"Riton" is one of the most successful Bulgarian pop music duos with a career spanning over 35 years, with their most popular songs being "Jalma", "Come visit us", "Where my eyes see", "Once, but not now", "Don Quixote and Dulcinea", "Confession" and others. In 2012, the Riton duo celebrated 35 years on stage with a national tour and a spectacular concert in Hall 1 of the National Palace of Culture, built on a 3D basis.
It all started in 1975. Katya Mihailova and Zdravko Zhelyazkov studied at the Bulgarian State Conservatory. From there they form as a duet and as a couple. Even as students, they decide to appear individually as soloists for an exam before the State Commission for Categorization of Performers - without categorization, no singer at that time could work professionally. Both of them still don't know that they will make the most valuable and loved duet in Bulgaria!
They still don't know how much will be the compromises they have to make for the sake of the career. They don't know if they will withstand the pressure, professional problems not to cast a shadow on their personal life, or vice versa. They believe in only one thing - that they love each other! In the repertoire of Katya and Zdravko, duet songs are becoming more and more common, even purely solo songs are rearranged as such. They don't know yet that they are the first to take such a step. In the name of love, they created a duet "Riton", which generations of Bulgarians idolize to this day.
What are the expectations for the future of the duo, how do they cope with work and life, Katya's duet partner - Zdravko shared with us.
Hi, what is the latest project you are working on?
- We are preparing for our concert on November 20 at the NDK. We will have special, famous and beloved guests, but let's keep them a secret for now. Tickets for the concert can be purchased online from "TICKETPORTAL" - www.ticketportal.bg and at the NDK ticket offices. Preparation takes all our time, and in the meantime we are recording our songs for our new album. We rehearse with our orchestra and vocal group. There will be over 25 songs, most of them new. Once again we are working with the director Stanislav Terziev, Stanley, all verified people, this brings us peace of mind.
We have decided to waive our concert fees and donate them to the families of the flood victims.
Do you overwork yourself, how do you manage to relax?
- Oh yes, it's tiring, but it's worth it! We usually decide that, for example, today we will rest, read, be lazy, watch a movie. And that's when we feel like we're talking about work. In general, we don't have time to relax, to go somewhere and separate ourselves from our projects, from our work. We have no desire to do it either - it has happened to us that we go on vacation and come home on the third day.
Have you compromised with your he alth - the stage is quite an "airy" place?
- Yes, it has happened to me, I think it's because I used to smoke a lot until 6 years ago. I remember such a problem one New Year's when I quit smoking for the first time. Before that, I refused them at least 25 times - in the evening, and in the morning I went to buy my favorite brand of tobacco. Then we had from 8 in the evening until 4 in the morning several engagements in different places in Varna. Believe me, I don't remember how I found the strength to get off the stage after our 8th performance, in the city square, in front of a large audience.
I couldn't get enough air, I was just suffocating, a cold incredible, a lot of moisture, we tired. That's when I told myself that I should quit smoking - and it worked.
Not to mention how many times I had colds, as it turned out later, and pneumonia on my leg. All this is really from the airy scene, deep breathing in the cold and hot, sweating.
Did you treat the pneumonia with medication?
- Everything was post factum - at a preventive examination, the X-ray showed that I had a adhesion from past pneumonia. She had gone on her own without me knowing that I had been ill. It's gone like a cold, which I get at least once almost every winter. When I feel something like this, I take an aspirin and try to rest more. We don't treat ourselves with herbs - that takes time and persistence.
Do you follow any diet?
- I've been careful about what I eat lately. I do split feeding, kind of like the 90 day diet, but not quite. Fruits, vegetables, legumes, green beans, fish, chicken - I try to eat at least 4 times a day.
Sweet tempts me a lot, and always in the evening…
I sin in the summer - I drink more beer. I make green tea, I like it, I know it removes toxins from the body.
You live in Bankya, in the fresh air. How do you feel in the center of Sofia?
- Slightly nervous - first, about the movement, then, about everything else. The tension in the city is high, it's calm here - we don't even feel like leaving the house. We have only forest and meadows around us… The air in the center is terribly dirty. On the occasion of this, I will share that the healing from the pneumonia, the doctor told me, was cured precisely because we live in fresh air.
Have you had any serious he alth problems?
- No, I haven't been followed for 20 years. Flu, colds, that's it, thank God! But 20 years ago I had a rather serious duodenal ulcer since the barracks. At the beginning of the 91st year, an article appeared in the press, which I read with curiosity, because everyone said that the ulcer was on a nervous basis, that it was a genetic disease, and not that it was a fungal formation. You won't believe it, but in 30 days with certain medications I got rid of it, it never appeared again. They brought me the antibiotic from America, my cousin, Dr. Velina Gergelcheva, made the schedule for me, and that was it. I will mention that
my mother's family are all doctors
I have reliable support from a team of relatives and doctors - the entire Gergelchevi family. These are my doctors - Katya and I rely on and trust them.
Do you find time to exercise?
- I'm not, I'm lazy, but Katya is iron in this regard. We have exercise equipment at home, but I'm better off mowing the lawn. It's my physical effort, it gives me pleasure and helps me keep my weight in shape.
Where and why did we Bulgarians lose our he alth?
- The issue of he alth care in our country is complicated - it is not even worth commenting on. I am glad that I have relatives who are doctors, that I can rely on them in times of trouble. We live in a very tense time, under constant stress. People are depressed, worried, and the last thing they will do is go to the doctor or at least for a check-up. I think we worry about our he alth when we get sick. So am I, we all live under constant pressure. Our society is "sick" not so much in a physical sense as in a mental sense. We are not calm, we are not mentally stable. We forget about our he alth and race with problems to survive.
We have become impoverished not only financially, but also spiritually. We are not happy, we do not smile, we do not enjoy what the person next to us has achieved. I keep asking myself why and where people's smiles, kindness, empathy disappeared!
We should go to the doctor regularly, have tests done at least once a year, smile more. This will protect our he alth and psyche! When we get sick, we are very helpless and we don't know if the doctors could help us then.