HIGHLIGHTS IN THE PROGRAM OF THE FESTIVAL OF THE OPERA AND BALLET ARTS – STARA ZAGORA
17 November – 2 December 2022
The Festival of the Opera and Ballet Arts is among the oldest artistic forums of the opera and ballet arts in Bulgaria. It was founded in the distant 1967 under the name December Music Days.
In the history of the Festival memorable are the guest-performances of opera theaters and ballet troupes from Prague, Parma, Bratislava, Lodz, and Gdansk, Kishinev, Belgrade, Skopje, Moscow, Saint Petersburg, Budapest, Havana, Copenhagen, Paris, the names of Nikolay Gyaurov, Nikola Gyuzelev, Nikola Nikolov, Kaludi Kaludov, Kamen Chanev, Stefka Mineva, Hristina Angelakova, Aleksandrina Milcheva, Veselina Kazarova, Tsvetelina Vasileva, by conductors Asen Naydenov, Dimitar Manolov, Boris Hinchev, Rositsa Batalova, Rosen Milanov, Emil Tabakov.
In today’s world marked by many and dramatic trials, the Festival of the Opera and ballet Arts – Stara Zagora continues to stand by its responsible mission, as a place of humanistic messages, achievements and horizons of opportunities. This year’s program impresses with its rich type, genre and style diversity.
Following the tradition the opening of the Festival on 17 November and a repetition on 18 November, is the premiere of the Opera-host – FAUST /Opera with Puppets/ by Charles Gounod. The staging decision, keeping to the powerful tradition of Classicism and Romanticism, adds suggestions of contemporary elements. It treats such eternal themes like temptation, vanity and personal choice. The spectacle is brought into a large courtroom where verdicts are announced. The puppets, with their expressive effect, are a contradictory image of the beautiful and the ugly, which surround the human world. The message of the spectacle is that in his life every person has to fit in his own basic moral and life values because of the deformities, which the element of life offers to him.
The author’s spectacle by the pianist Svetozar Ivanov, scheduled for 19 November, THE MYSTERY OF SILENCE contains a collection of multi-media and dance miniatures, inspired by the music of different composers and poets. Svetozar Ivanov is from Stara Zagora and after finishing his music education in the National Music Academy “Prof. Pancho Vladigerov”, he worked in the Universities of Michigan and South Florida. In the author’s work are entwined different arts – documentary and experimental films, animation, poetry, dance, streaming.
The audience will meet on 20 November with yet another author’s dance spectacle, EIGHT of the young Aleksandra Dragova, who is among the awarded talents by the Foundation “Dimitar Berbatov”. It researches the idea of time as an illusion of the mind. The finale is decided in the style of the Indian mantra. The mantra is a symbol of the silent communication among people, notwithstanding their race, religion and or other characteristics of human nature.
The concert 60 YEARS SOFIA SOLOISTS on 21 November celebrates the significance of the famous ensemble for the national and world music culture. “Sofia Soloists” is one of its kind laboratory for performance and popularization of the classical and contemporary Bulgarian and world music. Under the baton of Georgi Patrikov the ensemble will present works, which have marked its achievements throughout the years. The central place of the program is the vocal cycle “Illuminations” by Britten, inspired by the eponymous work by Arthur Rimbaud, performed by the soprano Simona Kodeva.
On 23 November the admirers of the chamber vocal music will meet with the art of the ensemble SUONUS ALBANICUS /The Voices of Albania/. The talented performers are graduates of the University for the Arts in Tirana. They, with special participation of Besa llugiqi, will present to the audience some of the most significant works of the Albanian culture, the traditional city and folklore music, performed with elegance and style.
25 and 26 November are dedicated to classical ballet with the most representable titles from the repertoire of the Stara Zagora State Opera, THE NUTCRACKER and SWAN LAKE by Tchaikovsky. For the first time in the recent history of the opera-host they will be presented in their utter brilliance – to the accompaniment of an orchestra, under the baton of Ivaylo Krinchev.
On 27 27 the audience will meet with the young talents at the Gala Concert from the MASTERCLASS of KALUDI KALUDOV. The great Bulgarian tenor has accumulated many years of pedagogical practice in the training of singers from Bulgaria, Ukraine, Poland, Finland, Italy, China…
28 November is the day for one of the most significant titles in the opera literature, which is performed relatively rarely in Bulgaria – The Queen of Spades by Tchaikovsky by the Varna State Opera, in the production of Vera Nemirova. The eminent Bulgarian director presents a decision in the style of the psychological drama. Together with the impressive music to the classical text by Pushkin, the production of “The Queen of Spades” brings its social messages as well, according to which in the world of the rich, an ordinary man has no place or the right to love.
On 29 November Ballet “Arabesque” will guest- perform its latest production – TRIPTYCH – /INFINITY, MARE CRISIUM, PART OF…/. The spectacle assembles in itself the ideas and the creative energy of three leading choreographers: Angelina Gavrilova, Arshak Galumyan and Filip Milanov. They boldly master the dance art, sensitive and aspiring to success. In “Triptych” the three choreographers are characterized by a unique and colorful language, based both on the contemporary dance techniques and theater methods. The spectacle excites in a delicate way, with physical and emotional depth.
The final of the Opera and Ballet Arts – Stara Zagora, on 2 December, will be presented by the Sofia Opera and Ballet with the latest Bulgarian work in its repertoire – UNCLES. The production is dedicated to the 100th anniversary of the birth of Lazar Nikolov. The director Academician Plamen Kartalov shares that in the opera-satire based on the eponymous novellete by Ivan Vazov and the dramatization by Metodi Andonov, parody and the humorous characteristic appear as expression in the aspects of the literary and musical languages. In the music and the text, in the context of the time when they were written, we can call them an avant-garde phenomenon.
By tradition, the festival presents a rich accompanying program. The basic accent in it is the presentation of creative artists in different from their usual roles. On 17 November in the lobby of the Opera the Exhibition of Paintings by Micho Dimitrov will be opened.
On 29 November the Publishing House “Siela” will present Nayden Todorov as an author of a collection of stories Breath of Angels.
With care for the children’s audience and with reference to the premiere of the opera “Faust” there will an exhibition of exponents – puppets given by the audience MY PUPPET – MY FAIRY-TALE WORLD. It will be specially presented in the lobby during the interval at the opening of the Festival on 17 November.
Two events of retrospective character will present significant facts in our national culture. On 21 November will be opened the retrospective exhibition 50 YEARS SOFIA MUSIC WEEKS, created by the House-Museum “Pancho Vladigerov” and the International Festival “Sofia Music Weeks”. Photos present the history of the first capital-city festival. On 30 November in the hall of the Regional Library “Zahariy Knyazeski” in the creative meeting 80 YEARS DANCE DRAMA “THE FIRE WALKER” Lili Goleminova will present performers in the most important productions of the work by Marin Goleminov: Kalina Bogoeva, Vera Kirova, Snezhana Deskova, Silviya Tomova and Aneliya Dimitrova. There will be shown unique extracts from the Golden Fund of the Bulgarian National Television.
The festival is organized by the State Opera – Stara Zagora, the Association “Board of the Stara Zagora Opera” and with the support of the Municipality of Stara Zagora, the Ministry of Culture and the National Fund “Culture”.
The tickets of the Festival, with prices between 20 and 40 leva, are already on sale at the box offices of the opera in Stara Zagora, Sliven and Haskovo, both online and at the address : https://operasz.bg/ To facilitate the spectators, the organizers offer an opportunity of buying cards as well: INTEGRAL – 200 leva; BALLET – 90 leva; OPERA AND CONCERTS – 120 leva.