Mitko Bozakov: Tradition Meets Experiment in Israeli Theaters

Novinite Insider » INTERVIEW | December 22, 2005, Thursday // 00:00
Mitko Bozakov: Tradition Meets Experiment in Israeli Theaters “I’ve always believed that music is art in its perfection,” Bulgaria’s most successful director in Israel says.

Mitko Bozakov is one of the most internationally successful Bulgarian theatre directors. Living in Israel since 1991, he has directed more than 50 theatre spectacles and is also the author of the "Wall" documentary. His latest project Jekyll & Hyde has attracted massive interest and endorsement by leading Israeli media, such as Haaretz, Yediot Ahronot, and Maariv.

Some of the other highlights in his career include directing The Coffee Shop by Carlo Goldoni, The Art of the Comedy by Eduardo de Filippo, An Italian Straw Hat by Eugene Labiche and Georges Feydeau's A Flea in Her Ear.

Mitko Bozakov answered questions by Petya Bondokova

Q: How did you succeed in touching the hearts of the Israeli audience?

A: Every single spectacle is a message of my personal experience, sense of humor, my emotions, the way I see things. It turned out that what moves me and makes me laugh does the same to many other people as well, regardless of whether they are in Israel or somewhere else.

Q: How many people have seen your show so far?

A: The musical was performed 42 times in 40 days. We have already held talks with producers for performances next season. What is much more important is that the theater hall is always packed up with people, and I see more and more young faces each time. In some particular moments of the show the audience reacts as if they were at a rock concert.

Q: What is unique about this interpretation of Jekyll & Hyde?

A: I've always believed that music is art in its perfection. But I, as a man of theatre, needed to use images and lights to tell this extraordinary story about desperation, personal freedom and the courage to stand up for it. The spectacle turned out to be very dramatic, while music helped to reach such heights that words can hardly achieve.

Q: Were you surprised by the massive media interest?

A: What surprised me was the unanimous endorsement. Several journalists described the spectacle as a remarkable event. Actually, what was remarkable is the fact that such complicated material attracted so much attention, and pleased people who otherwise have different taste, education and interests.

Q: Did you work with any other Bulgarians on Jekyll and Hyde?

A: No, there were no other Bulgarians in the team.

Q: Is theatre art popular in Israel?

A: The Israeli theatre life is very rich and interesting. The boldness, the freedom and the self-confidence of the artists here still amaze me. This is a place where various trends and backgrounds meet, and where tradition meets experiment. To make the long story short, it's not boring at all.

Q: Is there a lot of competition?

A: Yes, lots of it, and I appreciate competition. It keeps challenging me and makes it necessary for me to be always in good shape. I trust my intuition, and I trust my team, my own ability to express things clearly, to be convincing, to fight and to do 46 hours' work in only 24.

Q: Have you thought about showing your work in Bulgaria?

A: I would be very happy to show some of my spectacles in Bulgaria. I grew up with Bulgarian theatre, and learned from it. Today's leading figures on the Bulgarian stage are among my close friends. Over the last 14 years each one of us have gone their own artistic way, and that would make a professional collaboration very interesting and exciting.

Lately I have been thinking about some possible projects in Bulgaria, indeed.

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