Love and power on stage at Sofia Opera

One of the most challenging Verdi's operas, Simon Boccanegra, will take the audience on a trip along 'the spiral of time'

Photo: BTA Maestro Plamen Kartaloff

Verdi's opera Simon Boccanegra, a story of love and power, will never lose its relevance. That is why its staging at the Sofia Opera is not a reference to a particular epoch, said Arabella Tanase, art director of Romania's Craiova Opera House at a press conference on the occasion of the forthcoming premier. She equated the scenography to “the spiral of time” and added that the visions of the director and the costume designer also fit into this concept.

Simon Boccanegra is one of the most fascinating operas by Verdi but it is staged very rarely as it is an extremely challenging task, both in terms of dramaturgy and vocally. It is an intricate love story which also involves high politics, Arabella Tanase commented.

The Romanian director admired the professionalism and rich voices of the Bulgarian actors - soloists, choir and orchestra, and said she hoped to make a performance that will touch the hearts of the audience. Conductor Erich Waechter shared his opinion about the complexity of this opera and stressed that its performance requires really good actors. “Fortunately, here we have a very strong cast,” the German maestro commented.

The international cast includes members from Bulgaria, Romania, Serbia and Mexico. George Dimitrov will also take the conductor's baton. Razvan Draganescu is the stage designer. Some well-established as well as very young singers work for this project together. Among them are: Vesselin Mihailov, Nikola Mijalovic, Kiril Manolov, Lilyana Kehayova, Radostina Nikolaeva, Tsvetana Bandalovska, Martin Tsonev, Nikolai Voinov, Svetozar Rangelov, Daniel Damianov, Daniel Ostretsov, Emil Pavlov, Rafael Alvarez.

The opera premier is on 17 November and the subsequent performances are on 18, 20, 21 and 22 November.

The action in Simon Boccanegra unfolds in Italy in the 14th century. The protagonists are two men who later become mortal foes because of love between the brave corsair and would-be Doge of Genoa Simon Boccanegra and Maria, daughter of nobleman and chief magistrate Jacopo Fiesco, who is strongly against their love affair. Their difficult relationships against the background of political strife become even more complicated after Maria gives birth to Simon's illegitimate daughter, Amelia. Twenty-file years later, Amelia is the only woman who can resolve the conflict between her father and grandfather.

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