The Talented Mr. Valdobrev

12 October 2007 text Elena Peneva, photos Ilian Ruzhin
Stefan Valdobrev is a terribly busy man. As we know he is not only a singer and a film and theatre music composer but also an actor and finally recently he received a diploma for cinema director. We made the intreview with him right after he told somebody on the phone that he was busy and will be late. We used the opportunity to ask Stefan about everything that is happening around him and there are a lot of things.

Tell us about the forthcoming premiere of Small Play for A Child’s Room, what is it about and what is the part that you play?
The play is written by Iana Borisova and won a prize at the annual competition of Theatre 199 for youg dramaturgy. The story is about a group of young pepole who get together once every month and play some strange games that they have invented. The people around think them crazy and call them masons and heretics but inspite that they feel very good together. While one day my character announces he is going to get married and the fights between him and the rest of the group start. At first they don’t take it seriously or just hide their reactions. From my character’s point of view the play is about a man who desides to make a choise and it is a very tough one.

Why did you accept to take part in that spectacle?
Well, that is very simple. The main reason is that Galin Stoev called me on the phone. We have studied together and used to work very well when we were in NATFA but later I have not taken part in his plays. That is why is was very easy for me to say “yes”. Galin is a wonderful director and recently – an European director. I had no doubts about the pleasant work during the making of the spectacle. The colleagues that I play with are also woderful. The other thing is that Theatre 199 is a special place for making theatre and I have not played there until now.
You don’t have many premieres at the theatre in recent years. Why is that?
That is true for the last one-two years because I have not been in Bulgaria. What is more is that I deliberately lowered the number of the performances. There was a period when I had 5-6 performances per season and 28-29 performances monthly, which according to me is not nice. Every actor has such period – a time when he gathers experience without getting better. After that comes the peroid when you decide it is better to make one or two quality performances per season and to concentrate on them. That is why I studied staging.

Why did you go to the Czech Republic?
Because it is one of the three best places in the world for studying staging. The Academy there is in the top three.

Does it mean that you don’t want to play at the theatre anymore?
No, I want to. I can’t quit that.

Then why did you study staging?
Years ago when I wanted to become an actor and tried to enter NATFA that was because of the cinema. Many of my colleagues there were talking about some very famous spectacles that they have seen 200 times and knew them by heart. In my home town Stara Zagora opera had very good traditions, while the theatre had none. I have no experience in theatre spectacles that had made me an admirer of acting for drama theatre. But I have been watching films like crazy and that is what I want to do.

Do you have any ideas for films?
Yes, I have, mostly for documentary and short ones. whenI was in Prague in made six films for nine months.the education is very intesive and every month and a half one film is made. I am even thinking of showing my graduation film here.

What are you writing at the moment?
Here I have the scores from the film of Nikola Komandarev The World is Big and There is Salvation Everywhere. The film is ready and we have been thinking over it for a long time. When I say long, I mean 6-7 years since the day Stefan foud the novel of Slaveikov and said: “Come here, I would like to give you something”. I read it and loved it. Then we found out more about the story of both the novel and the author and here it is – now the film is ready, I have seen it many times and it is very good.

You are not only the composer of the music but you also play in it, don’t you?
Yes, but not the main part.

Why did you stop making music albums?
I saw no meaning doing this. After 5-6 years I foud out that it is not neccesary for me.

Is it because it does not bring you anything or because you have to fight too hard to succeed?
Fight is hard for everything. I had written 250 songs and a cuople of albums but then I started making cinema and theatre music. I found that far more interesting.

What kind of music are you listening to, what inspires you lately?
Classical music. Now that I have said it it gave me the creeps. It has been that way for many years. Opera was the first thing I ever heard and dreamt of. When I was four or five years old my parents used to take me to the opera and because of the long duration of the performances I fell often asleep. I have listened to a lot of that music – I even dreamt it and the people in the beautiful costumes. Last night I saw The Merchant of Venice and I was moved to tears because Al Pachino plays really great. I said to myself – is it possible for me to do such things, ever? Such high level...

What are you going to do from now on?
First thing is the premiere, then I have to finish the music about the film. After that in Italy and later I will go to the Czech Republic because I was invited there to compose the music for one performance. The other reason to go there is to finish my graduation film, to fix it and to try showing it on festivals. I will also go to Germany to compose music. Then I might have a new project if everythings goes well...


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