The first specialized forum for opera and ballet in Bulgaria was founded in 1967 as December Music Evenings, and in 1973 it was renamed as Festival of the Opera and Ballet Arts. From 1974 to 1989, the National Review of the Opera and Ballet Arts was held within its framework. The social changes after 1989 and the fire in the Opera building in 1991 caused three interruptions of the Festival in 1990, 2010 and 2013.

In the last years, the Festival has maintained a regular international participation as well, with the presentation of unknown or rarely performed titles in Bulgaria. In 2017, the New Belgrade Opera guest-performed ”L’Orfeo” by Monteverdi. In 2018 the National Opera and Ballet of North Macedonia – Skopje guest-performed “The Barber of Seville” by Rossini. This year two ensembles will guest-perform at the Festival: Opera Baltic from Gdansk will present the rarely performed work ”Thais” by Massenet on 27 November under the baton of Brazilian conductor Jose Maria Florencio. In the leading roles, the spectators will see Besa Llugiqi /Kosovo/, Marcin Bronikowski, Ivaylo Mihaylov. The National Orchestra of the Conservatories of Italy on 28 November will perform a concert program whose accent are fragments from relatively unpopular Italian operas. The concert will be conducted by Alessandro Pinzauti.

The newest spectacle of the opera “Falstaff” by Verdi of the Plovdiv State Opera will be the finishing accord of the festival days and evenings on 7 December under the baton of the eminent Bulgarian conductor with a respectable international career Pavel Balev, with the special participation of the world renowned opera singers Kiril Manolov and Mariana Pencheva .