Sofia Opera Forced to Evacuate

By Francisco Salazar

The Sofia Opera and Ballet were evacuated on Saturday, due to a powerful smell.

During the March 18 performance of Borodin’s “Prince Igor,” a powerful smell started to pour through the theater that was described as suffocating.

A total of 650 people, including cast and audience, were ordered to leave the building and no one was injured. The Interior Ministry said that that the source of the smell was being investigated but no cause was confirmed.

The Bulgarian company said that the interrupted performance would be repeated and tickets for the March 18 performance would be valid for the repeat.

This the second incident in a week in Sofia. Las week, the Sofia shopping center Halite was evacuated due to a strong smell, which an official statement later said was traced to cleaning fluids in the ablution block.

It is also the second incident where a performance has had to be canceled in an opera theater this season. Back in October, a performance of L’Italiana in Algeri” was canceled at the Metropolitan Opera when an audience member threw ashes into the orchestra pit during a performance of “Guillame Tell.”

The Sofia Opera continues its season this week as planned with “Prince Igor” and “L’Italiana in Algeri.”