Things to do in Bulgaria: Going To The Sofia Opera and Ballet
When I was little, like most of the girls, I wanted to be a ballerina when I grow up. And yet, I haven’t been to a ballet performance until last month. Such a shame, I know. But I’m more than delighted that GISELLE was the first ballet performance I ever watched.
Me and Krasi were invited by the Sofia Opera and Ballet itself. On the day, we arrived just on time to get our tickets and to take our seats. The lobby of the building is not that big and it is easy to find your entrance. Our seats on the second balcony, in the center of the second row, allowed us to fully enjoy the ballet performance. The main hall is not as huge as the opera house in Barcelona I visited a year ago but it’s still quite impressive with all the rich decorations and colours.
But what impressed me the most was the prevailing presence of young people. They were rather casually than formally dressed but still as excited and well behaved as everyone else. Probably the only more pleasant view was two little girls with hair buns and big dreamy eyes impatiently waiting to see the ballerinas on stage.
GISELLE – A beautiful love story and exceptional ballet performance
As I was observing the audience and catching casual conversations, suddenly the lights went dark, the orchestra started playing, the curtains were pulled up and there she was…
Giselle is a beautiful young girl from Lorraine. She falls in love with Albrecht who recently appeared in the village. What Giselle doesn’t know is that Albrecht is a royal and is going to marry the Duke’s daughter Bathilde. The gamekeeper Hans, who is also in love with Giselle, unsuccessfully is trying to warn her about his lie. Eventually, Giselle finds out the truth. She cannot stand it, she runs mad and dies.
During the second act, Hans is grieving over Giselle’s grave. He perishes by the deadly shadow evoking dance of Myrtha and the Wilis – virgins who died before their weddings. Albert who is also deeply grieving for Giselle comes to her grave. He is about to be taken away by the Wilis too, but Giselle appears and saves Albrecht from death. The shadows of the Wilis, Myrtha, and Giselle get melted. Albrecht remains to live with the pain for his lost love, stronger than death.
The story was beautifully told by guest performers from the Bolshoi Theatre: Daria Khokhlova in the role of Giselle and Artemy Belyakov in the role of Albrecht.
Sofia Opera and Ballet House
Sofia Opera and Ballet house is located in the central parts of the city. This makes it easily reachable and very well accessible by public transportation. There are regular performances and events happening as part of the Sofia Opera and Ballet with many foreign collaborations, too.
The imposing building is located on 30 Vrabcha street. The ticket office is situated on the right side of the main entrance. However, it is quite convenient that you can buy tickets online for every opera and ballet performances. The website has an English version, too.
Sofia National Opera and Ballet:
It is important to note that going to the Sofia Opera and Ballet is more affordable than you might think. The ticket prices start from as little as 20 BGN or 10 Euro. Going to the opera is definitely one of the best and most affordable things you can do in Sofia.
*Special thanks to the Sofia Opera and Ballet House for the invitations and the great experience. All photos from Giselle are their own.
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