Main value of university education is that it enables prominent figures in science and art to establish and develop schools. For already 20 years Raina Kabaivanska is sharing her extensive heritage of the classical opera theatre and training the new generation of opera artists, the musical and academic communities talk about Kabaivanska School. New Bulgarian University, Vecchi-Tonelli Music Institute in Modena and Accademia Musicale Chigiana in Siena are identifiable participants privileged to be part of the School development.
Master Classes of Raina Kabaivanska in opera singing and actor’s interpretation in Italy, followed by those in Spain, France, Sweden, Bulgaria, Russia, Germany and Japan, have created through the years a network of music academies, theatres and universities devoted to the classical vocal traditions of Italian bel canto. In the Master Classes participated young opera singers from Europe, America, Asia, South Africa and Australia. The first Master Class in Bulgaria, in NBU Raina Kabaivanska started in 2001. One year later she established a Donation Fund at the University designated to support the training of young opera singers in Bulgaria and Italy. During her Master Classes the great opera actress discovers new talents, contributes to their development and perfection and presents them on the international opera stage. Over the years more than 200 young opera singers from all over the world were trained in the Master Classes at NBU. Raina Kabaivanska Fund has disbursed 80 scholarships, thus raising the chance of many young opera artists to enter the door of the biggest opera stages in the world. In 2010, under the auspices of NBU, a project entitled “Raina Kabaivanska presents her students at the international opera stage” was launched in Sofia. The project began with the production of the opera La Bohème (Puccini) and Werther (Jules Massenet) featuring Raina Kabaivanska’s students from Bulgaria and Italy in the leading roles. Performances took place at Sofia Opera and Ballet House and Teatro Comunale Luciano Pavarotti in Modena, Italy.
Nowadays, the students of Raina Kabaivanska School and the scholarship holders outline a clear way on the map of the contemporary opera world. Maria Agresta, Andrea Carè, Veronica Simeoni, Virginia Tola and Yasko Sato are the stars of the most prestigious world opera theatres. Others make their debuts with conductors like Ricardo Mutti and Gustav Kuhn - Vittoria Yeo, Maria Radoeva and Simone Lim. Ana Petricevic and Elisa Cho are winners of international competitions and are getting ready for their forthcoming starry moments. The youngest – Davide Ryu, Marily Santoro, Kostadin Mechkov build up their vocal and artistic identity. Thus Kabaivanska School writes its own history creating generations of opera artists who are thought to sing in a recognizable way, with perfect tehnique and expression of full artistic liberty. “Ï’m proud when my students after singing on the world stages can say: I studied in Bulgaria” – says Raina Kabaivanska.
George Tekev, PhD
Executive Director and
Member of the Board of Trustees of NBU