“Rigoletto” – One Step Away From the Extravagant

Liveliness, colours and unconventional directorial decisions – that is the impression that the viewer left with after the new premiere of the Sofia Opera, “Rigoletto” by Verdi with producer Plamen Kartaloff. The audience already saw the preview and the premiere performance, the next one is on 22 February.

And since this title appeared also at the New Year Music Festival, Sofia citizens will inevitably make comparisons between the two directorial approaches – that of Emil Boshnakov and the present one, of Plamen Kartaloff. We saw no surprise at the first staging – commonplace tradition, familiar from dozens of performances and filmed productions (probably in the manner of its creation by Verdi himself back in 1851).
Naturally this was not the case with the singing cast – Kaludi Kaludov, Alexander Krunev …
Against this background, the tandem Kartalov – Lyubomir Yordanov offers us something contemporary and more modern as perspective. Their creative union is not accidental. Both have a twist to liberty and experiment. The designer, apparently already somewhat forgotten in Bulgaria, has a determinedly modernistic approach in his theatrical activities. He works mainly in France – installations and experimental opera productions in unnatural places. The span of Plamen Kartaloff is known from long ago.

“Rigoletto” is a production with a clear concept – in directing, scenography, performance. The basic principle of staging is: escape from banal opera cardboard scenery. Suggestions are achieved through the details, the cinematic approach, elements of the theatre of shadows, changes in lighting …
Kartaloff manages to play out the singers, highlights their acting skills as well. The mise-en-scène is difficult – singing comes from any position, they even dance on moving platforms, while keeping their balance.

Three teams are ready to sing. Different productions will see: Alexander Krunev, Rumen Doykov – with his 182nd performance in the role of The Duke, Dimitar Stanchev, Elena Stoyanova, Elena Chavdarova-Isa, Zhivko Pranchev, Svetozar Rangelov, Stoil Georgiev, Stoyan Balabanov, Tsvetan Tsvetkov. As young singers: Tsvetelina Maldzhanska and Gergana Yancheva, Angel Hristov and Rosen Rumenov. On the conductor’s podium stands the Opera’s dirictor Borislav Ivanov.


by Avgusta Manoleva

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