- Magdalena Manolova
Town in Bulgaria. The centre of a region rich in folklore, in recent decades it has become a cultural focal point in the south-western part of the country. Opera performances have been given since 1972 under the successive company names Mladezhka Opera (Youth Opera), Kamerna Mladezhka Opera (Chamber Youth Opera) and Mladezhka Opera za Vsichki (Youth Opera for All), with the local première of Haydn’s Lo speziale in 1977 on the stage of the Blagoevgrad Dramatichen Teatar (Drama Theatre) marking the first maturity of opera in the town. Initially the soloists were amateurs and graduates of the state conservatory in Sofia; later they were more experienced singers. The staff’s professionalism has been greatly aided by cooperation with the conductors Mihail Angelov, Emil Tabakov, Kamen Goleminov and Nevena Tomanova and the directors Mihail Hadjimishev, Nikolai Nikolov and others. The repertory consists almost exclusively of operas performed for the first time in Bulgaria, from works by Gluck, Haydn, Monteverdi Purcell, Donizetti and Galuppi to some by Stravinsky, Alexander Holminov and Menotti....