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National singing gathering keeps memory of Mita Stoycheva

Photo: archive

This year we mark 110 years since the birth offolklore singer from northern Bulgaria – Mita Stoycheva. Even today stories go of her charismatic voice charming the listeners of the Bulgarian National Radio as well audiences in concert halls. For years she had been touring in concerts with the “Nasha Pessen” group (meaning “Our Song”). The birth anniversary of the singer will be marked with yet another edition of the “Golden oriole singing” folklore gathering. The Bulgarian name of the festival comes from the title of one of Mita Stoycheva’s most popular songs about the singing “Avliga” (golden oriole). The festival is to take place in the singer’s native place – Obedinenie. The music event will be hosted at the local community center, which called after Mita Stoycheva in sign of recognition and respect for her art.

Snezhanka Yordanova, relative to the singer and secretary of the community center brings us more.

“The National gathering ‘Avliga singing’ will take place May 31 through June 2. More than 2800 participants have applied so far. Only the children are more than 100. The contest programme is on June 1. After that start the concerts of our guest performers and laureates from previous editions. Each of the participants in our festival should perform a song from Mita Stoycheva’s repertoire among others. That is what makes our festival unique. I live with this festival. A week after it ends, I start planning the next edition.”

Mita Stoycheva’s singing heritage is priceless. It is a selection made with a very subtle taste for the lyrics and deep devotion to the singing style of the northern regions of this country. The singer’s childhood passed in the natural folklore medium of village life. The first recognition came to her after a participation in the 1939 Farmers gathering in Veliko Tarnovo, where she received First prize. Another one came a year later, in 1940, from the singing contest in Pordim, Pleven region. The same year she was invited to record songs with the “Microphone” gramophone company, which issues 60 of her songs on records. However, what won Mita Stoycheva nationwide popularity were her performances the microphone of the Bulgarian National Radio since 1942. As of 1947 she was working with the radio on a regular basis.

Adding to her great popularity were also her numerous concerts across the country. Experts in the sphere of folklore also showed interest in the repertoire of Mita Stoycheva. In 1953 writer Ivan Vassilev published a collection of texts of her songs. She gave as many 360 songs to the Music Studies Institute with the Bulgarian Academy of Sciences, written down in text and notes by folklore researcher Elena Stoin. Mita Stoycheva’s voice was included in 1953 in a record issued by the Columbia Company in the US, as part of the series “World Library of Authentic Folklore Music”.

English version: Iva Letnikova

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