Stage of the Ages is the first open-air opera festival in Bulgaria, which takes place in Tsarevets Fortress in Veliko Tarnovo, at the site of the medieval palace of the Bulgarian kings.
The first edition of the festival was in 1985, dedicated to the 800th anniversary of the uprising of Asen and Petar, which established the Second Bulgarian Kingdom and Tarnovo as the capital. The first performance was the opera Ivaylo by Marin Goleminov, directed by Plamen Kartalov.
In 1987 the festival included six performances of Tsar Kaloyan opera by Pancho Vladigerov, two concerts of popular overtures, arias, duets and ensembles and three performances of The Goat Horn ballet by Krasimir Kyurkchiyski.
The unique art event was restored in 2008, this time dedicated to the 100th anniversary of the Bulgarian independence, declared in 1908 on Tsarevets Hill and has been held every summer since then, presenting more than 40 of the best operas, ballets and musicals.
The festival is organized by Veliko Tarnovo Municipality with the support of the Municipal Tourist Agency “Tsarevgrad Tarnov” and since 2016 it has been developed as a summer season venue of all Bulgarian opera theatres and rebranded as Open Air Festival of Bulgarian Opera Theatres "Stage of the Ages".
The Festival has been awarded the prestigious EFFE Label (Europe for Festivals, Festivals for Europe) for 2017-2018.