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“Kyz Zhibek” opera premiere soon at Astana Opera

by January 16, 2017 Market

Stage Director � Principal Stage Director of Bolshoi Theatre of Belarus and Samara Opera and Ballet Theatre Mikhail Pandzhavidze (Russia), author of new musical edition, Music Director and Conductor � Honoured Worker of Kazakhstan Abzal Mukhitdinov. Set and Costume Designers � Sofya Tasmagambetova and Pavel Dragunov. Assistant Stage Director � Yeren Toikenov, Consultant � Honoured Worker of Kazakhstan Askhat Maemirov, Ph.D.

First Kazakh opera � Y. Brusilovky’s Kyz Zhibek was created in 1934. Great national writer G. Musrepov based the libretto on the eponymous national lyric-epic poem. The work incorporated all the beauty of Kazakh people’s poetic heritage.

This is a touching love story of a valiant warrior Tolegen and beautiful Zhibek � two lovers from different clans � Zhagalbaily and Shekty. Inter-clan disagreements, which arose long before the young people’s acquaintance, and Bekezhan’s blind jealousy lead to a tragic end. Tolegen is killed by an opponent’s hand.

We should add that originally, in addition to musical quotations of well-known Kazakh kuis and songs, the performance consisted of spoken dialogues, which the opera singers delivered from the stage same as in a drama play. Therefore, this work was closer to the musical-dramatic genre, rather than the opera. In the new musical edition, Maestro Abzal Mukhitdinov replaced the spoken dialogue with musical recitatives and added a few episodes, using, just like Y. Brusilovsky did, music of famous Kazakh songs and kuis.

Y. Brusilovsky’s music was not changed drastically. More than that, we have returned several musical numbers that were not used in previous famous productions. In the new redaction the opera will be more dynamic, both in form and content. Now, with the musical recitatives, the soloists, of course, feel more ‘at ease’ since there is no need for them to transform into dramatic actors, who have completely different means of expression available to them, not typical for vocalists. The opera, where the rhythm and intonation of the spoken Kazakh language are recorded in musical form, can now be performed by any professional singer, not even a native speaker. The score of the opera has undergone significant changes � errors that were made when it was recorded by hand were implicitly eliminated, the orchestration became richer. The score and clavier are now fully in line, and the opera meets all the requirements of the opera genre, summarized Music Director and Conductor, Honoured Worker of Kazakhstan Abzal Mukhitdinov.

Maestro for the first time introduced the children’s choir, and also used the sound of traditional instruments both solo and in collaboration with the Astana Opera Symphony Orchestra. Thus, along with classical instruments, the audience will hear folk instruments � dombra, kyl-kobyz, shan-kobyz, zhet?gen and kerney.

The Stage Director Mikhail Pandzhavidze, who is famous for his special style and unusual work approach to opera material, wants to surprise the audience this time as well.

We can speak about a new interpretation of the work, different from the original source. The changes affected the musical form, and the portrayal of the characters; they will become more intense in terms of psychology. For example, the main heroine acquires a mystical side: change of seasons is subjected to her. And even Zhibek’s death will not be seen as physical departure, but as the change of seasons � the onset of winter and the beginning of the New Year � the eternal renewal. The work is very deep; it tells the story of the power of love. This great and at the same time brutal feeling that can do anything with fates of humans. We want for the audience to be proud of the fact that the Kazakh people have such a great work after they see the performance, said the Stage Director Mikhail Pandzhavidze.

Having studied the traditions, culture and way of life of the Kazakh people, the Russian director, working in Belarus, took up the work on the production of the opera Kyz Zhibek with interest. Although this is his first work on the national opera in Kazakhstan, Pandzhavidze knows firsthand the Kazakhstani audience and opera singers: in 2010 he staged J. Offenbach’s opera Les Contes d’Hoffmann at the K. Baiseitova Opera House.

Source: Kazakhstan 2050