site.btaQuarter Hour of Applause for Wagner's Die Walküre by Sofia Opera and Ballet near Neuschwanstein Castle
The first performance of Richard Wagner's Die Walküre by the Sofia Opera and Ballet at the Musikfestspiele Konigswinkel 2023 in Füssen, Germany, near Neuschwanstein castle on October 1, ended with a quarter of an hour of applause and cheering. The director of the opera is Plamen Kartaloff. In the roles are Aris Argiris - Wotan, Mariana Zvetkova - Fricka, Martin Iliev - Siegmund, Bjarni Thor Kristinsson - Hunding, Gergana Rusekova - Brünnhilde, Tsvetana Bandalovska - Sieglinde. The audience also called the whole orchestra on stage with conductor Lothar Zagrosek.
Another performance during the festival of the same opera is scheduled for October 3.
"Plamen Kartaloff was the first to realise in 2015 my wish to have Wagner's opera staged in our city," said the then mayor of Füssen, Paul Jacob, in a conversation with Kiril Valchev, the director general of the Bulgarian Telegraph Agency (BTA), a media partner of the Sofia Opera and Ballet. And after the 2015 performances of the tetralogy The Ring of the Nibelung, of which Sunday evening's performance of Die Walküre is a part, the Sofia Opera remains the only one to have staged Wagner in the Bavarian town of Füssen, from which the Neuschwanstein castle of King Ludwig II, Wagner's friend and benefactor, can be seen over Lake Forggensee. Jacob explained that he had been looking for good productions of Wagner operas and when he was told about Bulgaria, he contacted the then Minister of Culture Vezhdi Rashidov, went to Sofia and made contact with Plamen Kartaloff about hosting The Ring of the Nibelung in 2015.
"BTA's presentation of the Sofia Opera's visit to Füssen goes beyond our legal obligation to promote Bulgarian culture. For with his productions Plamen Kartaloff, who has the boldness to show German operas in Germany, reveals Bulgarian culture as part of European culture and proves that Bulgarian art has long had no borders in Europe. This is a timely reminder in the months of another expectation for Bulgarians to travel without borders in the Schengen area of the European Union. Kartaloff's thorough and truthful interpretation of the German epic proves that Bulgarians are more understanding of otherness in Europe than many other Europeans. The Bulgarian artist can serve as an example to many Europeans, enclosed in the rings of their own worlds, as the rings are the scenery of Walküre, BTA Director General Kiril Valchev said. He suggested that on the next visit of the Sofia Opera BTA should have a joint media partnership with the German national news agency DPA.
The Sofia Opera staged seven titles from its Wagner repertoire in the period between July 8-30: a new production of the tetralogy Der Ring des Nibelungen, Tristan und Isolde and Parsifal. The performances are directed by Plamen Kartaloff. They were presented in the Sofia Opera under the conductorship of Constantin Trinks, while The Flying Dutchman was staged on the summer stage near Lake Pancharevo.
According to the organizers, more than 5,000 spectators attended the Wagner Festival of the Sofia Opera. According to them, the event has become a centre of attraction for fans of Wagner's work from all over the world. Guests from Germany, France, Austria, Finland, the US, India, Switzerland, Norway, Luxembourg, Australia and Bulgaria have attended and applauded the performances.