ITALIAN MARKS IN THE SOFIA OPERA
After last August's final rehearsal in Santander, Spain, the Sofia Opera chorus and orchestra started the new season with the performance of Umberto Giordano's Andrea Chenier. This is the fifth time that Giordano's work is staged in Bulgaria - the first staging took place in Sofia in 1932, then there were Varna (1966), Rousse and Sofia (1976), and Plovdiv (1988). Andrea Chenier was staged for the first time in the Milano La Scala theatre in 1896. It immediately became a central piece of the repertoire of all big opera theatres in the world.The new staging by the Sofia Opera is produced by Kuzman Popov and conducted by Georgi Notev. One of the Italian participants in the initiative is the artist Salvatore Russo. The performance is also supported by the Italian Institute of Culture in Sofia, Bulbank and UniCredito Italiano, and Gruppo Todini (other sponsors are MTel and Siad). The opera is staged under the auspices of His Excellency Alessandro Graffini, Italy's Ambassador to Sofia. There are other Italian names in the staging too - Mario Leonardi and Alessandra Rezza. The staging of Giordano's Andrea Chenier will most probably be one of the Sofia Opera's export productions for the 2002-2003 cultural season.