At the beginning of the performance the Rector of New Bulgarian University Professor Plamen Doynov, D.Sc. welcomed the guests:
"Thirty years ago, on September 18, the Grand National Assembly of Bulgaria voted the legalization of New Bulgarian University. However, this is a decision that states the obvious fact that in Bulgaria there is a large group of people who would like to create a really new university, to develop the idea of a new university, which will start the real civic university education in Bulgaria.
Happy holiday to the civic New Bulgarian University!
21 of those 30 years passed under the sign of the Master Class of Raina Kabaivanska. On Music and Poetry Day we have the opportunity to celebrate the early adulthood or the American adulthood (as some people call it) of this Master Class. What do in fact we celebrate today? - I think we celebrate not only Music, but its Dignity! The art as such and also the high idea of the art.
Today we celebrate the authenticity and the strength of Bulgarian voices. And I’m feeling especially proud of the fact that NBU is the place where appear these strong voices. They go up every day and tonight they will go up the ladder, up the high music ladder, they will get lost for a moment, but they will come back again to remind us that the art works for the people, it is created for the people, and that every voice emanates dignity. That is why I would like to congratulate Raina Kabaivanska, who never forgets about the dignity of the voice.
Now it's time for holiday! And I ask you all, when we hear the great voices on the stage, not to forget that we are doing that for the great art of Bulgaria and for its unceasing inspiration."
In the Gala Concert participated young opera singers from Argentina, Bulgaria, Italy, Romania, Ukraine, South Korea – graduates of the XXI International Master Class of Raina Kabaivanska at New Bulgarian University. They presented a rich repertoire of arias and duets from operas by Mozart, Rossini, Verdi, Gounod, Donizetti, Massenet and Puccini with Sofia Opera Orchestra conducted by Maestro Nayden Todorov.
"Happy birthday, my New Bulgarian University! I almost was present in its birth 30 years ago. Then began "a marriage after the birth", because the Executive Director of NBU, George Tekev, Ph.D. decided to start this International Master Class and managed it so brilliantly that thanks to that, we are here today. And we enjoy the presence of young people from all over the world, even from Argentina. This is the best, the most contemporary, the youngest university! This is the university which develops in the space."
This was the way Raina Kabaivanska expressed her pride at the end of the concert of the common efforts enabling the implementation without interruption of her master classes at New Bulgarian University in the last two years in spite of the pandemic.
Traditionally, Raina Kabaivanska also announced this year winners of scholarships from her charity fund at NBU in partnership with Sofia Municipality, trade chain Fantastico etc. Bulgarian baritone Yosif Slavov was awarded a scholarship for further study in Bulgaria. Bulgarian sopranos Aleksandrina Mihaylova and Mila Mihova, as well as Aida Pascu from Romania, the tenor Patricio Amaya from Argentina, the baritone from South Korea Hae Kang will continue their training in Italy.
Maestra Kabaivanska also expressd her gratitude both to the partners of the Master Class and to the team of Prof. Boryana Lambreva and Maestro Nayden Todorov.
The Gala Concert was attended by representatives of the diplomatic corps in our country, Bulgarian institutions, NBU management, community members and friends of the University.
The US Ambassador Her Excellency Herro Mustafa met Raina Kabaivanska and attended the rehearsal of the young opera talents minutes before they appeared on the stage of Sofia Opera and Ballet House. Ambassador Mustafa expressed her admiration for the exceptional achievements of Bulgarian prima, as well as for her unwavering dedication to help young talents fully realize their potential.
At the end of the Gala Concert when the Rector of NBU gave flowers to Raina Kabaivanska he exclaimed: "This evening you turned New Bulgarian University into European stage!" The Director of Sofia Opera and Ballet - Acad. Plamen Kartalov addressed Maestra Kabaivanska with the following remark: "In the necklace of the 130th anniversary of Sofia Opera and Ballet, this is a new pearl - together to celebrate the 30th anniversary of New Bulgarian University as a partner of Sofia Opera and Ballet. This is a historical phenomenon - 21 years Master Class of Raina Kabaivanska and the 10th anniversary she has her home at Sofia Opera and Ballet. Keep on going – in the way you have conquered the world opera stages, create our new artists and singers and direct them around the world and to Sofia Opera and Ballet".
XXI International Master Class of Raina Kabaivanska, dedicated to the 30th anniversary of New Bulgarian University, is part of the Calendar of cultural events of Sofia Municipality for 2021.
ph. Alexander Bogdan Thompson