On 4 and 20 February are the premiere performances of the new interpretation of Borodin’s classic work “Prince Igor”, reported from the Sofia Opera.
The spectacle is dedicated to the 110th Anniversary of Atanas Margaritov (1912-1998), who 11 years was Chief conductor of the Sofia Opera (1964-1975).
Stage director is Plamen Kartaloff and Set designer – Boris Stoynov. Costume designer is Svetla Kalaydzhieva, Choreographer – Asen Gavrilov. Conductor is Igor Bogdanov and Chorus master – Violeta Dimitrova.
On 4 February on the stage will appear Ventseslav Anastasov, Gabriela Georgieva, Ilya Selivanov, Stefan Dimitrov – for the first time in the role of Galitsky, Petar Buchkov, Vesela Yaneva, Rosen Nenchev, Dimitar Stanchev, Vetka Petkova, Angel Antonov, Silvana Pravcheva.
On 20 February the cast will be Veselin Mihaylov, Radostina Nikolaeva, Ilya Selivanov, Stefan Dimitrov, Angel Hristov, Vesela Yaneva, Rosen Nenchev, Dimitar Stanchev, Vetka Petkova, Angel Antonov, Silvana Pravcheva.
The new reading shows the lead character Prince Igor without the traditional clichés and presents before the spectators a different final with a strong impact, told from the Opera.
In Borodin’s musical and dramatical concept the prince isn’t the positive character, added Prof. Plamen Kartaloff. He is presented as a vainglorious, envious and haughty man, who sends his unprepared army to certain death in the name of his ill ambitions.
My main stimulus for a new, untraditional and brilliant final of the opera “Prince Igor” is based on three main arguments, added the stage director.
The first one is that the opera, written by Borodin more than 18 years, remained unfinished by its author. The last act was finished by Glazunov, supported by Rimsky-Korsakov’s orchestration.
The second is that my profound studies of the historical events, related to Prince Igor’s march against the Polovtsians in 1185, helped me to convince myself that in Borodin’s musical and dramatical concept Prince Igor is not the patriot, who merits a crowning with a chrism and epic “Glory” before the final curtain, like Glazunov presents him, said Kartaloff.
In the Hypatian Codex about Igor’s military march we shall find a very strong revelation by Igor for all his sins before the Christians and the pains he caused them. His act to take the field unprepared is sufficiently reckless, providing a shameful captivity not only for himself, but for thousands of others too, and the rest of his army was slaughtered. Because despite the warning with the “Sign of God” and the people’s supplications not to go to fight, Igor persistently decided that the moment was crucial for his mission”, said Kartaloff further.
After his words, the third argument for a brilliant final of the opera is the audacity to set about a new contemporary version of the final of the opera and this is the “necessity of a message to the spectator of today”. After a very careful study of the historical events, profoundly exploring and analysing the musical language of the scores, as well as the overall form of the dramaturgical lines of the opera, I had the striving Borodin’s opus to receive a real optimistic and logic final of its own, concluded Kartaloff.
He staged “Prince Igor” at the Sofia Opera in 2009. The production was presented in Japan in 2015 and was performed with success in Tokyo and Nagoya. It was presented at the most prestigious festival in Spain – Santander, as well as at the festival in Bydgoszcz, Poland.