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Krassimira Stoyanova: Opera elevates the spirit

БНР Новини

Krassimira Stoyanova, one of the most exquisite divas in the world of opera gave her Bulgarian audience an unforgettable evening when she sang to a full house at Bulgaria hall a few nights ago. Together with the Sofia Philharmonic with conductor Maestro Georgi Dimitrov she presented a selection of magnificent works – opera arias, recitatives and overtures from world classics.

Krassimira Stoyanova is a world-class performer, holder of the highest distinction for opera singers in Austria - Kammersangerin (2009). Two years earlier, in 2007 she was singled out “Musician of the year” by the listeners of Allegro Vivace, a music show on the Bulgarian National Radio’s Horizont channel. In 2015 she was bestowed a Doctor Honoris Causa by the Academy of Music, Dance and Fine Arts in Plovdiv which she herself has graduated.

"There is no single definition of a Verdi soprano… but if there were, it would be Krassimira Stoyanova", world critics say.

The interview Krassimira Stoyanova gave Radio Bulgaria was a different kind of interview, filled with love, beauty and wisdom, a living testament to the creative quests of an artiste of world renown. “I would like to thank the national radio for this friendly gesture. We have a wonderful partnership – the BNR and myself,” were the singer’s first words. In answer to the question about the place of opera in our day, Krassimira Stoyanova says:

“Opera should not be intermingled with other genres because then it would lose its individuality. After a certain point in history it has been an elitist form of art. Some 300-400 years ago there was no radio, no mass communications and people had to find different ways to amuse themselves. It can well be said that radio is the forerunner to opera - “live radio”. Nowadays it should not be an elitist art form but should instill power and a high moral standing. It should evoke reflection and steer clear of any form of cynicism – we have been witnessing a good deal of directorial impotence. Because in our day opera is “the directorial kingdom”. And stage directors have been doing with it whatever comes into their heads. Once it used to be the singer that reigned supreme, along with the conductor and frequently – the composer. Now, regrettably, this is not so. Opera should elevate the human spirit.”

Krassimira Stoyanova made her debut in opera as Gilda in Verdi’s opera Rigoletto in 1995 at the Sofia Opera house. In 1998 she joined the Staatsoper in Vienna where she still guest performs on a regular basis. She has sung in the world’s most prestigious opera theatres and concert halls – the Metropolitan and Carnegie Hall in New York, Covent Garden and the Royal Albert Hall in London, La Scala in Milan, the Deutsche Oper and Konzerthaus in Berlin, the Musikverein and Konzerthaus in Vienna and many more. She has worked with conductors like Riccardo Muti, Zubin Mehta, Georges Pretre, Sir Colin Davis, Mariss Jansons, Fabio Luisi, Daniele Gatti, Vassil Kazandjiev, Georgi Dimitrov, Emil Tabakov, Pavel Balev. 

“Beautiful moment, do not pass away!” goes Goethe’s unforgettable phrase. Have there been moments like that in Krassimira Stoyanova’s own life?

“Yes, all the time. I have had such a moment when I have reached out and touched that particular spot inside the human soul that will send out thrills of delight… I think that anyone wanting to achieve this, has had such moments. But who can reach perfection? Only God. Music is divine. Physicists and astronomers have proved that the entire cosmos is built on a certain kind of harmony based on mathematical logic. It can be no coincidence that we have 7 tones, 7 colours, 7 days in a week. Regrettably, we humans create an anti-order, an anti-harmony here on Earth. We do our very best to destroy it.”

Human strength and human weakness are at the centre of any artistic quest. Krassimira Stoyanova goes on, with examples from Goethe’s work:

“We, humans are susceptible to temptation to the last. But we are given redemption, the right to cleanse our souls, to enter the universal order of things, where ultimate harmony reigns. Goethe’s grand idea is embodied in the innocent Margarita. She has to go through all kinds of horrors to the last. She was so pure that Mephistopheles says: There is nothing I can do to her. Still, he does manage to tempt her and she sins with Faustus even though her love is pure. She spends the rest of her life repenting. And God gives her redemption. Isn’t that the ultimate example of how we should all live? Even Faustus himself has a moment of repentance for having left that creature loveless. As to the energy the Bulgarian audience gives me, I would say that no man is a prophet in his own land. Audiences here, in Bulgaria are more demanding – a performer is more demanding of his own self when performing in his own country. Whatever the applause I have received in other countries, this is a feeling I can get nowhere else. It is sheer happiness.”

At the concert in Bulgaria hall, Krassimira Stoyanova had three encores to thank the audience and give it real, live art. With Prayer of Maria-Desislava from the opera by Parashkev Hadjiev, the diva sang a prayer for Bulgaria. A triumphant finale, followed by twenty minutes of unabating applause.

The audio file features the following performances:

- Pace, Pace mio Dio from Forza del Destino by Verdi;

- Ritorno vincitor by Verdi;

- Moon from Mermaid by Dvorak;

- Prayer of Maria-Desislava by Parashkev Hadjiev.

English version: Milena Daynova

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