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January 25, 2007
Contact: Press & Media Relations Coordinator (703-993-8794)

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Friday, January 26, 2007, 8:00 p.m.

Fairfax, Virginia, December 19, 2006—The Bulgarian State Opera (formerly Opera Verdi Europa) with its roster of distinguished singers, choir, ballet and orchestra continues to hone an interpretive maturity in many styles. The company returns to the Center for the Arts at George Mason University on Friday, January 26, 2007 at 8:00 p.m. with an opulent production of Puccini’s masterpiece of doomed love, Tosca. An artistic discussion begins at 7:15 p.m. on the hall’s Grand Tier.
Established in 1996 by Ivan Kyurkchiev, the Bulgarian State Opera is based on the great traditions of the art of opera in Bulgaria presenting unique productions combining the best of opera from across Europe.
Puccini’s interpretation of Sardou’s drama La Tosca is the tale of the idyllic love affair between painter Mario Cavaradossi and opera star Floria Tosca told against the grim backdrop of the Napoleonic Wars. When Cavbaradossi is arrested and tortured by the Roman police, Tosca flies to his rescue. Baron Scarpia, the corrupt police chief, gives her a horrifying choice: she can give herself to Scarpia, or she can let her lover die. With the sounds of Cavaradossi’s torture ringing in her ears, the diva sings “Vissi di arte,” one of opera’s most famous arias, with heart-wrenching poignancy. Tosca consents long enough to obtain what she believes to be her lover’s freedom, and then commits murder to save her virtue. In the end, however, the tables are turned, and with a dramatic final gesture, Tosca vows she and Scarpia will meet for judgment before God.
The company enlists artists representing all of Bulgaria’s major opera houses—theaters where many eminent singers have started their world careers—including Gena Dimitrova, Stefka Evstatieva, Vesselina Katsarova, Nikolay Gyaurov, and many others. The company collaborates with Bulgarian opera theaters and symphony orchestras (including the Sofia National Opera, Sofia Radio Orchestra and Mixed Choir, and others),

and with opera houses from Bucharest (Romania), Budapest (Hungary), Chisinau (Moldovia), Kiev (Ukraine), Theatre Nemirovich-Danchenko (Russia), and many others across Central Europe.
The rapid artistic and professional development of the company was mostly due to the direction from the beginning of such distinguished conductors as Metodi Matakiev, Luciano di Martino, and Hristo Ignatov. The Opera’s orchestra, choir and ballet members are carefully selected from among the best Bulgarian musicians, singers and dancers.
The company’s repertoire includes a wide spectrum of opera works including Otello, Aida, Turandot, Il Trovatore, Tosca, La Boheme, and productions of the Mozart and Verdi Requiems, among other works.

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Tickets for THE BULGARIAN STATE OPERA: TOSCA, JANUARY 26, 2007 are $44, $36, $22. Charge by phone at 888-945-2468 or visit The Center for the Arts complex is located on the Fairfax campus of George Mason University at the intersection of Braddock Road and Route 123. Paid parking is located in the deck adjacent to the mainstage Concert Hall and FREE parking is located in university lot K. Visit