The mezzo-soprano, Ilka Popova, was born 1 August 1905 in Sofia. In 1922 she attended the State Academy of Music as a student of Ivan Voulpe. Additional studies were in Milan with F. Tanara.
In 1929 she returned to Bulgaria and debuted in 1929 as Amneris with the Sofia National Opera. She decided to return to Paris for acting lessons and sang with the Bordeaux Opera Theater. In 1932 she appeared with the Grand Opera Paris, only the second Bulgarian singer to sing there after Anna Todorova. She sang there until 1934 while singing in other famous opera houses in France. In 1937 she sang with the La Scala Opera such roles as Ulrica, Laura and Brangaena with such singers as Gigli, Schipa, Lauri-Volpe. In 1940 the mezzo returned to Bulgaria and became a member of the Sofia National Opera.
Major roles in her career included Dalila, Carmen, Amneris, Charlotte, Innkeeper in Boris and Olga in Onegin.
Saint-Saëns: Samson e Dalila Mon coeur
s'ouvre a ta voix
Tchaikowsky: Queen of Spades Akh, postyl mne etot svet