National Opera and Ballet
National Opera and Ballet
4.5
Operas • Theatre & Performances
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2-3 hours
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How to get there
  • Serdika II • 9 min walk
  • St. Kliment Ohridski Sofia University • 10 min walk
Detailed Reviews: Reviews order informed by descriptiveness of user-identified themes such as cleanliness, atmosphere, general tips and location information.
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4.5
123 reviews
Excellent
78
Very good
34
Average
10
Poor
0
Terrible
1

Ash_NPS160
London, UK34 contributions
Couples
Be careful - the ticket office speaks no English. It was easy enough to buy tickets by pointing. Cash only!

Also, once seated if you are caught taking a photo, eating, or drinking, you will be told off by one of the attendants. Hide your sweets til it gets dark!

We saw Puccini's Tosca. Our seats were in the lowest level: mid-range of the cheapest you could buy. I think it would be equivalent to €10 each? The legroom was huge, the view was good, and the seats very comfortable. There was enough room for coats and bag in front on the floor, but a cloakroom was provided anyway. Toilets were clean and immediately outside.

The Opera performance itself was brilliant, moving at times. The acoustics brilliant. Only a few times was the orchestra louder than the singers. Somewhat unexpected, there was a translation/subtitles above the stage providing Bulgarian and English for almost all of the dialogue and singing.

The building looks a bit rubbish from the outside, especially because of the run-down nature of the city. Inside however it is a magnificent house, well-decorated and clean. The staff were friendly (so long as you weren't eating or drinking where you shouldn't be!) and provided help in English finding the correct seating area.

If there is a performance during your stay, buy a ticket.
Written April 5, 2013
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews.

Georgi G
Sofia, Bulgaria178 contributions
Friends
I was on this performance of Sleeping Beauty - I did not saw ANY guy eating INSIDE the hall. All these arguments that this guy had was in fact not true. The staff in the Opera house is very nice and polite. Taking photos is absolutely prohibited and not tolerated during the performance. If that guy explained clearly that want a photo of the opera itself I can guarantee that everyone will allow that.

The Opera house itself is one of the best in the World with acoustic sound and could be measured with Vienna Opera house.

Do not forget that one of the biggest opera singers comes from this Bulgarian team, so forget the previous review....
Written November 25, 2014
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews.

Rositsa N
45 contributions
Friends
Since we moved to Bulgaria 10 months ago, me & my husband have been here quite many times. It's great because there are subtitles both in Bulgarian and English. Also, prices start from 8lv, which is crazy cheap. This makes it more available for people and so it's always full. La Traviata was great there and honestly I haven't yet been disappointed with any of their performances. It's situated very centrally and it's closed to many bars and restaurants.
Written July 13, 2015
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews.

Olgica J
Belgrade, Serbia27 contributions
Business
Surprisingly high quality performances, specially operas, excellent Wagner productions every July, subtitles in bulgarian and english, beautiful opera building, cheap tickets
Written April 11, 2015
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews.

Chris_Cotton
Sofia, Bulgaria255 contributions
Couples
We have been to the Sofia Opera twice in the last month. The prices are very good, 50 Lev for a top seat down to 8 Lev for a box. The building is nice but nothing special. The staff, booking system and performances are something else.

Firstly the booking system, we booked through the online system, which was easy. What is not so easy is picking up the tickets. Due to the opening hours of the box office, you have to go in advance of a night performance. The two we have picked up tickets, we have had to stand in a line for over 1 hour, with one person working. There is no separate line for picking up internet tickets. I would prefer to buy and print off the tickets via the web page.

Second the staff. I have rarely met ruder staff than they employ in the auditorium. All over the opera, Bulgarians were taking photo's and eating and drinking during the interval. The programme seller had tried to sell us a programme so she knew we were English. When we tried to take a photo of the ceiling, she attempted to confiscate our camera. At the same time Bulgarians were freely taking photo's. We were also told off by the same person for eating a piece of chocolate, whilst others ate sandwiches and crisps and drank from bottles. Needless to say, she did not get her hands on the camera. The taking of photos and eating in the seating area was also tolerated the second time we went. It is one law for them and another for non Bulgarians.

Thirdly, the performance. Both La Traviata and Sleeping Beauty were performed without passion and conviction. Sleeping Beauty was the worst performance I have seen by a ballet company. The main leads lacked passion and finesse, it was appalling to watch.

To sum it up, the staff are rude, the building is OK and nothing special, the performances lack just about everything, but at the price paid, I cannot complain too much, but do not expect Milan, Paris, Moscow or London quality.
Written November 23, 2014
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews.

Florence B
Paris, France13 contributions
Friends
We went to the Opera last May. It was my first time and I hadhardly heard opera before. But honestly, even just the theater was incredibly beautiful ! The prices were really low (We paid 6€ each for a 3 hours representations in good seats !) and staff was really nice and seaking english. I think representations are good quality but I don't know enough opera to judge that all I cans say is that I loved what I heard ! It was a gala so singers came one by one to sing but it's true that the stage seemed quite little ... There just a point I didn't like : As there was not a lot of tickets sold, we were all invited t oat wherever we wanted in the ground floor and I reall wanted to be on thebalcony, I think I would have had a better view and most of all, whatever was the price you paid you could beat the first or the last row and I think it's unfair.
Well to conclude, if you go on Sofia even for a week end and there is a show, even if you don't know or odn't especially like opera you should buy a tickets because you will never have another chance like that to see a good represention for almost nothing !! =)
(if you buy your tickets online, you hve to g otake the time to exchange them before the representation in the little 'box' at the right of the opera before to enter)
Written June 9, 2014
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews.

Jeanne70
Paris1,034 contributions
Couples
We went to see Swan Lake yesterday and it was absolutely ravishing. We liked everything, the decor, costumes, the dancers were great and the musicians also, it was beautiful. The room was also packed up with only a few seats unoccupied, certainly due to people being unable to reach the opera because of the sudden heavy snow. When I went to buy the tickets at the opera itself one week ago it was already very full and we got two good seats at the front on the first balcony, the only two left in that area. Just keep in mind, after you take your seat, to keep your tickets with your number carefully with you because some people take advantage of the intermissions to up grade their seat. When I came back after the fist intermission, the lights were already dimmed and somebody was sitting on my chair, refusing to move, it was very embarrassing and put a damp on the evening which had been otherwise a memorable one. Also two girls, the style wearing Doc Martens boots took the seats behind us after another intermission and started to throw their legs around, kicking our seats. My husband just turned to show a little discomfort but they just did it more and at the end it is a Bulgarian lady near them who told them something. We found it very sad, if they don't have respects for the people around, at least have respect for the great dancers who are working so hard and giving us such a magnificent performance. The "Etoiles". couple: Vesa Tonova and Emil Yordanov were enchanting, I am happy I managed to get the small paper to keep their names, only one of the usher had this small program. All in all, we had a magical evening, loved the ballet, will certainly go back to Sofia Opera but the ushers have to pay more attention to who is sitting were after the intervals.
Written January 27, 2014
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews.

AustriaSalzburg
Austria13 contributions
Business
I saw Wagner - Walkuere. A great experience. Nice to have coffee during the breaks opposite the opera. Buffee in Opera also ok. Note for Dressing that it can be very hot in opera. Price perfect.
Written July 1, 2013
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews.

Student_25_happy_
Sofia, Bulgaria269 contributions
Family
Wonderful classic place for opera and ballet lovers! Very successful musicals and really amazing children opera shows on the weekends! Go and enjoy an evening musical magic or kid show in the mornings! Favourite place to be in Sofia!
Written December 1, 2019
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews.

Stay798787
24 contributions
My young friend had booked tickets for the opera, Carmen. (October 1, 2019). Beautiful older Opera House and very professional opera, with great orchestra/conductor and very talented cast. I was - frankly - enthralled, and I've been to the Met in NYC but that was not as "exotic" an experience as attending an opera with a Bulgarian woman in Sofia on a Tuesday night,

And BTW, the opera was in French but had English titles on screen over stage . Very cool. And light dinner and coffee afterward...
Magical. Yep....
Written October 5, 2019
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews.

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