Beyond Magnificent: Stage of the Ages

Stage of the ages is a matchless opera and ballet Bulgarian festival that is held every year in the summer, on a historic place, called Tsarevetz hill in Veliko Tarnovo.

Tsarevets hill is a unique spot, full of authentic spirit, majesty and history. No wonder it was chosen for the first summer festival for opera and ballet “Stage of Ages” in 1985. This first edition honored the 800th anniversary of the First Bulgarian Kingdom and saw the of the opera “Ivaylo” by the composer Marin Goleminov.

The second edition of the opera and ballet fest was in 1987. There were six performances staged, including the opera “Tsar Kaloyan” by Pancho Vladigerov and the ballet Koziat Rog (meaning Goat horn). However, after that, for various reasons, the festival was put on hold for the next 21 years.

Fortunately, this one of its kind event in Bulgaria was reestablished in 2008, again being dedicated to a historical event – the 100th anniversary of Bulgaria’s independence. In 2008, the festival lasts for three days (later on 7 more festival days were added). During that edition of the event, on a specially built, 6 meters stage high stage, next to the The Patriarchal Church in the Tzarevetz Fortress, were represented the opera Turandot in front of an audience of more than 1,500 people. Over the next two days of the 2008 edition of Stage of Ages were presented the opera Ivaylo and the ballets “Bolero” and “Zorba the Greek.”

In 2009, the festival expanded and now it is held within 10 days. More than 6,000 Bulgarian and foreign visitors enjoy the pleasure of the open air opera and ballet performance at Tsarevets Fortress.

In 2010 among the inspiring program of Stage of Ages were the opera “Don Carlos” by Verdi, performed by the Sofia National Opera and Ballet and the ballet “Carmina Burana” . This is also the year in which the festival presented other art forms, such as several historical reenactments of the Middle Ages, traditional crafts showcase and a medieval fair.

Stage of the Ages 2011 and 2012 editions comprised of magnificent performances such as “Attila” by Verdi, “Lakmé” of Delibes, “Turandot” by Puccini, “Rigoletto” by Verdi and the ballets “Lady of the Camellias”, “Don Quixote”.

Attila Finale – Stage of the Ages – Tsarevets 2011

The 2013 edition of the Stage of the Ages presents two operas and a ballet performance – opera “Tosca” by Puccini, “Un Ballo in Maschera” by Verdi and the ballet “Revelations”, to music prformed by the Sofia Philharmonic Orchestra.

Undoubtedly, the opera and ballet Bulgarian festival Stage of the Ages is an event worth enhancing your holiday with.