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Chamber Opera “The Stone Feast” – world premiere

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Opera-allegory in two acts by Albena Petrovich-Vrachanska
Postscript of the opera “Don Juan” by WA Mozart
Libretto: Yana Bukova

Director: Ognyan Draganov
Conductor: Victor Krumov
Assistant director: Denis Boyadzhiev
Scenography and costumes: Gendoni
Concertmaster: Milena Ivanova
Choirmaster: Ivona Ivanova
Responsible accompanist: Miroslav Georgiev

The staging of the State Opera – Stara Zagora refers us to Mozart’s opera “Don Juan” and examines through the prism of our time the eternal ethical and moral problems posed in the drama of the famous opera.

Don Juan, protagonist: Nikolai Motsov
Leporello, companion and confidant: Ivan Kabamitov
Donna Elvira, victim: Tereza Brakalova
Donna Anna, Don Ottavio, witnesses: Desi Stefanova and Valeri Turmanov
Three judges (choir of three male voices): Kostadin Yakshev, Marin Rusinov, Ignat Zhelev
Il Commendatore – Nemesis (choir of five female figures): Inna Andreeva, Kamelia Stoycheva, Prolet Pencheva, Ivona Ivanova, Lili Hodzheva

Two women and Don Juan
Mozart’s Don Juan is perhaps one of the most famous operas in the history of music. Its emblematic status is indisputable, its reflection in philosophy, literature and public imagination has remained undiminished for two and a half centuries. In 2021 and in the conditions of the pandemic, two women: the composer Albena Petrovich-Vrachanska and the librettist Yana Bukova set themselves the task and the challenge to develop in a new and radically different way the story of the tireless seducer. The opera “The Stone Holiday” takes the famous images from the libretto of Lorenzo Da Ponte and fills them with new content, directly affecting our time and the threat of ecological catastrophe looming over humanity.

Opera for the revenge of nature
In the Stone Feast of Don Juan, the pursuer, who insatiably captures, uses and discards the objects of his passion, becomes a symbolic figure of modern man, an image of the absolute consumer. His arrogance and irresponsibility make him challenge (as his predecessor challenged the Commander) the very land he set foot on and the very planet he feeds on. The wrath of nature brings his doom.

Hell is on the way
“What is hell?” Is one of the key themes of the opera. The climatic hell of the terrible heat and unbearable cold that will happen? The moral hell that mistakes lead to? The refusal of love and mercy? The “Stone Feast” begins with Don Juan alone on stage, content and self-sufficient in his Ego. And again he finds himself alone with Don Juan, after destroying everyone, everything and himself. Hell is the desert that man himself has created.

Artistic description
Structurally, the opera is conceived in two acts, each of which consists of six scenes. The names of the characters are borrowed from those in Mozart’s Don Juan. The number of votes follows the Fibonacci sequence, increasing from 1 to 13 as the first act unfolds, and then decreasing from 13 back to 1 within the second act. Each of the characters is accompanied by its own “shadow – instrument”, so the number of instruments also increases and decreases according to the Fibonacci sequence. The names of the characters are borrowed from those in Mozart’s Don Juan. This creates a very important sense of “postscript”, the story goes.

Thematically, the opera explores the predator-prey relationship, obsessive greed for possession, and the concept of hell. The text contains numerous quotations inserted in it – from the opera “Don Juan”, from scientific and journalistic articles, but also from the works of Kierkegaard, Camus and others. In the second part, the thematic emphasis shifts and acquires a focus on the environment. Don Juan can be seen as a symbolic figure of man as a whole – a man who knows no boundaries and shows arrogance, destroying everyone and everything on his way to possession, and thus leads to his own destruction. The female choir of Il Commendatore – Nemesis can be considered as Nature, which takes revenge.