- Title: BULGARIA: Sound and Light show bathes old fortress in new light
- Date: 28th July 2010
- Summary: (SOUNDBITE) (Bulgarian) HEAD OF TECHNICAL SUPPORT, PARVAN PARVANOV, SAYING: "The show presents the founding of the Bulgarian state, various historical events like the battles with Byzantium, the fall under Turkish rule, the suffering of Bulgarians, only told through the means of sound and light."
- Embargoed: 12th August 2010 13:00
- Location: Bulgaria
- Country: Bulgaria
- Topics: Arts / Culture / Entertainment / Showbiz,Light / Amusing / Unusual / Quirky
- Reuters ID: LVA5MGR2OUJRT2NBIQOQYYB7DWRP
- Story Text: The 'Sound and Light' ('Zvuk i svetlina') audio-visual show at Tsarevets fortress - once the castle of the king in the old capital of Bulgaria Tsarevgrad Turnov - is a unique attraction even in the history-rich country of Bulgaria.
It was created by a team of Bulgarian and Czech specialists managed by Bulgarian director Vulo Radev and Czech director Jaromir Hnick. The first ever release of the programme was in 1985, to commemorate 800 years since the uprising of the brothers Asen and Peter (also known as the Vlach-Bulgarian rebellion, a revolt of Bulgarians living in the Byzantine Empire in 1185/1186) and has been overhauled a number of times until 1988 when the organizers released the version still seen today.
"The 'Sound and Light' performance tells Bulgaria's history with sound and light only," said the head of technical support, Parvan Parvanov.
"The show presents the founding of the Bulgarian state, various historical events like the battles with Byzantium, the fall under Turkish rule, the suffering of Bulgarians, only told through the means of sound and light," he said.
The complicated engineering project was built during the communist era, and involved 2500 coloured lights, 140 flashes and four green lasers controlled by huge computers and tape recorders. More than 600 kilometres of power cables run beneath the ground.
Parvanov says the programme went through a difficult time during the transition from socialism to capitalism: the show was criticised for consuming large amounts of energy and not being self-supportive. Expensive hardware, extended over a large area and difficult to be secured, was repeatedly stolen, but despite the delicate computer systems the show has never been cancelled due to a technical fault.
The music, which was composed especially for the occasion by the Bulgarian composer Simeon Pironkov, is an important element helping to follow the historical events and describe their invisible images. The very first sounds take spectators back to the time when the land was inhabited by Thracians, Slavs and proto-Bulgarians. The music aims to evoke thoughts about the creation of the Bulgarian State in 681, the struggle for its consolidation and the constructive labour of the Bulgarian people.
The show has become an attraction for tourists visiting Veliko Tarnovo, itself a tourist destination. Recently a new wave of Romanian tourists swept Veliko Tarnovo, says Parvanov.
"When Bulgaria and Romania entered the EU, many more tourists travelled between the two countries. We encountered a new wave of Romanian tourists in addition to tourists from other nations," he said.
The spectaclewith the orthodox anthem "Mnogaya leta" and festive bells toll.
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