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Bulgarian girl part of trio at the Golden Coin Kids Singing Competition in Bologna

10-year-old Daria, Eliza from Albania and little Alexandros from Greece greet Europe with a song

Dariya Stoyanova
Photo: Personal archive

The 66th edition of one of the most popular children's music festivals - Zecchino d'oro (Golden Coin) in Bologna, Italy - will take place from 1 to 3 December. The festival features children between the ages of 5 and 12, who will immerse us in a better and brighter world with their pure music and presence.

"This is a festival that is loved not only by Italians, but by the whole world," Professor Victor Chuchkov, who once participated as an author in the children's competition in Bologna, told Bulgarian National Television. As a composer, he created the children's song "Rainbow" in 1984, together with the poet Dragomir Shopov. That same year, the song won the special prize of the jury for Best Foreign Song at the 27th edition of the Golden Coin. It was performed by the then 9-year-old Borislav Chuchkov and the 7-year-old Radoslava Malyakova. It was Bulgaria's debut in the competition.

25 years later, in 2009, the sisters Tonika and Ivelina Andreeva won the third prize - the Copper Coin, and the Audience Award - with the song La danza di Rozinka.

This year Bulgaria is once again part of the children's magic of Bologna, thanks to 10-year-old Dariya Stoyanova from Varna. The Bulgarian girl will participate with the song "Hello, Europe". She will perform together with 8-year-old Eliza from Albania and 6-year-old Alexandros from Greece. The trio want to send a message to adults to live in peace and understanding, in Europe and beyond.

Dariya, Eliza and Alexandros

They are the only non-Italian participants in this year's edition of the festival. A total of 17 young singers from different regions of Italy will take the stage to perform 14 songs, accompanied, as is tradition, by the children's choir "Antoniano". The choir is named after the Christian religious institution in Bologna, where the musical event has been held since 1961. Among the songwriters of this year's Golden Coin are famous rock and pop musicians such as Max Gadzè , Loredana Bertè and Matteo Bocelli, son of Andrea Bocelli. The authors of the song "Ciao Europa" are the Italians Lodovico Saccol and Arcangelo Crovella.

Dariya Stoyanova has lived in Italy for many years. Her musical talent comes from her mother Svetla, who 14 years ago entered the world music charts with her song "Tonight" - a mix of Bulgarian folk rhythms with disco and pop sounds. Now it's her daughter Daria's turn.

"I have been living in Rome for five years. I study in a French school and I speak four languages - French, Bulgarian, Italian and English. Besides singing, I like drawing, playing with friends and travelling around the world. But most of all I love to dance hip-hop, Dariya Stoyanova told BNR's Eurobox, adding: It has been a dream of mine since I was very young to sing at the Golden Coin and I'm very happy that we were selected."

The theme of the 66th edition of the competition is "La musica può" (Music can), which highlights the historical importance of the children's music festival, "because music entertains and educates both children and adults, it is an expression of many universal values," as the organisers point out. Daria tells BNR that she is not sure what she wants to do when she grows up, because she likes many professions, but she is sure that music will always be a part of her life. "I want to travel and see new countries, I want to have lots of friends and I want everyone to be healthy and happy," said the 10-year-old girl. And she wishes for only one thing - peace in the world.

"Golden Coin" will be broadcast live on 1, 2 and 3 December on Italian television channel RAI 1, when the winner will be announced.

The life of a truly captivating song lasts for decades, as is the case with "Rainbow" - the Bulgarian song that won the Golden Coin for Best Foreign Song 39 years ago.

"Please, tell me someone, but truly so - who gave the colours to the rainbow? Bright, iridescent, painted by whom? Was it me, him, her, or was it you?" - is how the song begins. 

Listen to it in a new arrangement, performed by the children's group "Bon Bon" and famous Bulgarian musicians:

Text by Vesela Krasteva

Photos: Personal archive

Translated and posted by Elizabeth Radkova

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