Sofia Opera conquers medieval fortress
The performers will take part in two summer festivals, including a gig on a barge in the River Danube
10 June, 2017
Opera in the natural setting of the Magura Cave – among the innovative ideas of Academician Kartaloff.
Perhaps for the first time ever, The Cloak opera will be performed on a barge, which is the authentic setting of the love story imagined by Giacomo Puccini. The event will take place during the first edition of the Fortress of the Ages summer festival, to be held from 4 to 13 August in Vidin, revealed the author of the idea maestro Plamen Kartaloff.
The three stages that will host the Sofia Opera and Ballet shows in the Danube city – on a barge in the river, in Bulgaria’s only fully preserved medieval castle Baba Vida and in front of the Stambol Kapia, one of the gates of the Kaleto fortress system – have already been prepared. Two one-act operas will be performed on the barge – The Cloak and Gianni Schicchi (on 4, 5 and 6 August). The ballet will appear in downtown Vidin, in the square outside the Stambol Kapia, where the company will put on Swan Lake (11 and 12 August) and Zorba the Greek (13 August). On 4, 5 and 6 August, a daytime children’s show will be organised in the surroundings and the interior of the Baba Vida fortress.
In August the region is expected to attract music fans from neighbouring Serbia and Romania as well as other European countries even more so because Fortress of the Ages is set to coincide with the second edition of the Opera of the Peaks - The Belogradchik Rocks, the tickets for which are almost sold-out after the festival gathered serious momentum last year. The programme, which stretches from 21 July until 6 August, features Nabucco and Don Carlos by Verdi, Tosca and Madame Butterfly by Puccini, Cinderella by Rossini and the ballet productions of Zorba the Greek, Carmen, Rhapsody in Blue and Don Quixote. The shows are scheduled for 8pm in the outer courtyard of the fortress.
A new addition is the special event that entails visiting the Magura cave for the unorthodox show Wagner Magura: Gods, Giants, Dwarfs and Valkyries. With time of duration of an hour and 20 minutes, it is scheduled for 21, 22, 23, 27, 28, 29 and 30 July at 11am. The first act is set at the entrance of the cave, the second in a concert hall and the third at the exit of the cave.
The locations of the shows have excellent acoustics and the opera artists will sing without microphones, maestro Kartaloff says. Arrangements are made for buses to make the connections between festival locations.