Tonight, Bulgaria stages first ‘normal’ opera

Tonight, Bulgaria stages first ‘normal’ opera


norman lebrecht

June 19, 2020

From a correspondent:

Today the very first “normal” opera performance will take place at Sofia National Opera and Ballet: a full performance with normal sets and costumes, normal acting on stage and full orchestra and chorus. Of course social distancing in the public, but for the rest a “normal opera performance”.

Today they will show Verdi’s “Il trovatore” (, as part of a “Tutto Verdi” mini festival in which the whole “trilogia popolare” will be shown: After “trovatore” today, “Rigoletto” on June 21 and “Traviata” in June 25:
Star of all three evenings is our fantastic Verdi baritone and Bulgarian opera star Vladimir Stoyanov!


  • Pedro says:

    I saw Trovatore there nearly 20 years ago. Alexandrina Milschewa was Azucena, 25 years after singing the part with Karajan in Salzburg. I don’t remember who the other singers were.

    • pianoronald says:

      I bet Milcheva was the best – she was very popular in Vienna – and deservedly.

    • Mike Gibb says:

      Verdi: Il trovatore
      28 May 2000
      1, 3 June 2000

      conductor : Emil Tabakov / N Nedyalkov
      director : E Boshnakov
      sets,costumes : Salvatore Russo

      Count di Luna : Jivko Pranchev / Peter Danailov
      Leonora : Elena Filipova / Tzvetana Bandalovska
      Azucena : Alexandrina Milcheva / Mariana Karpatova
      Manrico : Rumen Doykov / Konstantin Yankov / Tzvetan Tzvetkov
      Ferrando : Dimitar Stanchev / Diman Panchev / Aleksey Ivanov
      Ines : Hristina Hadjieva / Bistra Zlatkova / Hristina Hadjieva
      Ruiz : Aron Aronov / Dimitar Dimitrov
      The Old Gypsy : Lachezar Lazarov

  • Nik says:

    My Bulgarian colleague tells me that they have something called rakia and it is highly effective against corona virus infection.

  • CA says:

    Yet here in the USA we cancel everything until at least 2021. Go figure.

    • Peter San Diego says:

      That’s because we lack the social discipline to control the spread of infection. Look at per capita rates of new cases in the two countries, and you can indeed figure it out.

      • V.Lind says:

        And, as your sainted president said last night in what must be a low point (and the bar was already daunting to the best limbo dancers on earth) in his time, he told them to slow testing for Covid-19 because if you tested you would just find more cases.

        If his followers can find the logic in that and support it, then America really is doomed.

  • John Rook says:

    Bravo, Sofia!

  • kaywarbrick says:

    How is the chorus working? Must be a small and distanced one?