The tenor Martin Iliev was awarded the Chrystal Lyre for Siegmund and Siegfried
With a Bulgarian title the Sofia Opera opened its season in which were officially and festively marked 125 years of the first opera performances in the Capital. More than 100 years after its premiere, the first historical opera “Borislav” with author Maestro Georgi Atanasov gathered on the Day of the National Revival Leaders admirers of the art of the opera, representatives of the business, diplomats.
The long expected premiere was preceded by a stylish gratitude ceremony for the support by the realization of the guest-performance of the Sofia Opera in September in Füssen, Germany, with Wagner’s “Der Ring des Nibelungen”. Managers and leading Bulgarian and German companies from different fields were congratulated personally by the Director of our first opera theatre Plamen Kartaloff, who expressed gratitude to each one of them for their sponsorship for the realization of this important cultural and political project.
The opera “Borislav” was already presented this summer within the Stage of the Ages Festival in Veliko Tarnovo, where it was welcomed exceptionally warm by the Bulgarian and foreign audience. The little bit different from the walls of the Tsarevets citadel stage version by the director Plamen Kartaloff won the Sofia audience with its simple sets without any pomposity, beautiful costumes from the period of the Second Bulgarian Kingdom by Hristiana Mihaleva-Zorbalieva and the conquering with its simplicity and melody music by the young Maestro Atanasov. Impressing acting mastery and vocal presence showed the soloists Atanas Mladenov (Borislav), the bass Angel Hristov (Tsar Ivan Asen II), Lilia Kehayova (Tamara), Plamen Papazikov (Gavrail), Daniel Ostretsov (Kir Todor), Blagovesta Mekki-Tsvetkova (Irina), Aleksandar Nosikov (Slav), Elena Marinova (Vela), Silvana Pravcheva (Zoya) and the other performers. The young conductor George Dimitrov confidently and elegantly led the orchestra and the chorus through this little known work of art, which reached to an audience of thousands thanks to the direct broadcasting by the Bulgarian National Radio. The enthusiastic applause at the end of the spectacle was the most categorical proof that the enormous efforts of the entire creative team to bring back to life on the stage Maestro Georgi Atanasov’s first opera were fully justified.
While at the Sofia Opera was taking place the premiere of “Borislav”, the theatre’s leading soloist, the tenor Martin Iliev, was awarded a fully merited recognition – the Chrystal Lyre distinction of the Union of the Bulgarian Musicians and Dancers for the roles of Siegmund and Siegfried from Wagner’s tetralogy “Der Ring des Nibelungen”. For the five years in our first opera theatre Iliev, who started his career as baritone, “conquered” a series of opera bastions. His repertoire includes parts like Pollione from “Norma“ by Bellini, Manrico from “Il trovatore“, Othello, Radamès from “Aida” (Verdi), Calaf from “Turandot” by Puccini, Don José from “Carmen” by Bizet. With his interpretation of Tristan from “Tristan und Isolde” by Wagner this year the tenor won the admiration of Wagnerians from all over the world. Having received the distinction from his well-known colleague Aron Aronov, Martin Iliev thanked to God that such were the circumstances in his life and that he had the luck to take part in the first presentation of Wagner’s tetralogy in Bulgaria. The performer thanked also to the director Plamen Kartaloff for the trust and the support, as well as to the conductors Pavel Balev and Velizar Genchev and to the music consultant Richard Trimborn for the priceless help by the mastering of both characters. Iliev noted that all of his colleagues, who have worked on the tetralogy, deserve this award and that he would like to share it with them.
The next premiere titles on the playbill of the Sofia Opera this season are the new author’s ballet spectacle “Bulgarian toccata” by Mila Iskrenova after Dimitar Nenov’s and Vasil Kazandzhiev’s music – on 13 November, and “Attila” by Giuseppe Verdi – on 22 November.