The opera ‘Abay’, which was represented this autumn on one of the best stages in the world, musical critics compare as to its beauty and richness of the musical material to Wagner’s opera ‘Die Meistersinger von Nürnberg’.
The performances of the opera ‘Abay’ held in Germany broke to smash the image of the European audience as cold and reserved. All the nine performances were ended with 20-minutes applauses, with ‘bravo’ shouts, whistles of admiration and even feet stamping! This first night became the top sensation of the theatre and concert season 2012–2013.
Such a successful stage direction in Meiningen, a theatre in the list of the top world stages, came about owing to the consistency and international fame of our outstanding conductor Alan Buribayev: “I believed that this wonderful opera related to the four geniuses of Kazakh land would find its way to hearts of the German audience”. Music for the opera was composed by Akhmet Zhubanov and Latif Hamidi, Abay’s poems are read there, and the author of libretto was Mukhtar Auezov. Ansgar Haag, the German director, did his best to make the plot close to the European audience. Not in vain musical critics have compared the opera ‘Abay’ as to its beauty and richness of the musical material to Wagner’s opera ‘Die Meistersinger von Nürnberg’.
The performance was being prepared for about a year and a half. Traditionally, every season the State Opera of South Thuringia invites lead singers from different countries. This autumn a singer from Brazil, Camila Ribeiro Souza, performed the part of Azhar, a Mexican tenor Rodrigo Porras Garulo performed the part of Aidar, and the part of Abay was brilliantly sung by a bass from South Korea, De-Khi Shin, whose performance was appreciated by connoisseurs as a hundred per cent fit into the image.
The true bemusement for the audience became the choir, which sang a cappella Abay’s song ‘Karangy tunde tau kalgyp’. This is a poetic transposition to the Kazakh language of ‘The Wanderer’s Night Song’ by Goethe, which Abay made from M. Lermontov’s translation of this poem into Russian.
The audience was greatly amazed by a fairly unusual detail in the performance: during the scene of the feast guests were served the truly Kazakh kuyrdak, and its odor obviously enhanced the impression of the real banquet.
Alan Buribayev is a much-in-demand conductor, and his schedule is incredibly tight. Apart from his numerous performances, he works as main conductor and art director of the Irish National Orchestra. And everywhere Alan tries to acquaint audiences with the Kazakh composers’ music: Tles Kazhgaliyev, Gaziza Zhubanova, and others. The talented and brilliantly performed music will always be received with admiration no matter where it may sound.