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Debuts in a Chinese Opera Tale


A series of debuts will take place at the Astana Opera Great Hall on March 16 and 17 in Puccini’s masterpiece Turandot. The opera house’s Principal Soloist Honored Worker of Kazakhstan Zhupar Gabdullina will perform the title role of the Chinese princess. Well-known tenor from Georgia George Oniani will portray the brave, steadfast Prince Calaf for the first time on the capital’s operatic stage.

Let us remind that George Oniani has already performed at the Astana Opera previously: the sought-after singer gave his interpretation of the role of Mario Cavaradossi in another masterpiece by Puccini, the opera Tosca. This time, he will be portraying Calaf � one of the most famous tenor parts in the world opera repertoire. It gives the performers an opportunity to demonstrate not only brilliant vocal technique, but also unsurpassed artistry in conveying the character’s personality. The widely known aria from the third act has become one of the most popular concert numbers and is regularly performed at opera houses across the globe.

On these days, the opera house’s Soloists debut as the slave girl Liu: Honored Worker of Kazakhstan Bibigul Zhanuzak will present this part on March 16, and on March 17, Madina Islamova will perform for the residents and guests of the capital. The artists will have to create their own interpretations of the tragic character of a defenseless, fragile girl who is ready to courageously sacrifice her life for her unrequited love for Calaf. Thanks to her heroic self-sacrifice, the proud and cold Turandot learns what true love is. The vocalists are faced with a difficult task � to flawlessly perform three complex arias and at the same time show a rich gamut of emotions with the help of their acting skills.

On March 16, the Astana Opera Soloist Ramzat Balakishiyev will debut as Chinese Emperor Altoum. On March 17, the opera house’s Principal Soloist Talgat Galeyev will present for the first time the role of Timur, the deposed King of Tartary.

On March 16, Bolat Yessimkhanov will present Timur, and on March 17, Akylbek Tabynbayev will take the stage as Altoum. On March 16 and 17, Yerzhan Saipov will perform the role of Ping, Pang � Yerulan Kamel, Pong � Beimbet Tanarykov, Ramzat Balakishiyev, Mandarin � Shyngys Rassylhan.

The opera house’s Guest Conductor � one of the top experts on Puccini’s creative work Giuseppe Aquaviva (Italy) will lead the performance.

The Astana Opera Symphony Orchestra and Choir, Music Director of the production � the opera house’s Principal Conductor, Honored Worker of Kazakhstan, laureate of the State Prize of the Republic of Kazakhstan celebrated maestro Alan Buribayev, Principal Choirmaster � Honored Worker of Kazakhstan Yerzhan Dautov. Stage Director � Davide Livermore (Italy), Set and Costume Designers � Sofia Tasmagambetova and Pavel Dragunov. Lighting Designer � Vincenzo Raponi (Italy), Projections Designer � Carlo Camorali (D-wok Company). Assistant Directors � Natalya Kagadiy, Yerenbak Toikenov. Head of the Children’s Choir � Altynganym Akhmetova.

Source: Ministry of Culture and Sport Information of the Republic of Kazakhstan