Bulgarian Boy Choir Costumes: Plovdin


Figure 1.--The Bulgarian Plovdiv choir has a costume of Burgandy velvet suits with short pants. All of the boys wear the costume, imcluding boys of 15 and 16 years of age. Older teenagers participating in the choir wear long white pants.

One Bulgarian choir I know of is the Plovdiv choir. I know very little about the choir other than Plovdiv is one of Bulgaria's major cities. It is difficult to find out information about them because of the language barrier.

Assessments

It does appear to be a very highly regarded choir. One expert on boys' choral music writes, ''The Plovdiv boys are performing and making music, and not only singing. Stefka Blagoeva is an excellently trained and dedicated musician. Her whole person exhales sincerity, spontaneity, candor, a fiery temperament, delicate sensibility and a wealth of emotions''. Newspaper ''Culture'': "I am happy to have heard a Bulgarian boys choir, who has found the way to a rich, typical boys sonority and mature interpretation. Itís a delightful choir which I have listened with great admiration". [Prof. V. Krastev] Another expert writes, "Few are the choirs in Europe like this wonderful children's choir. The Plovdiv boys are a real wonder''. [Prof. V. Arnaudov]

Costume

The boys where a variety of interesting costumes including shorts and knee breeches. The choir in the 1980s had uniform of velvet burgandy-colored jackets and matching short pants suits, worn with lacey jabots and white knee socks. Older boys of about 16 years or older accompany the boys and wear long black pants. The Bulgarian Plovdiv choir, like many choirs, give considerable attention to appearance. Their destinctive burgandy costumes set them apart from many other European boy choirs, at least in the 1980s. The choir gives considerable attention to the details of their uniform. Notice that all the boys wear short pants of about the same length. This hardly could be an accident. Obviously the director or one of his assiastants was assigned to carefully monitor the costume and hpw it was worn.

Traveling Clothes

The Plovdiv choir does not have a traveling uniform. On a visit to Belgium the boys arrived in their normal strret clothes. By 1988 few of the boys wore short pants, only a few of the younger boys. Once in Brussels, however, they wore their short pants velvet suits for both performances and for tours around the city.


Figure 3.--This Plovdiv choir is shown here on a group outing.

Regulations

A HBC Belgian contributor reported that during a 1988 appeaance before the first rehersal nearly all the boys wore jeans or other long pants. Only 3 or four little boys and one boy about 14 years old wore shorts. Interesting that one of the older boys wore shorts. After the first rehersal, however, to the final concert, all the boys wore their uniform, even during meals and a walk around Brussels. I'm not sure what the boys thought about that. Boys as old as 16 walking around town in little velvet shorts, frilly shorts, and white knee socks. What must have the Belgium boys that saw them thought. Presumably the older boys must have objected if they normally dress in jeans.





Christopher Wagner





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Created: November 2, 1998
Last updated: Octiber 20, 2000