Sofia Opera and Ballet is a cultural institution on a national scale. The Opera is one of Sofia’s most recognizable architectural landmarks. It is located near St. Alexander Nevsky Square in the city center. The structure is designed in a neoclassical style. It is a popular venue not just for opera and ballet, but also for many congresses and festivals.
The Capital Opera and Drama Company formed Bulgaria’s first opera company in 1890. The Salza I Smyah theater company and the Capital Bulgarian Opera were formed after the two groups divided in 1891. However, it was dismantled the next year due to a lack of government financing and financial issues.
In 1908, the Bulgarian Opera Society was founded. Pagliacci by Leoncavallo was the first complete opera staged in 1909.
In 1922, the institution became national and changed its name to National Opera. In 1928, a ballet company was formed, and its first performance took place. After the 1944 bombing of Sofia, the opera’s performances were halted for a while, but were quickly resumed thanks to a considerable increase in government financing.
Members of the company include the world’s most recognized opera and ballet performers. Since its inception in 1890, the Opera has been a breeding ground for numerous talents, which is why many international experts talk about the Bulgarian opera school. Many future world-renowned opera and ballet performers, including Anna Tomova-Sintova, Gena Dimitrova, Raina Kabaivanska, Alexandrina Milcheva, Nikola Gyuzelev, Nikolay Gyaurov, Kaludi Kaludov, YasenValtchanov, and Krassimira Koldamova, have made their debuts at Sofia Opera.
History Of Sofia’s National Opera
Dragomir Kazakov, Ivan Slavkov, and Angel Bukoreshtliev, three Bulgarian musicians, founded the first opera group in Bulgaria in 1890 as a branch of the “Sofia Drama and Opera Troupe.” The concerts, which included Bulgarians, Czechs, and Italians accompanied by piano, the Guards Orchestra, the orchestra of the Sixth Infantry Regiment, and members of the Italian Singing Society, were met with surprising success.
The theatrical department was created as a distinct group called “Tear and Laughter” in May 1891, and the opera as the Sofia Bulgarian Opera. Due to financial problems and a lack of public backing, the group was disbanded on October 1, 1892, by order.
The audience was ready for the development of an opera in Sofia at the beginning of the twentieth century, as curiosity progressively reawakened. The essay “Opera” by Petko Naumov marks the beginning of a protracted fight “for” and “against” Bulgarian opera. “More self-confidence, pessimistic gentlemen, more respect for the musicians, committed totally to a production that will be the glory of Bulgaria,” he said in the newspaper “Den” in 1908.
Finally, opera aficionados take control. The Bulgarian Opera Society had its first rehearsal performance on October 18, 1908, with parts from Gounod’s Faust and Verdi’s Troubadour. Dragomir Kazakov, Konstantin Mihailov-Stoyan, Ivan Vulpe, Dimitar Popivanov, and Stoyan Nikolov are the official owners of “Opera Druzhba.” Zlatka Kurteva, Bogdana Gyuzeleva-Vulpe, Mara Vasileva, Olga Orlova, Doichinka Kolarova, Zhelyu Minchev, Panayot Dimitrov, conductors Henrich Wisner, Alois Matsak, Todor Hadjiev, and choirmasters Dobri Hristov and Konstantin are also part of the ensemble. The establishment of a full-time choir started around the end of 1908.
On June 5, 1909, the first full-length opera, “Clowns” by Leoncavallo, was staged. Along with pieces from world opera classics, the first Bulgarian operas, “Poor Woman” by Emanuil Manolov, “Stone and Price” by Ivan Ivanov and Vaclav Kautsky, “Borislav” by Maestro Georgi Atanasov, and “Tahir Begovitsa” by Dimitar Hadjigeorgiev, are performed.
History Of The National Ballet
Our country’s original ballet ensemble has a nearly 90-year history. So many years have gone since the first ballet performance in Bulgaria, which is regarded as the start of the Sofia Opera Ballet. For less than a century, our country’s artists committed to this art have achieved feats that only the finest in dance can brag of. Aside from the modern repertoire, the company maintains a respectable inventory of approximately 30 classic titles, which are regarded the most demanding both financially and artistically. “The Hazelnut Crusher,” “Swan Lake,” “Giselle,” “Don Quixote,” “Bayaderka,” “Kopelia,” “Sleeping Beauty,” “Romeo and Juliet,” “The Lady with the Camellias,” and “Sheherazade” are among them. “Zorba the Greek,” “Carmen,” “Rhapsody in Blue,” “Sylphide,” “Cinderella,” and others are among them. According to this metric, Sofia’s ballet may be compared to major theaters such as the Bolshoi, Mariinsky, Grand Opera, and Covent Garden.
Alumni of the Bulgarian Academy are now in positions of leadership in the world’s major troupes. Praise for the accomplishments of native ballet dancers has come from all across the world. The company is regularly collaborating with top overseas choreographers and directors. Yuri Grigorovich, his alumni Sergei Bobrov, Diana White, Kipling Houston, Irene Schneider, Sonia Alonso, Pavel Stalinski, Catherine Pouzin, and Catherine Benets collaborated with the most renowned artists, comparing Bulgarian primi and prime soloists with the finest, most known names in dance.
Ballets with foreign directors include “Antigone,” “Electra” – S. Bobrov, many titles by George Balanchine, “Scheherazade,” “Stepping Stones” – Catherine Pozin, “The Concert” – J. Robbins, “Slightly Raised in the Middle” – W. Forsythe, “Zorba the Greek” – L. Massine, “The Lady with the Camellias” – Irene Schneider,