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Interview with conductor Daniel Jinga, managing director of Bucharest National Opera

Monday, 31 October 2022 , ora 10.20

Mr. Daniel Jinga, an interesting event is coming up to Bucharest National Opera, namely a Romanian-Bulgarian concerto-gala, entitled "Togheter in Europe". Why this name? Why this gala?'

Because us and the Bulgarians, usually, share almost the same historical, cultural and geopolitical fate. The proposal came from the Bulgarian part and we cheerfully embraced it. There has been a similar event a month ago, in Sofia. And now, also the Bulgarian Embassy along with the Romanian Culture Ministry and, of course, with the help of the Bucharest National Opera have decided to organize this spectacle, this opera night, where the Bucharest National Opera Orchestra will be the host. It will be led by a Bulgarian conductor.

A young conductor.

Yes. Yordan Kamdzhalov. We have the orchestra from Romania and the conductor from Rulgaria, and the soloists are both Romanian and Bulgarian. Simonida Luțescu, Sorana Negrea, Lucian Petrean, Alin Stoica from Bucharest National Opera. The Bulgarian soloists will be Tania Ivanova, Anna Maria Spataris, Christian Christov and Evgheny Stanimirov.

What repertoire will they perform?

They will play opera arias from Carmen, Rigoletto, Nabucco, Traviata, Boema, Bal mascat, The force of Destiny, Madama Butterfly, The troubadour. From Tosca, the tenor Christian Christov will perform " E lucevan le stelle". It will be an European opera night. Somehow, it will be a proof that Romania and Bulgaria are de facto in the great European family long before we were accepted togheter in the European Union. For this reason, I like how the title "Togheter in Europe" sound, because firstly we are togheter in Europe by culture, by opera, by music and our admission in Europe wasn't an accident, it was a natural thing, a thing we wish we enjoy forever, without things changing with regard to the geopolitics.

We can also say that the famous friendship bridge unites us!

We wanted to name the spectable "The bridge", but it was considered to be a communist title; the friendship bridge was inaugurated by Ceaușescu, as far as I remember, but this doesn't mean it is a bad thing to talk about the bridge and friendship.

"The bridge" was our first option. For those who remember the friendship bridge will understand what it is all about. But the title approved by the Bulgarian Embassy and The Culture Ministry was "Togheter in Europe", I find it already much more appropriate, given the fact that it is a title that actually makes us think about European values, about European integration and about European culture, because this is what we are doing tonight- we are doing an European cultural night.

What follows after this gala? In November, you are preparing a ballet premiere.

Yes. Our public is devoted to us. I would not necessarly make out of this a title of triumph. We always strived to attract the audience and do pure and beautiful actions, but the hall has however around 1000 seats in such a big city, in which there are a lot of intellectuals, people of culture. It is natural to fill up the venues. It would be unusual not to.

You were saying that you wished a premiere every month. In December, the "Phantom of the Opera" is schedueled. Have you tought about the other months?

I have, but I wouldn't like to talk about it now, in view of the fact that by the end of the season, around December, we want to post the whole program and also to become again more and more predictable and organized longer-term with all of these spectacles and our activities. Bucharest National Opera changes some things on the go. We aim to be on the map of the civilized world, of the great operas in the world. Or, the discussions are made two or three years before, there is a continuity, there is a word that you have to keep regrding the dates of the shows, as well as all the parameters unde which a spectacle takes place. And this is for now my main focus, speaking of "Togheter in Europe", to succed to actually enter the European world of civilized operas as a way of organization, schedulling and approaching.

Interview by Jeanine Costache
Translated by Andreea-Cristiana Petrescu,
University of Bucharest, Faculty of Foreign Languages and Literatures, MTTLC, year I
Corrected by Silvia Petrescu