Photo taken in:SofiaCountry name at time of photo:Bulgaria, 1944-1989
This is a scene from the musical performance 'The Queen of Czardas' by Lehar in the Musical Theater in the capital [It is actually by Imre Kalman]. I remember that our family friend Aron Aronov [a famous Bulgarian operetta artist also of Jewish origin] and my wife Sabina Levi were wonderful partners. The Bulgarian audience loved that performance. This photo was taken in the 1960s in Sofia. I first met my future wife Sabina Diankova when she was performing with the State Musical Theater. That happened in the 1950s when I was still young and went often to the opera or musical theater. One day I noticed a young girl playing wonderfully in a Soviet musical composed by Nikita Bogoslovski. Sabina made everyone happy when they were around her. I said to myself, 'That is a new phenomenon!' Later, I continued to go and see her play some minor parts. At the same time I was invited to compose some ballet scenes for 'Circus Princess' by Imre Kalman for the Music Theater. The young circus dancer, Miss Maydel Gypsun, was played by Sabina. She impressed me with her dancing and her resourcefulness, her immaculate diction. At that time I had worked for five years as a composer in the Theater of Satire. Shortly after my work in the Musical Theater we started rehearsing for the first Bulgarian musical: 'The Girl I Loved' by Nikolay Parushev. I did the music and the conducting. That was in fall 1963. Sabina played the role of Palechko. I was once again impressed by her. Shortly after that we started going out.