Apply for the Festivals Programme

Cultart Organisation in Bulgaria: Plovdiv 2019 

Training Period: from 10 to 14 of October 2022

Case Study Institution: State Opera – Plovdiv

State Opera Plovdiv social media: Facebook | InstagramYouTube

Short bio and projects

The Plovdiv Opera was established in November 1953. The Orchestra of the State Opera – Plovdiv is the successor of the Plovdiv Philharmonic Orchestra which is the first out-of-capital and most distinguished state orchestra, established in 1945. Since the summer of 2010, the Plovdiv Philharmonic Opera association has been transformed into a state cultural institute whose aim is to create and produce symphonic and chamber concerts and performances in the field of opera, symphony, and ballet. Opera Plovdiv concepts and programme selection include premiers of classic works, music from the XX and XXI centuries, and Bulgarian composers; productions with new technologies and media approaches; multigenre titles by integrating music, poetry, dance, fine arts, and architecture.

The open-air performances took a special place in the active programme of the troupe and the beginning dates back to 1965 with the Verdi’s the unforgettable Aida the beautiful Plovdiv hill – Bunardzhika. Approximately 20 years later, with the excavations of the Ancient Theater in Plovdiv, the Opera was given a unique stage with captivating charm, thus the concept of an international music festival on the stage of the Ancient Theater become a huge opportunity, challenge and common cause among all cultural and touristic institutions in Plovdiv.  Now, the music festival OPERA OPEN is an artistic marker and a symbol of the city, a bridge between the generations, between Bulgarian and world artists and audiences, and an example of best practices in the implementation of large-scale projects on a local and international level.

Locations, venues, rehearsals


  • The OPERA OPEN music festival is a project by State Opera Plovdiv and one of the highlights of Plovdiv – European Capital of Culture 2019’s programme, it is an annual summer event with numerous shows at the stage of the Ancient Theatre, presenting premieres, co-productions, and hybrid-genre projects with artists working across Europe and around the world, welcoming every year leading soloists of the largest opera and ballet companies.
  • Opera repertoire (main) – Verdi – La forca del destino, Macbeth, Don Carlos, Aida, Otello, Falstaff; Mozart – Don Giovanni, All women do it; Puccini – Turandot, Tosca, Madama Butterfly, La bohème Suor Angelica, Gianni Schicchi, Rossini’s Barber of Seville, Orf – Carmina Burana;
  • Highlight Performances – ‘Orpheus and Eurydice’, directed by the leading Italian director Stеfano Poda; Shostakovich’s  ‘Katerina Izmailova’ with the prominent Bulgarian director Vera Nemirova and the conductor Dian Chobanov;  Swan Lake – Tchaikovsky, Conductor – Valery Voronin, Director Konstantin Uralsky, art director and soloist of the Bolshoi Theater and the USA ballet in Lowa; Gizelle – Adam with Conductor – Lucano Di Martino , LA BAYADERE – Minkus; MARIA DE BUENOS AIRES – Piazzolla, Conductor – Konstantin Dobroykov, Director – Veselka Kuncheva; CARMINA BURANA – Orf;
  • Chamber&Educational formats – ‘Opera Opera Boutique’, ‘Behind the Scenes’, ‘A little night music, The city rhythm is  ¾ ;
  • Musical –  Company by Sondheim and Furth/national premiere/ – co-production with Ivan Vazov National Theater; ‘Jesus Christ Superstar’ – Webber; ‘Evita’ – Webber, ‘My Fair Lady’ by George Bernard and Loewe;
  • Mrs Opera’s Academy – is an educational programme for children which includes performances, workshops, and participation in opera productions. The Academy organizes creative workshops for over 70 children per year in vocal, acting, and ballet technique

The team of Opera Plovdiv has been working together for 4 years and has a strong number of 270 artists and employees: 10 leaders with management positions for each department, 17 soloists, 92 orchestra and accompanists, 50 choir, 35 ballet, 50 services, 9 administration, finance department and PR, and 8 staff. *In the last four years, the ballet troupe is formed by dancers from over 8 countries and in 2019 the number of ballet dancers exceeded 60.

What is the purpose of the open calls?

The open calls aim to invite and choose 125 participants for the Cultural academy of cultural managment in 2022. They will be trained in the 5 creative programmes.

Cities and Programmes

Bulgaria Plovdiv
Austria Vienna
Greece Ioannina
Italy Lecce
North Macedonia Skopje


There are 5 programmes.

Festivals / Visual Arts / Performing Arts / Design and Architecture / Applied Arts

Here you can find more information about each five of them.

Each programme takes place in one of the 5 partner cities:

Festivals in Plovdiv, Bulgaria

Visual arts in Austria, Vienna

Performing Arts in Ioannina, Greece

Design and Architecture in Lecce, Italy

Applied Arts in Skopje, Northern Macedonia

Each candidate has to choose one of the 5 programmes of cultural management depending on their interests and experience. Each programme takes place in one of the 5 cities.

5-day intensive training in 10 modules with key speakers of actual management fields; practical exercises while participating in the real working process of a cultural organization and work on business plans related to а Case study challenge.


The 10 specified modules of the Cultart programme are Cultural Innovations, Business & Entrepreneurship, Management & Administration, Project Development, Fundraising, Leadership, Conflict Management, Media & Communication.

What is essential to the Cultart programmes is the Cultart Case Study Challenges when the groups will have the chance to participate in the real working process of a cultural organization in each city programme. The Case Study Organizations will outline their main tools and models, their current work and projects, and will give a specific ‘challenge’ to the group. The Case Study Challenge is the final exercise where the group can present their new skills in offering cultural management solutions.

During the learning sessions, participants will create drafts of their business plans as part of the training programme. All business plans will be published in a Cultart Business Book at the end of the project.

Yes, each participant will receive an Erasmus+ Certificate of attendance.

Cultart Start-up Platform will launch as a final result of the project activities as a natural continuation and opportunity for the new cultural managers. It will upgrade all 5 programmes by giving them an open source of knowledge, network, discussion space, and product-to-business interaction. As an open-source online digital tool, the platform involves the young cultural managers in the real digital market world, cultural creative experts, investors, and public bodies.

Participants from 18 to 35 years from the 5 Cultart partners countries.

The participants are chosen by a jury. The jury for all programmes will be selected from the team of each of the partner organizations in Cultart. 

25 participants will be selected for each programme. A total of 125 participants for the 5 programmes.

Each programme starts at a different time of the year. 

Festivals in Plovdiv, Bulgaria from 10 to 14 of October 2022

Visual arts in Austria, Vienna from 19 to 25 of January 2023

Performing Arts in Ioannina, Greece from 8 to 12 of May 2023

Design and Architecture in Lecce, Italy from 21 to 24 of November 2022

Applied Arts in Skopje, Northern Macedonia from 27 to 31 of March 2023

The Cultart Academy programmes are tax-free.

All transport and accommodation plus meals (food and beverage) allowances will be covered by the partner organizations.

*Considering the possibility of Cultart participants travelling from different parts of the world the covering of transport cost is limited to 275 euros. 

Cultart Application Deadline: 01.08.2022
The approved candidates will be announced at the beginning of September.

If you have any other questions, please email us here:

Application Form

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