A young Bulgarian hope from the School of Raina Kabaivanska wins a place in the Academy of La Scala


ph. Viktor Viktorov


Alexandrina Mihailova, a 23-year-old soprano from the School of Raina Kabaivanska passed successfully all three rounds combatting with 430 candidates for a place among the winners of La Scala competition for young opera singers in Milan. The elite jury, headed by the director of the opera theater Dominique Meyer, selected ten young talents to study in the next 2 years at La Scala Academy. Raina Kabaivanska herself won this competition in 1960 and La Scala became the starting point for her long and brilliant world career.


Alexandrina's first meeting with Raina Kabaivanska was in 2016. Then, being still an eighteen-year-old student from Shumen,she arrived in the capital for the auditionorganized by New Bulgarian University for the XVI International Master Class of Maestra Kabaivanska. Alexandrina was encouraged for this step by the vocal pedagogue from her hometown Nedka Telbizova and the pianist Viviana Grudanska. Alexandrina's undeniable vocal skills ensured her a place in the master class. She completed it successfully, participated in the Gala concert of the graduates at Sofia Opera and Ballet House. Alexandrina received a scholarship to complete her secondary education and to study Italian. She was also advised to lose weight, because "nowadays for the world stage, one should be not only talented and with a good voice, but also slim and beautiful". A year later, during the audition for the next master class, Alexandrina appeared with a certificate for basic Italian and weight minus 20 kg’s. The fluffy little girl has transformed into an elegant, spiritualized young lady  with a distinct stage presence.


In the period 2017-2021 apart from participating in master classes at NBU, the young soprano studied onyearly basis with Raina Kabaivanska at Vecchi-Tonelli Music Institute in Modena. The focus comprises improvement of the singing technique, development of the artistic interpretation and selection of appropriate repertoire.Alexandrina's scholarships for education and residence in Italy are provided by Raina Kabaivanska Fund at NBU in partnership with Fantastico trade chain, America for Bulgaria Foundation and Sofia Municipality.One of the annual scholarships was collected by a small group of friends - young Bulgarian entrepreneurs – admirors of Raina Kabaivanska's art and the success of her Master Class at NBU.


Along with her studies in Italy, Alexandrina became a prize winner of the competitions "Ghena Dimitrova" (Pleven) and Premio Etta e Paolo Limiti (Milan). She made her debut at Bulgaria Hall in the concert “The Tenors of Raina Kabaivanska”, at the Philharmonic Theater of Verona in a concert performance of "La Bohème"and atTeatro Communale Luciano Pavarottiin Modena in a concert dedicated to the great tenor. "The experience of being a student of Raina Kabaivanska is unique! She is a real Diva and leads us on the path to perfection." – Alexandrina shares.


In September Raina Kabaivanska arrives in Sofia for the 21st edition of her International Master Class, organized by NBU. The audition of the candidates will take place  on September 6th at Sofia Opera and Ballet House. Up to 13 young opera singers will be selected on a competitive basis to participate in the master class. The final Gala concert, which will celebrate the 30th anniversary of the establishment of New Bulgarian University, will take place on the stage of the National Opera on October 1st. Then the new scholarship holders of Raina Kabaivanska Donation Fund at NBU will be announced – they will have the opportunity to continue their training in Italy. The master class is part of the Calendar of cultural events of Sofia Municipality for 2021.