Folk singer Binka Dobreva

Photo: Архив
This is the voice of 16-year old Binka Dobreva. The record was made during the national folk jamboree in the town of Koprivshtitsa in Central Bulgaria in 1976. In today’s Time Out for Music on Radio Bulgaria we bring you more performances of this talented Bulgarian folk singer. The occasion is the anniversary she marks on 11th of March.
Binka Dobreva was born exactly 50 years ago in the village of Rosa in Yambol region. The village is situated in the vast Thracian valley – a prominent folklore region that has given birth to many talented folk performers. One of them is Binka. “I was very young when I started singing. I won all of the regional folk competitions and my only dream at the time was to study in a folklore school,” says Binka Dobreva.
She started studying in the folklore school in the town of Kotel in central northern Bulgaria. Some of her teachers there were the prominent Thracian singers Valkana Stoyanova and Yovcho Karaivanov. She graduated from the folklore department of the Music and Dance Academy in the town of Plovdiv in southern Bulgaria. From 1988 to 1990 she sang along folk singers Nadka Karadzova and Boyka Prisadova at the State Ensemble for Folk Dances. Later she was accepted in the choir ‘The Mystery of the Bulgarian Voices’.
“We’ve had many concerts in close and far-away countries,” says Binka Dobreva. “When we are singing a miracle takes place – the audience stands up without understanding the lyrics. People applaud us passionately. I am flattered that my performance of “Dan’s mother” has very often been called for an encore. This is a dramatic song in which I do my best to enact the feelings of the mother who is forced to raise her children without their father. I live through the song and this is expressed on my face.”
Without a doubt Binka Dobreva’s singing talent blossomed with the choir ‘The Mystery of the Bulgarian Voices’ which was nominated for a Grammy award. A fortunate coincidence is that Binka’s family allows her to pursue her solo career together with her husband Alexander Raichev. He is a bagpiper, accordionist and head of a folk orchestra. He is an innovator in traditional folk music, Alexander Raichev is the composer who arranged Binka’s six albums. Next is a performance of Alexander Raichev Band.

The everyday schedule of Binka Dobreva is very busy. She is currently working on her next album. She is also teaching folk singing in a high school in Sofia. In June 2010, in the village of Rosa, the first competition “With the songs of Binka Dobreva” will be held. Until then, Binka will be busy raising her grandson.

English version: Delian Zahariev

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