The Wagner Festival of the Sofia Opera begins with the premiere of "Lohengrin"
28 Mar 2024Sofia Opera and Ballet

The Wagner Festival of the Sofia Opera begins with the premiere of "Lohengrin"

Dear friends, we share with you our joy that the rehearsals of Richard Wagner's opera "Lohengrin" are now well underway. This is the last premiere of the Sofia Opera for this artistic season, and the production will be presented during the Wagner Festival this June. It is directed by Plamen Kartaloff and the premiere performances are on 13 and 23 June.

It is with a sense of inspiration, optimism and faith in you that we begin work on "Lohengrin", said Plamen Kartaloff at the very first meeting with the singers who will take the lead roles.

"We've been arranging these titles since 2010 until we combined all 7 into one festival cycle. Because of the huge interest, and also the confidence and self-belief from the fact that we have presented our Wagner on many big stages, I think the courage must continue."

For the new production, Plamen Kartaloff worked intensively with set designer Hans Kudlich, and they were joined in close collaboration by Sven Jonke and Gudrun Geiblinger.

"Lohengrin" is an opera of light. Lohengrin is the sun. The swans and knights are the carriers of positive, pure energy.

We will try to make a romantic spectacle that the audience can understand, and in this way work with the senses and energies of the main characters' relationships."

The conductor-producer of "Lohengrin" will be Constantin Trinks, who was on the stand for the new production of "Der Ring des Nibelungen" tetralogy at the Wagner Festival last year and was warmly welcomed by audiences and critics worldwide.

"I want to keep the whole bel canto tradition of the work as a clear bridge from the stage to the audience, so that the audience can safely perceive this legend.

In the seven productions so far, people have appreciated all our willingness to be as close to Wagner as possible and not do anything that is not understood. I want to give clear characters, clear relationships, Shakespearean contrasts, Shakespearean mise-en-scene, and have it all be a real psychological, emotion-filled, musical drama. A drama such as Wagner was a master of writing, thanks also to a fine text. The vocality of the work is very strong. This is an opera for the singers and for the audience."

"Lohengrin" is the eighth Wagner title to enter the repertoire of the Sofia Opera. Anna Tomowa-Sintow leads the vocal-stylistic training of the singers.

"My priority is to make "Lohengrin" with mostly Bulgarian singers," expressed his great desire Plamen Kartaloff, whose visionary thought will again find expression in the direction of "Lohengrin".

"Lohengrin" was first staged at the Sofia Opera in 1934 under the baton of Moisey Zlatin and in the stage realization of director Dragan Kardzhiev. The next production was in the late 1960s.

We look forward to the new production of "Lohengrin" with great anticipation, to experience the legend of the swan and this highest expression of the German romantic spirit in opera.

Lohengrin's soloists and production team:

In the main roles:
Lohengrin – Kostadin Andreev
Heinrich der Vogler - Stefan Vladimirov, Georgi Kirov
Elsa von Brabant – Tsvetana Bandalovska, Radostina Nikolaeva
Friedrich von Telramund – Ventseslav Anastasov, Thomas Weinhappel
Ortrud – Gabriela Georgieva, Mariana Zvetkova
The King’s Herald – Atanas Mladenov

Sofia Opera Orchestra and Chorus

Male Choir of the Bulgarian National Radio

Production team:
Conductors – Constantin Trinks /13.06./, Evan-Alexis Christ /23.06/
Director – Plamen Kartaloff
Set Designer – Hans Kudlich in collaboration with Sven Jonke and Gudrun Geiblinger
Costumes – Mario Dice
Lighting – Zach Blaine
Laser effects – Michael Sollinger
Sofia Opera Chorus Master – Violeta Dimitrova
Conductor of the Bulgarian National Radio Male Choir – Lyubomira Aleksandrova
Chorus consultant – Frank Flade
Assistant Conductor – Alexandra Lubchanski
Musical preparation – Yolanta Smolyanova (responsible accompanist), Paulo Almeida, Thomas Gribov

Technical services and studios of the Sofia Opera

  • Photo: Вагнеровият фестивал на Софийската опера започва с премиера на „Лоенгрин“
  • Photo: Вагнеровият фестивал на Софийската опера започва с премиера на „Лоенгрин“
  • Photo: Вагнеровият фестивал на Софийската опера започва с премиера на „Лоенгрин“
  • Photo: Вагнеровият фестивал на Софийската опера започва с премиера на „Лоенгрин“