An Esoteric Quest in Bulgaria: At the Crossroads of the Mysteries

In Plovdiv, Bulgaria, the Oldest Living City in Europe
August 22-27, 2019

Afternoon Activities

Visit to the Bachkovo Monastery
We will travel to the nearby tranquil and ancient Bachkovo Monastery, known for its unique combination of Byzantine, Georgian and Bulgarian architecture. Founded in the 11th century, the monastery is known for its Church of the Archangels and its panoramic mural, the biggest scenic mural in the Balkans.

Walking Tour of Plovdiv
As the oldest living city in Europe and home to the largest coliseum outside Rome, Plovdiv is endlessly fascinating. The center of the city exudes history with its remnants of Thracian, Greek, Roman, Byzantine, Ottoman, Bulgarian Revival (and, yes, communist) cultures. Our focus will be on the maze of lanes that constitutes the bohemian quarter of Kapana and the Old City, with their multiple layers of civilization.

Evening Events

Gluck’s Orpheus in the Roman Theatre
We are fortunate that, during our time in Plovdiv, we will be able to attend a performance of Gluck's opera Orpheus in the city’s well preserved ancient Roman Theatre. Orpheus is the most famous Thracian figure from antiquity and a semi-divinity of music. What better way to experience his journey than through a famous opera? The production features Teatro Regio di Parma, is directed by leading Italian director Stefano Poda, and is part of the European Capital of Culture Festival, taking place in Plovdiv in 2019.   

Bulgarian Polyphonic A Capella Song
This evening we will be joined by Svetoglas, a male a cappella vocal quartet whose polyphonic singing offers a deep depiction of both ancient Bulgarian folklore and Orthodox sacred music. They will also introduce ancient hymns that have only recently become known and are masterpieces of Bulgarian monophonic music, and its varying forms of expression over the centuries. The performance will take place in the Balabanova House, one of Plovdiv’s most beautiful Revival buildings.

Bulgarian Folk Dance with the Horo Ensemble
The Horo Ensemble has taken part in festivals throughout the Balkans and Eastern Europe and has won many national and international prizes. They perform dances from all regions of Bulgaria in traditional costume. Our evening begins with an opportunity for participants to learn simple dances, and continues with a performance from this celebrated ensemble.

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