The Bulgarian opera school is well-known throughout the world. Many Bulgarian opera singers perform at the most renowned opera stages and impress with their performance. One of them is the bass Pavel Gerdjikov. What makes him different from other famous Bulgarian singers is that he builds his career mainly in Bulgaria along with his numerous guest-performances which have made him world-famous.
Pavel Gerdjikov has taken an interest in music ever since his early childhood: he had violin and piano lessons, played in orchestras, sang in choirs, conducted… He studied at the Sofia Academy of Music under Prof. Anna Todorova and Prof. Ilia Yosifov and as he admits himself, many of his teachers in theoretical subjects left a lasting influence upon him: Prof. Stoyan Djudjev, Lyubomir Pipkov, Dragan Kardjiev. His first appointment was in the Berlin Comische Oper. In 1962 he was enlisted with the Sofia Opera and since then he has participated in all its productions. He has performed with the greatest opera names in Bulgaria: Lyubomir Bodurov, Dimitar Uzunov, Nikolai Ghiaurov, Nikola Nikolov, Alexandrina Milcheva, Raina Kabaivanska, Valeri Popova, Dimitar Petkov, Assen Selimsky, Milkana Nikolova, Liliana Bareva … He has worked with renowned conductors and directors in many countries world-wide: in almost all big European opera theatres and stages, in Japan, Australia, America. In one of his interviews Pavel Gerdjikiv mentions some of his participations: Don Juan – the performances in Salzburg with the Mozarteum Orchestra, The Queen of Spades in Gleinborn, some of his concerts in Melbourne and Sydney, the Tchaikovsky recital at the Richter Festival in Moscow. In the Mozart Sal in Vienna he sang in Shostakovich’s 14th Symphony, which was a premiere of the work outside the then USSR.
His repertoire includes all famous traditional bass parts. But besides them, he participates as a soloist in Bulgarian opera and cantata-oratorial works. He is deeply convinced that “it is impossible for a person to become a complete actor, singer or musician if he lacks in his own national musical culture… When I started studying at the Academy, I sang songs by Dobri Hristov, Pancho Vladigerov, Lyubomir Pipkov, Goleminov. After that I started singing the Fourth Symphony and The Boyana Master by Konstantin Iliev, The Apology of Socrates by Simeon Pironkov, Pentagram for bass and orchestra by Ivan Marinov. Still later I turned to the songs cycle “Foreign Poets” by Lyubomir Pipkov, and then I began to get interested in Shostakovich, his 13th and 14th Symphony… Thanks to the Bulgarian music, I began to get interested in Honegger, Bartok, Britten, Shostakovich (also the songs). Bulgarian music provoked me and opened my mind to the foreign contemporary music.
Pavel Gerdjikov is also an opera director. His preferences in this field are connected not only with the classical opera repertoire, but also with contemporary Bulgarian and foreign music.
Besides developing his career as a singer and a director, Pavel Gerdjikov devotes a lot of time to his teaching activity. In 1970 he started teaching at the Academy of Music in Sofia and he is still one of the most loved teachers among the students. This is not surprising, having in mind that he is a great actor and a highly-accomplished person, with an affinity to the refined style of speaking. His students have the opportunity to know a really encyclopaedic personality, who reveals to them the vast world of art.
OPERA RECITAL · PAVEL GERDJIKOV, bass
GIOVANNI BATTISTA PERGOLESI
La serva padrona
 Aria of Uberto(No. 2) 4’06’’
 Aria of Uberto(No. 1) 4’09’’
 Duet of Aida and Amonasro, Act 3 (Scene 5) 8’32’’
Yana’s Nine Brothers
 Finale 9’47’’
 Air of Galitsky 3’56’’
 Aleko’s Cavatina 6’22’’
 The Old Man’s Story 5’33’’
PIOTR ILYICH TCHAIKOVSKY
 Aria of Prince Gremin 6’11’’
L’italiana in Algeri
 Aria of Mustafà 2’24’’
 Duet of Mustafà and Lindoro 3’37’’
 Tercet, Act 2 6’25’’
Porgy and Bess
 Love duet of Porgy and Bess 6’11’’
Milkana Nikolova, Liliana Bareva,
Mincho Popov, Assen Selimsky
Bulgarian National Radio Symphony Orchestra
Conductors: Pasquale Rispoli, Alexander Vladigerov, Vassil Stefanov, Mihail Angelov