Mastering life is a big enough task

Anna Tomova-Sintova – 55 years on stage

After yet another master class at the Pancho Vladigerov National Academy of Music, which took place in October, world-famous opera singer Anna Tomova-Sintova is back in Bulgaria. This time she is here to help in the vocal training of the Sofia Opera singers participating in the premiere of "Don Giovanni" by Mozart. Before that a special anniversary will be celebrated.

“On April 7, an exhibition of 120 photographs showing moments of 55 years of creative activity of Anna Tomova-Sintova will take place in the lobby of the Sofia Opera,” musicologist Magdalena Manolova says. “There will be a discussion with the audience. We will both be on stage commenting what we see on the screen. The audience will see recorded performances with the participation of other great artists. A similar exhibition was shown in Vienna and we decided that this should happen on Bulgarian stage as well. The audience will become acquainted not only with her great career but also with her extraordinary personality.”

She is known for her bright artistic presence and rich repertoire. During the 1970s, Sintova was recognized as the best performer of Richard Strauss. Thanks to her long-time collaboration with the great conductors of our time, including Herbert von Karajan, the singer has gained rich experience. She says she has always lived a normal life thanks to her family's support.

“I have always tried to stay true to myself," Ms. Sintova says. “My father was a high-school teacher in physics and astronomy, a great lover of nature, with whom we conquered all Bulgarian mountain peaks together. He also taught me at school, and my mother was a choir singer in the Stara Zagora Opera. In Bulgaria May 24 was almost a religious holiday. We were always rehearsing and performing. There were also difficulties in the postwar years, but at home spirit always remained high. We were taught to see the positive side in everything. My piano teacher has also influenced me a lot. All of this created in me a sense of responsibility, as well as attitude towards labor. I was taught not to think that I was doing something huge, but just to do my job. I love people and that is why I sing with such love for them. I have always listened to my heart. Sometimes in modern society egoism runs very strong and there is lack of loyalty and respect. This is where Eastern wise men have served as an example to me, but I avoid fanaticism. The spiritual world must in the most natural way help in ‘mastering life itself’ – a big task for all of us. Karayan thought I had the ability not only to understand music in its depth, but also to pass my knowledge on. I promised him that as long as I can, I would be doing this. I teach and everywhere I go I have a very strong contact with young singers. They are looking for me and although I can barely succeed with all classes, I have this promise that leads me forward.”

With daughter Silvana Sintow and grand-daughter Maria-Anna   /   Photo: Daniel Dimitrov

When she was 4-years-old, the future singer played the role of Madame Butterfly's child on the stage of the Stara Zagora Opera House. Years later her daughter Silvana Sintow also appeared on stage in the same role.

From Silvana we have also learned that the recordings that would be shown on April 7 are little known and are part of Anna Tomova-Sintova’s personal archive.

English: Alexander Markov

Photos: private library and Albena Bezovska

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