Sunday, 09 July 2017

Haidouk Velko, Adam and Eva, the Madonna and the monks. The thousand years old scenery of the Belogradchik Rocks was stage of battles and revolts, of happy celebrations and fairs, it saw the apogee and the decline of empires and peoples. There is hardly in the world a human construction, which continues nature with such harmony as the Belogradchik Fortress. Kilometres of ancient mouldings lock themselves over the town with high walls, behind which Romans, Bulgarians, Turks and again Bulgarian armies observed the surroundings, and beneath, huddled in the West Balkan, succeed villages, temples and monasteries, vineyards and secret sanctuaries.

In front of this natural set for a second year in succession the Sofia Opera and Ballet will present the festival “Opera of the Peaks” from 21 July to 5 August. The works by Giuseppe Verdi, Gioachino Rossini, Giacomo Puccini, Mikis Theodorakis, George Gershwin, Ludwig Minkus and the eternal Richard Wagner will transfer the spectators in the worlds of tragic events, meetings between heaven and earth and collisions of strong characters.

The festival starts on 21 July with the opera “Nabucco” by Verdi and continues with “Don Carlo”, “Tosca”, “La Cenerentola” and several ballet spectacles. All this will happen in the first yard of the Belogradchik Fortress, among the centuries old defence walls and with the fairy-tale set of the rocks. The stage, on which singers and ballet dancers will present the classical masterpieces, is already erected. The Magura Cave with its mysterious paintings and rock mouldings will be the stage for the festival impression “Gods, Giants, Dwarfs, Valkyries” after music by Richard Wagner.

The Sofia Opera and Ballet and especially its Director Acad. Plamen Kartaloff are the creators of one of the best productions after the works by Richard Wagner in the modern opera world. Their tetralogy “Der Ring des Nibelungen” is a musical and visual magnificence, which since several years attracts new and new spectators in Sofia. For a second year in succession, the guests and the inhabitants of Belogradchik will see parts of the tetralogy, presented in the Magura Cave. In the four operas from the series about the Nibelungs the characters pass from the underground kingdom to the magic woods and the castle of the Gods “Valhalla”. In the spectacles the cave will be the natural set in the battles and the vicissitudes of fate of Siegfried, Brünnhilde, Mime, Wotan. The spectacles in the cave begin at 11 h. on several days in succession of the festival.

The evening opera and ballets are with starting hour 20 h. in the fortress. The Belogradchik Fortress is really a unique place for opera spectacles not only because of their set – the rocks and the stone walls create an acoustic, which emphasizes the beauty of music.

The first edition of the festival “Opera of the Peaks” last year had one main disadvantage for the guests of Belogradchik – there was lacking a really good place to eat. Since several months, this problem was solved with the opening of the restaurant “Pri Ivan”, in which the guests can taste an authentic local and Serbian kitchen, as well as real Italian pasta and pizzas. The wine list of local wines complements the pleasant spending of the summer evenings, and as continuation of the opera atmosphere, the terrace reveals a view towards the rocks, Belogradchik and its surroundings. Restaurant “Pri Ivan” is among the sponsors of the music feast.

In the days between the spectacles in Belogradchik, the Sofia Opera will present for the first time also the festival “Fortress of the Ages” in Vidin. The dates of all performances you can see on the website of the Sofia Opera and Ballet and on

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