ASTANA – Astana Opera principal soloist and Honoured Worker of Kazakhstan Medet Chotabayev received the award and title Knight of the Order of the Star of Italy March 26 for strengthening cultural ties between Italy and Kazakhstan and promoting the Italian language, according to the Astana Opera press service.
“It was a great surprise to learn that I was named a recipient of such a high award. I am experiencing the most joyful feelings, since my work was noticed and appreciated. It is truly wonderful that I was not working in vain all these years. I perform in Italy a lot and feel very comfortable in this country. I always respond to the invitations of the Embassy of Italy with pleasure to take part in concerts. Recently, we have held musical evenings in Astana and Almaty with my Italian colleagues; they masterfully played the violin, viola and piano, but especially soulfully, the mandolin. The sound of this instrument in combination with the vocals had a tremendous effect; the audience felt as if they were in Italy. It is my pleasure to support the projects organised by the Embassy of Italy, I think this also serves to strengthen bilateral relations between our countries,” he said.
In addition to often performing in Italy, Chotabayev has studied at the Accademia Internazionale di Canto “Renata Tebaldi. Mario Del Monaco” in Pesaro, where in 2008 he received the Beniamino Gigli International Singing Competition diploma in Porto Recanati.
The audience is very fond of Chotabayev, noted the release. Italians recognise him on the street, where they ask for his autograph, and entire families attend his performances.
The artist performs leading roles in the world’s foremost venues, including in Brazil, Finland, France and Romania. He recently returned from Bratislava, where he performed the part of Alfredo Germont in Giuseppe Verdi’s “La Traviata” at the Slovak National Theatre.
Chotabayev made his professional debut at the Abay Opera House in Almaty. In the 2013-2014 season, he became a principle soloist of the Astana Opera, where he performs Duca in “Rigoletto,” Nemorino in “L’elisir d’amore,” Rodolfo in “La Bohème,” Pinkerton in “Madama Butterfly,” Cavaradossi in “Tosca,” Lensky in “Eugene Onegin,” Rodolfo in “Luisa Miller” and Alfredo in “La Traviata.”
He was awarded the grand prix at the 2009 Art of the 21st Century International Competition in Finland, first prize and “The best tenor of the competition” special prize at the 2009 Glinka International Singing Competition in Moscow, third prize at the 2010 International Opera Competition in Paris and first prize atthe 2013 Arena di Verona Concorso Internazionale di Canto.
The Order of the Star is given to Italian citizens residing abroad and foreigners for special merits in developing friendly relations and cooperation between Italy and other countries. The award is conferred by the President of Italy on the proposal of the Minister of Foreign Affairs and after consulting the Council of the Order, composed of four members and chaired by the minister.
This year, the order was also given to Lucia Beltrami, an Italian language teacher in Almaty, and Giancarlo Olivieri, entrepreneur and former honorary vice-consul of Italy in Aksai.