Head of Department:
Prof. Violeta GORCHEVA, Ph.D.


The department was established during the academic year 1948-1949 with a decision of the Chanceller of that time Prof. Georgi Zlatev-Cherkin, as a part of the Vocal Faculty of the Bulgarian State Conservatory (today Prof. Pancho Vladigerov National Academy of Music). The first head of department was the distinguished director from Sofia Opera Prof. Dragan Kardzhiev, a graduate of the Frankfurt Academy of Music, who had also staged spectacles in Germany (Bayreuth), with vice heads: the directors Assoc. Prof. Mihail Yankov and Assoc. Prof. Stefka Atanassova. Assen Dimitrov and Atanas Margaritov were also invited to teach at the department, both already experienced opera and symphony conductors with their own repertoire.

Over the next years the department expanded its activity to include the following courses: Acting, Opera Singing with a Conductor, Stage Speaking, Plasticity, History of Music and Musical Theatre Writing.

In 1962 Prof. Lyubomir Pipkov was elected Head of Department and it was with his cooperation that the Teaching Opera Theatre was created in 1964. Its purpose is for entire opera performances to be prepared and staged by students alone, directed and conducted by their teachers. Don Pasquale by Gaetano Donizetti was the first performance of the Teaching Opera Theatre, staged by the conductor Hristo Stanishev, the director Assoc. Prof. Mihail Yankov and the young set designer Evgenia Raeva. Lacking its own stage, the Teaching Opera Theatre performs in different places: the concert hall in the Conservatory, Sofia Opera House, the State Music Theatre and also in the towns of Vidin, Blagoevgrad and Sliven. The cooperation with the then existing Workers' Opera in Sliven (1980-1990), the financial support of the Ministry of Culture and the personal assistance of Prof. Pavel Gerdzhikov as director and artistic director of the Teaching Opera Theatre have created excellent conditions for the staging of a large number of musical theatre works.


In 1991 the major in Ballet (part-time training) was opened for the first time in Bulgaria, initially with a four-year period of study and later with a five-year period of study for obtaining the qualification degree of Bachelor. The project was initiated by Prof. Petar Lukanov and Assoc. Prof. Kalina Bogoeva. Classes in the major are taught by Prof. Anelia Yaneva, Ph.D., Bonka Matova, Ph.D., Assoc. Prof. Zhelka Tabakova, Ph.D. and Maria Ilieva, Ph.D. Later the major in Ballet Directing was opened (a Master programme for holders of a Bachelor's degree) with a two-year full-time period of study. It was on the initiative of the lecturer Prof. Pavel Gerdzhikov who teaches Acting that the Musical Theatre Directing (Bachelor and Master) major was created in the department.


Over its almost 45-year existence the Teaching Opera Theatre (at the present Teaching Musical Theatre) within the Musical Theatre Department has staged a number of performances which have allowed for a true artistic career of several generations of Bulgarian opera artists. Some of these are: The Abduction from the Seraglio by W. A. Mozart (1968, Sofia People's Opera), The Bartered Bride by B. Smetana (1975, Sofia People's Opera), The Marriage of Figaro by W. A. Mozart (1977, Stefan Makedonski State Music Theatre), The Barber of Seville by G. Rossini (1980, Sliven Workers' Opera), The Elixir of Love by G. Donizetti (1981, Sliven Workers' Opera), A Beggar's Opera by B. Britten (1984, Sofia People's Opera), The Consul by G. C. Menotti (1987, People's Palace of Culture, Sofia), Trouble in the Monastery by G. Kostov (1989, Blagoevgred Chamber Opera), The Bat by J. Strauss (1990, Sliven Workers' Opera). The performances were conducted by: Assen Naydenov, Atanas Margaritov, Radosveta Boyadzhieva, Lyuben Pintev, Prof. Ivan Vulpe, Prof. Nedyalko Nedyalkov, Prof. Boris Hinchev; directors: Prof. Dragan Kardzhiev, Assoc. Prof. Mihail Yankov, Vladimir  Danovski, Prof. Stefan Trifonov, Assoc. Prof. Petar Shtarbanov, Mihail Hadzhimishev and Prof. Pavel Gerdzhikov. The Teaching Opera Theatre is the place where many operatic artists with important international careers who have brought fame to Bulgarian musical culture and the National Academy of Music have made their debut: Margarita Lilova (who studied under Prof. Mara Marinova-Tsibulka), Ghena Dimitrova, Svetlana Kotlenko, Stefan Elenkov (who studied under Prof. Hristo Brambarov), Hristina Angelakova (who studied under Prof. Sima Ivanova), Nadya Tsvetkova and Darina Takova (who studied under Prof. Mati Pinkas), Boyko Tsvetanov (who studied under Prof. Chavdar Hadzhiev), Vesselina Katsarova (who studied under Prof. Ressa Koleva), Ivan Konsulov (who studied under Prof. Ilia Yossifov), Tsvetelina Vassileva (who studied under Assoc. Prof. Konstantsa Vachkova), Niko Isakov (who studied under Assoc. Prof. Sabin Markov), Ilka Popova (who studied under Prof. Elena Kisselova), etc.

Department Staff:



Acad. prof. Plamen KARTALOV

Prof. Violeta GORCHEVA, Ph.D.

Assoc Prof. Nina NAIDENOVA, Ph.D.

Stefan DONEV

Assoc. Prof. Alexander TEKELIEV, Ph.D


Opera Singing with a Conductor

Prof. Hristo IGNATOV, Ph.D.

Assoc. Prof. Atanas VARADINOV, Head of Department

Prof. Ivaylo KRINCHEV, Ph.D., Vice Rector

Assoc. Prof. Dean PAVLOV, Ph.D.


Other courses

Prof. Tsonka VELIKOVA, Plasticity, Ph.D.

Prof. Ivelina IVANCHEVA

Assoc. Prof. Maria ILIEVA, Ph.D., Historical Dance

Penka KAZANDZHIEVA, Study of Styles

Natalia TSONEVA, Ph.D., Dance Composition,Choreographicall text analysis,Production

Radoslav RADEV, Ph.D.


Part-time lecturers

Prof. Rumen NEYKOV, Doctor of Arts, Acting

Prof. Pavel GERDZHIKOV, Acting

Prof. Boyanka ARNAUDOVA, History of Music and Musical Theatre Writing

Prof. Teodor POPOV, Doctor of Arts

Prof. Elena NIKOLOVA

Prof. Anelia YANEVA, Doctor of Arts, History of Bulgarian Ballet

Assoc. Prof. Kalina BOGOEVA, Ballet Directing

Assoc. Prof. Zhelka TABAKOVA, Ph.D., Ballet Directing

Bonka MATOVA, Ph.D., Character Dance

Kalina PEEVA


Boris Spassov



Rehearsal pianists

Teodora VULPE







Tsvetomira TSONEVA





Svetlana SPASOVA