singer / performer / creator
SamoDivas is a contemporary/classical music ensemble formed in 2017. The group began as a two-person collaboration by Viktoria Nikolova and Natalia Rogalski, but soon grew into a quartet with the addition of Bilyana Grudanska and Elisabeth Lusche. Piano and trumpet playing, choral and operatic singing, acting, dance, and other talents are all utilized during a performance. SamoDivas’s repertoire comes from many different genres, including folk, classical, contemporary, jazz, and improvisation. The group fuses these styles with traditional Bulgarian folklore and theatrical moments to create beautiful musical collages. Their debut project is “Metamorphosis of a Female Character,” a dramatic and humorous performance about Nina Zarechnaya - an underexposed character from the play “The Seagull” by Anton Chekhov.
OT AZOJ plays music from Molvania, the country with the muddiest party scene in all of Eurasia. With sheep and wagon, OT AZOJ brings this exciting party to the Netherlands. Original compositions served on a bed of Balkan bop, Klezmer rumba, and Turkish grooves, topped with screaming solos and garlic liqueur. The six musicians come from the Netherlands and Bulgaria and are musically equally versatile. With conservatories training in Bulgarian, Jazz, Latin, and Classical and enormous experience in Klezmer and Balkan styles, OT AZOJ is an Amsterdam top formation. From a rough festival to an intimate concert, OT AZOJ makes it a Molvaan experience!
OT AZOJ was founded in 1994, in the current line-up the newest band member is as old as the band young. They produced ten CD's sold worldwide, made furor at festivals like Int. Gipsy Festival, Lowlands, Festival Mundial (NL), Dranouter (BE), Ashkenaz (CA), Klezfiesta (AR), and Kazimierz Dolny (PL), and performed in theaters with Klezmer fon Kishinev, ZETS!, Express Orient, and Dza Dza Drum.
Melodramas & Tales project
This group consists of 4 musicians demonstrating a full scope of stage arts.
Being performers of historically informed performance practice, we create a story that is directly connected to the music and inspired by it. Both the music and the text are performed in their historical context: the music is played with historical awareness on period instruments, and the story is made according to - and after historical events. Other than composing music for a text as done in melodramas, here the process is reversed and text is written to fit the music. In this way, the rhetorical sense both of the music and of our story is amplified. The text is at times combined with the music and at times is narrated alone, as the music at times is played with no narration. As a spectator in one of our earlier projects once said: “it’s a kind of 17th-century total theater”.
Fortepiano: Ilil Danin
Cello: Shuhei Takezawa
Soprano: Viktoria Nikolova
Narration and violin: Yotam Gaton
Members: Alexandra Shkodrova - vocals, gadulka, production
Nikola Petrov - celtic bouzouki, hurdy-gurdy, production
Alexander Nikolov - percussion
Ivan Ivanov: flutes, cornetto, Viktoria Nikolova - voice, Zdravko Peev - ud, Evgeni Chakalov: flutes
Eriney is a young neofolk band based in Sofia, Bulgaria. The group creates their own original music inspired by the Balkan and Oriental folklore, Bulgarian traditions and Western European medieval music.
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OPERA FORWARD FESTIVAL 2020
Five Steps for One Leap
Five Steps for One Leap (OFF Talent # 5)
The OFF Talents are students from various art schools. They are inspired by an Amsterdammer who makes a difference in his or her environment. This results in five brand new short operas from a new generation of music theater makers, to be seen during the OFF Nights. No biographical representations, but an artistic response to the encounter with a special person. While the productions are still in full development, we are already looking at what started the meeting with the students.
Five Steps for One Leap has as inspiration: Amsterdammer Charlotte Heine.
Charlotte Heine got excited about the amount of food being thrown away, and went into action. She collects fruit and vegetables that supermarkets no longer want to sell and turns them into jams and chutneys. The students were in the kitchen with Charlotte. Inspired by her positive energy, they make an opera about overcoming fears. In the process, they always want to stay close to genuine feelings: from themselves as makers, from the singer and musicians - and ultimately from the audience.
The performances of the OFF Talents are free and can be booked via the link below. In addition to your free ticket, you only need a free ticket for the correct OFF Night, which you can reserve here: March 20 , 21 , and 22.
Team & cast
Michiel Augustijn, Codarts University of the Arts, Rotterdam
Catoo Lustig, Academy of Theater and Dance, Amsterdam
Mariska Werkman, Academy of Theater and Dance, Amsterdam
Na'ama Hurwitz, University of Amsterdam
manager Robin Ebing, Academy of Theater and Dance, Amsterdam
manager Jorien Werkhoven, Academy of Theater and Dance, Amsterdam
Viktoria Nikolova - Voice,
Metamorphosis of a Female Character
by Viktoria Nikolova
Music Theater Performance: 1 hour
Performers: Viktoria Nikolova (creator, voice), Bilyana Grudanska (piano), Elisabeth Lusche (trumpet), Natalia Rogalski (voice, direction)
Electronics and composition: Domenic Jarlkaganova
Directors: Natalia Rogalski, Nele Menes, Caecilia Thunnissen (Oorkaan)
Video documentation and trailer: Sabijn Peeters
Metamorphosis of a Female Character is a dramatic and humorous music theater performance about Nina Zarechnaya - an underexposed character from The Seagull by Anton Chekhov.
Chekhov’s play indicates that Nina’s character is away from home for two years. In that short time this 19-year old runs away from her family, moves to a big city, has no money, follows her dream to become an actress, gets involved in a love triangle, gets pregnant, cares for her fatally sick child, loses that child and her lover, and develops an acting block.
When it was not common for women to have the opportunity to develop their full potential, Nina tells us a story of courage, endurance, empowerment and maturing out of life’s hardships. Her overwhelming and confusing experiences can be compared to our experience of modern-day life in a fast-changing society.
Through all this chaos, Nina chooses not to identify with the narrative of a victim; she goes through an unseen - until now - metamorphosis transcends her grief and finds a strong inner connection to her true self and art. She serves as a powerful role model for us today.
SPRITZL LAB 2019
by Viktoria Nikolova, Nagato Mugler, L U C Y L O V E
SPRITZL finale 2019
Performed by Viktoria Nikolova, Nagato Mugler, L U C Y L O V E
Place: Muziekgebouw, Amsterdam
With Spr! Tzl, the Dutch opera company, Silbersee identifies promising new talent and guides them in their makership on their way to the future. In this workshop for young makers, the disciplines of music and theater are further explored, deepened and enriched. From spoken word to opera, from rap to dance and from grunge to cyber art: everything can be discussed at Spr! Tzl. Special attention is paid to the use of the human voice, which is also a spearhead in Silbersee's work.
by Hugo Ball
Short pop-up performance
Duration: 5:52 min.
Dancers: Brecht Louwerens, Delano Hanemaaijer, Gerinio Levar, Giorgio Lepelblad, Maxime Abbenhues, Mees Meeuwsen
Soprano: Viktoria Nikolova
Percussion: Antoine Josselin
Text: Karawane - Hugo Ball
Melodramas & Tales project
"A Tale of Two Lights"
by Yotam Gaton
The concept of the performance derives from the melodrama genre that developed in the
late 18th century. There, the fusion of recited text and music creates a breath-taking
outcome and presents drama in an outmost special way. The project involves storytelling
with music. With words and music, we set an atmosphere and tell a story that is meant to
capture the listeners as we carry them through old worlds to the life of our cultural
by Dimitri van den Wittenboer
The performative installation was developed in collaboration with musicians and visual artists by Dimitri van den Wittenboer. It was shown daily during the graduation festival at the Royal Academy of Art in The Hague 2019.
The Christian Mass connects dramatic and ritualistic elements using choreography, speech, music and audience participation. In the dramatic meaning everything one sees It represents chronologically the life of Jesus. The ritualistic meaning is his true presence in the bread and the wine at the Mass after the consecration.
interested in reworking the Christian Mass with the aim to intensify its numinous effect.
Comparing the mass to tribal rituals this was a try-out to reduce it to the essence. The script was focused on participatory part, singing and and incarnating expressions. In collaborations with musicians we edited scores of a selection of Gregorian chants emphasizing simplicity and repetition. Together with a group of visual artist a public courtyard was transformed onto a church. The authentic presence of the work created much confrontation with both liberal and catholic groups who were trying to stop it. In conversations the Dimitri was trying to explain his interest in bringing art and religion closer together through their common interest in the sublime.
The Silly Street
by Viktoria Nikolova
An audio visual experiment
Duration: 6:29 min
Participants: Cristopher Collings, Juan Verdaguer, Ivan Pavlov, Elisabeth Luche, Ana Luísa Ribeiro, Viktoria Nikolova
Saound, video and editing: Viktoria Nikolova
Inspired by the futurist manifesto The art of Noise by Luigi Russolo, and the curios soundscape of a musicians house, Viktoria explores the ways of capturing a space with a 15 minute improvisation. One time shot, captured by her and 4 people improvising in each room of the house recorded in every room individually. There was a recording made between all the rooms, a channel capturing the outside garden space and one attached to the camera.
In the house on De Sillestraat, 8 students from The Royal Conservatory in The Hague are not aloud to play their instruments, and yet, sound is everywhere. They can be heard but rarely seen. And to their accompaniment comes every footstep from the 2nd floor and in front of the house. Every toilet flush and shower can be heard from every point in the two story space. The experiment had as initial idea to capture the lack of personal space where there is no good sound and visual isolation.
A Heartwarming Bone Cracking
by Johanna Kotlaris
A Heartwarming Bone Cracking, 2018
Installation, Performance: 20 min., Audio MP3: 17:30 min
Performers: Johanna Kotlaris, Sara Moreira Marques, Viktoria Nikolova
Video documentation: Marta Hryniuk
Sound recording and editing: Siamak Anvari
In A Heartwarming Bone Cracking three performers guide the audience into a non-linear narration of projection, desire and resistance towards an unknown other, a city or a lover. Through text and melodic sequences that reveal emotional conditions, memories, statements and speculation, the performance oscillates between monologue, choir and dialogue.
The installation is built with construction materials normally implemented for absorption and diffusion of sound or insulation. These materials are re-implemented as room dividers that play with ranges of visibility and audibility. Without the performance, the installation is accompanied by the vocals as stereo audio piece on speakers.
Without the performance, the installation is accompanied by the vocals as MP3 audio piece. Depending on the form in which the work is presented, it can be played by different types of speakers or exist as independent work.