Varna State Opera was founded in 1947 by the renowned Bulgarian tenor Peter Raycheff the first world famous Bulgarian opera singer. The choreographer of the first opera production "Sold Bride" by Smetana (1947) and of the first solo ballet performance with the one-act ballets "Scheherazade" and "Bolero" (1948) is Asen Manolov. The main credit for the development of the ballet troupe goes to Galina and Stefan Yordanov, choreographers and ballet directors for 25 years (1960-1985) who formed the image of Varna Ballet and brought it to the international stage in Russia, Italy, Spain, Poland and other countries, also initiated the Varna Ballet Competition (1964), the world's first international ballet competition.

Other prominent choreographers from Bulgaria and abroad work with the Varna Ballet Troupe. In recent years Sergei Bobrov introduces new creative inventions, expands the cast of the troupe with international castings and sets the tradition of the International Ballet Forum of the Varna State Opera (since 2015).

Important figures on the Varna ballet history are both prima ballerinas Svetlomira Mihailova and Ekaterina Cheshmedzhieva, aslo principal dancer Konstantin Iliev and today successfully dance the outstanding ballet soloists Iliyana Slavova, Pavel Kirchev, Claire Marie Gillard Lestan, Marco di Salvo and others.

The rich repertoire of the troupe includes titles from the ballet classics, such as “The Fountain of Bakhchisaray”, "Coppelia", "Giselle", "Don Quixote", "The Badly Guarded Girl", "Sheherazade", "Walpurgis Night", "Raymonda", "Cinderella", “The Nutcracker", “Sleeping Beauty", "Swan Lake", "Romeo and Juliet" and others. Along with classical choreography, contemporary choreography is set, such as "Enchanted Paintings", "Immersion", "Existence", "Muse" and others.

The Varna Ballet Team participates traditionally in the International Music Festival Varna Summer, the Christmas and Easter Music Festivals, also in Opera Craiova Festival in Romania, Aspendos International Opera and Ballet Festival in Turkey etc. The Varna Ballet travelled with its productions in Belgium, Ukraine, UK, Russia, Georgia, Montenegro, Serbia, Mexiko, Romania  and other countries. The Ballet team and individual artists are the winners of the most prestigious awards for performing arts in Bulgaria, also VARNA Award.

Since 2010 Varna State Opera and Varna Drama Theatre are united in one cultural institute called Theatre and Music Production Centre Varna. The beautiful Varna Theatre building 1932 designed by one of the most significant Bulgarian architects Nikola Lazarov, is an emblematic monument in the center of Varna. You can distinguish and recognize the very popular in the early twentieth century Neo Renaissance stiles as Neo Barock, Ar Nuvo etc. After the general reconstruction and renovation with the support by the European Union in 2012 the Varna Theatre Building meets the best European standards now.


Swan Lake

A four act ballet composed by Pyotr Ilyich Tchaikovsky
Original Choreography Marius Petipa & Lev Ivanov


a ballet to music by Adolphe Adam

La fille mal gardée

ballet in a prologue and three acts


A fairy-tale ballet in two acts, choreography by Marius Petipa and Lev Ivanov
Music by Pyotr Ilych Tchaikovsky, based on the tale by Ernst Theodor Amadeus Hoffmann “The Nutcracker and the Mouse King”

The Sleeping Beauty

ballet in a prologue and three acts, music by Pyotr Ilyich Tchaikovsky


ballet in a prologue and three acts


ballet in three acts, originally choreographed by Arthur Saint-Léon, music of Léo Delibes, with libretto by Charles-Louis-Étienne Nuitter