Opera ‘Abai’ performed for Mukhtar Auezov’s 125th anniversary
NUR-SULTAN. KAZINFORM - Akhmet Zhubanov and Latyf Khamidi’s legendary opera Abai was performed at Astana Opera on May 27 and 28. Before the start of the performance, the opera house team paid tribute to the great classic of Kazakh literature, Mukhtar Auezov, whose 125th anniversary is widely celebrated this year in our country. At the end of the performance, a basket of lush red roses was brought to the stage in memory of the outstanding writer, author of the libretto of the opera Abai, Kazinform has learned from the Astana Opera’s press service.
An exhibition dedicated to Mukhtar Auezov’s anniversary took place in the opera house foyer. It introduced the audience to the history of the creation of the production and featured rare behind-the-scenes photographs. Creative intelligentsia, musicologists and Abai scholars attended the performance. Among them was the rector – chairman of the board of the NJSC «Gumilyov Eurasian National University», Doctor of Historical Sciences, Academician of the International Academy of Sciences of Pedagogical Education, Academician of the National Academy of Sciences of the Republic of Kazakhstan Professor Yerlan Sydykov.
Professor Sydykov gave a high appraisal of the production.
«Abai is one of the highest achievements of the opera art of Kazakhstan. This great stage and musical work was authored by the trio of creative figures, which laid the foundation of the national culture, consisting of the writer Mukhtar Auezov, composers Akhmet Zhubanov and Latyf Khamidi.
It is well known that the staging of the opera Abai to Mukhtar Auezov’s libretto imposes a great responsibility. That said, the opera house team fulfilled its tasks at a very high level. Looking at our history and presenting it through a monumental performance, the opera reflects rich traditions of the Kazakh people, brilliant stage direction and professional work of the artists. The nature of the mysterious language of music also contributed to the success of the work. I would like to especially note the design concept of the opera production, here you can see excellent work of set, costume, lighting and video projections designers,» the rector noted.
In addition, the professor emphasized that he recalls the wonderful words of Gabit Musrepov: «The theatre is a sacred meeting place with personalities who have left their mark on history.»
«Today we came into contact with the image of the great Abai. The exemplary life of this historical figure seemed to shine a brilliant light before our eyes. The endless and multifaceted world of the thinker and philosopher was revealed onstage. The portrayal of the wise and great Abai is shown here,» Professor Sydykov noted.
The rector of the Eurasian University also emphasized the need to learn from the past.
«Kazakh works from different periods of history cultivate important values that have not lost their vital force. At the heart of today’s production is the idea of the unity of the nation, unity and prosperity, unity and accord, as well as the drive for science and education. The performance shows that these important values allow you to grow and develop. It is clear that they have taken deep roots in the history of today’s independent country,» he added.
To the question, what constitutes Mukhtar Auezov’s genius, who created the libretto for this opera, Professor Sydykov answered:
«Writer Mukhtar Auezov, who became a giant of our literature, had many talents. The great scientist revealed the genius Abai to the world, raised the status of Kazakh literature to a new level. The complex works created by him are a manifestation of great diligence, tireless and deep search, and mastery of creating a text. This shows the genius of our monumental writer.»
«In addition to writing such significant works, the great artist also made a colossal contribution to the development of national dramaturgy, creating more than 20 different plays. The most important thing is that the writer and playwright who created the libretto for the opera Abai forever perpetuated the name of the Kazakh philosopher in the international arena.»
«It is an important task to preserve the rich heritage of the Kazakh people, to study its vital creative works, to continue to nurture the next generation, which will create invaluable treasures of our literature.»
Students of the Eurasian National University also came to listen to the opera. The rector stressed the importance of introducing young people to high art.
«Science and culture is the golden necklace of the world.» This wise saying of the Kazakh writer Mukhtar Auezov, which came from the depths of the century, does not lose its meaning and significance. Culture and art are the basis of the cultivation of personality. For the formation of individualities, it is necessary to take one’s fill from our spiritual treasury. It is gratifying that young people are showing interest in cultural centres. The Eurasian National University is carrying out comprehensive and systematic work in this direction. Educational and cultural events are organized to increase the patriotic feelings, cultural and aesthetic level of young people.»
«The cultural and educational association Kausar, the theatre Shanyrak, the dance school Samruk, the national instrumental orchestra Dala Sazy operate at the university. All this is aimed at attracting young people to high art, creating favorable conditions for aesthetic education.»
The students of the Eurasian National University who attended the performance also spoke very warmly about the performance they saw. Many of them discovered the world of high art that evening.
«Abai is a great Kazakh poet, public figure, recognized by the whole world. There is so much knowledge in his poems and instructions that, by reading it, a person grows up, becomes a full-fledged personality. The wise poet said that each person is unique in their own way with a life that should not be the same as that of others. We must improve to leave a mark after ourselves. I want to thank the leadership of our university for inviting me to this performance,» Kuanysh Suyinish, a 2nd year student of the Economics Department of the Gumilyov Eurasian National University said.
As a reminder, on different days, on May 27 and 28, two casts of soloists performed the opera. The Honoured Workers of Kazakhstan Zhanat Shybykbayev and Azamat Zheltyrguzov presented the title role of Abai, Aidar – the Honoured Worker of Kazakhstan Meir Bainesh. Nazym Sagintai made her debut as Azhar, and a day later holder of the Order of Kurmet Aizada Kaponova portrayed this character. Azim – Ramzat Balakishiyev and Beimbet Tanarykov, Zhirenshe – Talgat Galeyev, Karlygash – Saltanat Muratbekova, Tatyana Vitsinskaya, Kokbai – Yerzhan Saipov, Syrttan – Bolat Yessimkhanov and Shyngys Rassylkhan, Narymbet – Yerulan Kamel, Mes – Khaidar Mustapin and Nurlybek Kosparmakov.
The Astana Opera Symphony Orchestra and Choir performed under the baton of the music director of the production, the opera house’s principal conductor, the Honoured Worker of Kazakhstan, laureate of the State Prize of Kazakhstan Alan Buribayev, and conductor, holder of the Order of Kurmet Ruslan Baimurzin.