Konstantin Mikhailov-Stojan

Picture of Konstantin Mikhailov-Stojan
Konstantin Ivanovich Mikhailov was born in Bessarabia, then in the Tsarist Russia, into a poor family of immigrants from Elhovo Bulgarian. To emphasize his Bulgarian origin, added to his surname the name of "Stoyan", untypical for Russia and other Slavic countries.

When he was young, Stoyan Mihaylov learned Bulgarian folk music through the songs of his grandmother. During his secondary education in Odessa, he developed his singing talent and interest in music when singing as a soloist in the bishop's choir and the choir of the church of the University. He graduated in 1872, but due to lack of funds he did not go to the Saint Petersburg Conservatory until 1876, and meanwhile he earned his living as a teacher in Elisavetgrad Bezparichie. He stayed at the Conservatory remains only for 4 months due to lack of money. Stoyan Mihaylov developed his mastery of singing and stage craft, during long hard work on various opera stages in Russia.

In 1881, he entered a private opera troupe in the city of Simferopol in the Crimea peninsula. He made his stage debut as Paris and Pygmalion in the opera "The beautiful Galatea" by Franz von Suppé. He built his career during the seven following years in several opera ensembles. In 1888, he won a competition to be a soloist in the Bolshoi, where he sang until 1890 and during 1897-1899. Between 1890 and 1897, he tours with the opera company Pryanishnikov of Hippolytus, as well as other smaller companies.

In the summer of 1899, Stoyan Mihaylov visited Bulgaria for the first time and immediately establish contacts with the local musical circles. Together with the pianist and singer Mara Cheryen and Katya Stoyanova, he gave concerts in Vratsa, Vidin, Lom and Ruse. He made proposals to the Ministry of Education to create a professional opera company, but the idea was not accepted because it was deemed inconvenient. Therefore in autumn Mikhailov-Stoyan returned to Russia, where he remained until 1907. In early 1902 in Nizhny Novgorod, he was a partner of Feodor Chaliapin. In 1903, he was a guest soloist at the Opera House in Helsinki. In September 1905, he was appointed Director of the School of Music in Rostov on Don.

Returning to Bulgaria in the summer of 1907, Mikhailov-Stoyan toured Bulgaria with Ivan Vulpe opera singer who, like him a native of Bessarabia, and his wife, Gyuzelev Bogdana Vulpe. The success of the three singers success drew attention to the initiative for the establishment of a Bulgarian Opera Company. For this purpose, Stoyan Mihaylov wrote his book "On the issue of establishing a Bulgarian folk opera" containing polemic articles, letters, critical reviews and other documentary materials substantiating the need for such a cultural institution. So at the end of 1908, there was a Bulgarian opera and the first performance was on October 18. Until the end of his life, Konstantin Mikhailov-Stoyan was its director and performer in many productions.

Along with singing and directing its activities, Mikhailov-Stoian is the author of vocal pedagogical studies and biographical essays on musicians and singers. In addition to Opera, he contributed to the Bulgarian music and folklore, and recorded numerous folk songs and some of them are arranged with piano accompaniment.

Reference, provided by Robert Schlesinger
Konstantin Mikhailov-Stojan holds a very important role in the development of opera in Bulgaria. Born in 1851 in Russia, he received his training at the Conservatory of St. Petersburg. After appearing with an operetta company, he was engaged by the Bolshoi Teater in Moscow during 1888-1890 and 1897-1898. During the season of 1893-1894, he appeared at the Imperial Opera House of St. Petersburg. Successful appearances f ollowed in Kiev, Odessa and Vilnius, where in addition to singing he taught singing. Following this, he became a professor and then Director of the Conservatory of Rostov, at the same time singing roles in Smolensk. Major roles in his career included German (Pique Dame), Lenski, Prince Igor, Alfredo, Tannhäuser and Faust. In 1908, he came to Bulgaria to assume the leadership of the Bulgarska Operna Drushba, in addition to performing with the Sofia National Opera. Through his efforts the opera life in Bulgaria began to flourish. In 1910, he was responsible for the premiere of the first Bulgarian opera, Siromahinya by Emanuel Manulov. Under his management, other operas by Bulgarian composers Georgi Atanasov and Dimiter Hadjigeorgiev were performed. Konstantin Mikhailov-Stojan died on the 14th of June 1914, after only six years with the Sofia National Opera.
Vladimir Efimenko
Konstantin Mikhailov-Stojan sings A widow wept at the Macedonian Border
In RA Format
I wish to thank Vladimir Efimenko for the recording, picture and biographical notes.
Stojan can akso be spellld Stoyan, Stoian.

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