Sofia and Bulgaria are known all over the world for one of their greatest pride – the stars of the world opera, coming out of the Sofia National Opera. Apart from its unique personnel, it is also interesting for its building. The building was originally constructed not as an opera house but as a congress home for the Bulgarian agricultural party BZNS, which is why there is a giant monument to Alexander Stamboliiski in front of the main entrance. Tourists from abroad are likely to assume that this is a monument to our most distinguished composer, not suspecting that he was a Bulgarian prime minister with great services to the development of Bulgarian agriculture.
But the truth is that our Opera House is a significant institution where many Bulgarian artists of three generations now began their world-renowned careers to reach stages such as the Milanale, the Royal Opera House in London, the Metropolitan Opera in New York, and many others. The operatic voices of Bulgaria today are one of our cultural calling cards around the world because of the mark they left on the world opera art of artists such as Gena Dimitrova, Raina Kabaivanska, Nikolay Giaurov, Boris Hristov, and the next generation of great artists such as Darina Takova, Alexandrina Pendachanska, Krasimira Stoyanova, Mariana Pencheva, Vladimir Stoyanov, Orlin Anastasov, who are still today valuable cultural ambassadors of Bulgaria.
Today at the Sofia Opera, you can watch performances very diverse in terms of genre – with an emphasis on children’s audiences and musical lovers, less classical titles, and a great focus on Wagner. We asked Darina Takova herself what she recommends us to watch, and she answered unequivocally – the ballet Anna Karenina, not failing to advise us to determine our choice first by the musical title and only then by the visual aspect of the performances.