Mayor Zdravko Dimitrov: Plovdiv shall forever be a European Capital of Culture!
With an exciting ceremony and music from Vivaldi's Four Seasons, Plovdiv passed on the title of European Capital of Culture to Galway / Ireland / and Rijeka / Croatia /. The event at the Boris Hristov House of Culture was attended by partners, representatives of the executive and local authorities, the diplomatic corps, guests from the family of European capitals and part of the teams that worked on the project over the years. The Minister of Culture Boil Banov also attended the event. The ceremony was broadcast in real time via platforms on the Internet and social networks and was watched by thousands of viewers.
The preparation of the spectacle was entrusted to the team of the State Opera - Plovdiv. Specially for the ceremony in her home country, virtuoso violinist Liya Petrova returned - an international artist, glorifying Bulgaria around the world, winner of the first prize at the prestigious Karl Nielsen Competition in Denmark, playing with the unique Italian violin Matteo Goffriller from 1690, provided by the Queen Elizabeth Music Chapel. The Chamber Choir of the Plovdiv Opera, under maestro Dian Chobanov, performed with the concertmaster Vieslav Novak, Academic Folk Choir of Academy of Music, Dance and Fine Arts “Prof. Assen Diamandiev” with conductor Prof. Kostadin Buradzhiev, soloists Svetlana Ivanova, Vera Girginova and Dimitar Panayotov - trumpet, young violinist from the "Dobrin Petkov" Music School Viktor Vasilev, ballet dancers Petya Koleva and Stefan Vouchkov. The set design was entrusted to Nikolina Kostova-Bogdanova.
Exactly 365 days after the official opening of the first European Capital of Culture in Bulgaria, we recalled some of the greatest moments and major events for the city. The projects, audiences, participants and the overall emotion of the exciting year were recounted by presenters - Lily Burzeva, who officially opened the European Capital of Culture one year ago from the 30-meter stage and a favourite of the Plovdiv audience - opera singer Mark Fowler, Australia. Guests reminisced of the most exciting moments of the iconic festivals - Opera open, Plovdiv Jazz Fest, Hills of Rock, Summer cinema in the park, Festival of lights, as well as initiatives to create the first urban font, work with community centers, international exhibitions, celebrating the anniversary of the fall of the Berlin Wall and hundreds of other events that will remain in the city's cultural history. The motto "together" was recreated on stage in memory of all that.
Plovdiv delivered its message to the 2020 titleholders in the form of plastic art pieces that join the Plovdiv 2019 motto and read: "LET'S STAY TOGETHER". The two symbols were made from a piece of syenite rock by the Plovdiv artist Atanas Hranov and were presented at the end of the event by the mayor of the town Zdravko Dimitrov and deputy mayor for culture Plamen Panov. „The legacy of the European Capital of Culture initiative is even more important today than the program in the title year itself, because the city has received enormous energy, visibility, opportunities that will continue to have a positive effect for many years after the title.“, Plovdiv Mayor Zdravko Dimitrov said in his speech. He stressed that in the coming years Plovdiv will continue to invest in culture to make the city one of the centers of arts in Europe.
Along with the symbol of Plovdiv 2019, representatives of both cities received a Book of the project, which contains the entire program and all the events that took place throughout 2019. The book was also presented to every guest in the hall.