Balkanska, Mimi (b. 1902)

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Balkanska, Mimi (b. 1902)

Bulgarian soprano. Born in Ruse, Bulgaria, on June 23, 1902; founded the Cooperative Theater in 1922; Bulgaria's most popular operetta star who appeared throughout Europe as well as in Turkey, Israel, and the former Yugoslavia.

A star, impresario, and pioneer in Bulgarian operetta, Mimi Balkanska played over 300 roles in her 45-year career. After World War I, she appeared in Vienna, Budapest, and Berlin. In 1922, she founded the Cooperative Theater in Sofia, where she worked until 1938 when she moved to the Odeon Operetta Theater. In 1942, Balkanska became director of the Khudojestven Operetta Theater, taking a role in every production she directed. When the theater came under state control, she remained director until the end of her career. Much beloved in Bulgaria where she was a pacesetter in the arts, she retired in 1968.

John Haag , Athens, Georgia

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