As part of Kazakhstan Culture Weeks being held in France, the “Abai” opera was performed at the Theatre des Champs-Elysees by Abai Kazakh State Academic Theater of Opera and Ballet on Oct. 26.
Kazakhstan Culture Weeks in France are being held via a mutual agreement between the two nation’s governments.
“Abai” is an older piece written by famous Kazakh composers Akhmet Zhubanov and Latif Khamidi.
Honored Arts Worker of Kazakhstan, Principal Conductor of the RTÉ National Symphony Orchestra (Ireland), Principal Guest Conductor of the Symphony Orchestra of Osaka (Japan) and the Bolshoi Theatre of Russia Alan Buribayev conducted the performance.
“I believe that Abai’s success is not just a victory for me, but also for Kazakhstan as a whole. I think that this classic and beautiful creation finds its origins with four of our country’s geniuses, Abai, whose songs and educational ideas can be heard in the opera, Mukhtar Auezov, the author of libretto, and the great composers Khamidi and Zhubanov,” said Buribayev. Previously Buribayev, a great grandson of Zhubanov, made the European premiere of “Abai” in 2012 in German, on the stage of the State Opera of South Thuringia, for which he offered his own version and recreated the original ideas of the authors.
“Abai” is considered one of the best achievements in Kazakhstan’s artistic tradition. The premiere of the opera was staged for the first time on Dec. 24, 1944 in the Abai Kazakh State Academic Theatre of Opera and Ballet. In 1958, a new version was introduced. The names of actors who performed in Abai in the past were inscribed in gold in public memory; they include Rishat Abdulin and Kanabek Baiseitov (as Abai), Kulyash Baisseitova and Shabal Beissekova (as Azhar) and Anuarbek Umbetbayev (as Aidar). Critics from around the worldhave called Abai bright and brilliant.
During its rich 80-year history, the Abai Opera and Ballet Theatre has many times toured Europe and Asia. With great success, classical musical performances were held by the theatre at opera houses in Germany, Bulgaria, Yugoslavia, Turkey and China to name a few. Theatre artists, winners of the most prestigious competitions for vocalists and ballet dancers, have a huge audience all over the world.