Russian Maestro Igor Bogdanov. The artists, as well as the spectators, experienced a real catharsis during more than 3 hours. The feeling from the spectacle is shaking, impressing, very effective and very, very emotional.
A complex musical, filled in with dramatism and majesty, and the actors, who more than one year were dreaming to come back with “Les Misérables”, were radiating unique energy. And during the four evenings the audience filled in the main hall of the Sofia Opera, despite the still allowed 50%, but the wild reactions and applauses of the spectators created the sensation that the hall was overcrowded to the utmost limit.
“Les Misérables” – an eternal, multi-layer epopee about the moral dilemmas of the human being, came to life still in 2019 and reaped enormous success. The stage director Maestro Plamen Kartaloff interweaves a virtuoso action and dynamics: skilfully changing scenes, contrast episodes, growth in movement of the characters, interaction of lyrical and dramatical angles.
“I am convinced and I believe that the production gives chance to the spectator from all ages in the hall to participate as if by his own and personally in the action and to identify himself with his emotions in similar ones with those of the characters and the events from the stage. And today with full power are valid these conditions in circumstances and behaviour in our life”, shared the Director of the Sofia Opera.
“Les Misérables” proves that for the ideals there is no age, and the little Gavroche in the performance of the 9-years old Vladimir Ilisavskiy and his little brothers are the example, which fills in the barricade with fascination. There the underdogs are longing for freedom and fraternity, they throw themselves heroically in the fight and meet death with dignity. “My barricades are my artists. This revolutionary scope, with the scenes of the barricades, in one metaphorical plan refers also to our modern times – that youth and fire of revolution must be in every soul”, shared Acad. Kartaloff.
“It is not terrible to die, it is terrible not to live”, says the lead character Jean Valjean – the convict, sentenced for theft, who is searching a new path in life, performing noble actions and protecting the underdogs. In the role is the wonderful actor and singer Vladimir Mihaylov, who in the character of Jean Valjean reveals all multi-layer aspects of his talent – as psychological dramatism, as well as as vision.
Vlado Mihaylov’s character performs the young convict, as well as the already grown wise and old Jean Valjean, by that with grey hair the actor is really unrecognizable. But in all the character’s personifications is felt an enormous energy and artistic charge of the talented actor.
His worthy rivals on the stage are the asses in acting and music – the actor Atanas Srebrev and the jazz singer Orlin Pavlov, who perform the role of the police inspector Javert – a policeman loyal to the law, who all the time persecutes Jean Valjean and reminds him that he will always be sinful. But something gives in in the raw soul of Atanas Srebrev’s and Orlin Pavlov’s characters, because inspector Javert, all of a sudden, sees in the convict the merciful and compassionate man, who has the right to redeem his sins.
The spectators become witnesses of the catharsis of the characters on the background of the shaking musical performances. Bright and emotional is the personification of the singer Vesela Delcheva in the role of the poor Fantine, who does her best to take care of her little Cosette. The role of the child is performed by the wonderful Angelina Dencheva and Iva Somleva.
“For the first time I am present at such a super musical and in the moment I am still in a magical reverie from the experienced! In your country you can be very proud that you are in condition by these isolations recently to realize something so grandiose and captivating in modern art! I am from France and I was amazed by the so artistically depicted reality from such old times, which you have presented with an exceptionally contemporary sounding! My delight with the magical music and the unearthly voices, which we heard tonight, cannot be described!”, shared after the end of one of the spectacles Filipine from France.
Photos: Svetoslav Nikolov-Chapi