Opera in three acts by Pancho Vladigerov
Libretto by Fani Popova-Mutafova and Nikolay Liliev
Based on Fani Popova-Mutafova’s novel „The Wonderworker of Thessaloniki”
State Opera Stara Zagora
Konstantin Kisimov Music and Drama Theatre – Veliko Tarnovo
Proto Bulgarian Survival School “Bagatur”
“Tarnovtsi” Medieval Society
Conductor – Vladimir Boshnakov
Director – Ognyan Draganov
Kaloyan – Niko Isakov
Maria – Rusalina Mochukova
Baldwin – Boris Lukov
Orchestra, choir and ballet of State Opera Stara Zagora
“Tsar Kaloyan” is an opera by the famous Bulgarian composer Pancho Vladigerov, completed in 1936. The story is based on the novel „The Wonderworker of Thessaloniki” by Fani Popova-Mutafova, and the libretto is co-written by her together with the great Bulgarian poet Nikolai Liliev. The two create the text of the opera solely on the basis of the novel, interpreting the historical victory of Tsar Kaloyan over the Latin Empire, the capturing of Emperor Baldwin I and the following dramatic events and personal tragedies.
It premiered on April 20, 1936 at the Sofia National Opera. A few months later, on January 30, 1937, Tsar Kaloyan was staged at Bratislava Opera House and also in Ljubljana.
In 1987, the opera was staged for the first time in an open-air venue at Tsarevets Fortress during the Stage of the Ages Festival. Thus composer Pancho Vladigerov’s lifelong dream the opera to be staged on the same venue, where the actual historical events unfolded at the beginning of 13th century, was fulfilled. The large-scale spectacle of Sofia National Opera and Ballet had 6 performances at Stage of the Ages. The opera was performed on Tsarevets again in 2009.
The 2020 performance of Tsar Kaloyan will mark the 35th anniversary of Stage of the Ages Festival, it will be a totally new grand production of Stara Zagora State Opera, featuring also Proto Bulgarian Survival School “Bagatur” and National Society “Tradition”.