Ramzat Balakishiyev: "Abai" is a miracle of national opera

Temirgaliyeva Arailym
22 February 2023, 22:05

Ramzat Balakishiyev:

ASTANA. KAZINFORM The monumental opera «Abai» by outstanding composers Akhmet Zhubanov, Latif Khamidi to Mukhtar Auezov’s libretto will be presented to the listeners’ attention at Astana Opera on February 24 and 25 under the baton of the production’s music director and conductor, the opera house’s principal conductor, the world-famous Maestro Alan Buribayev, Kazinform learned from Astana Opera press service.

Alan Buribayev has recently returned from Budapest, where he was applauded by the Hungarian audience.

On the second day of the performance, several significant debuts of talented opera soloists await the capital’s art connoisseurs.

On February 25, tenor Ramzat Balakishiyev, for whom Abai has been the all-time favorite of all the national opera productions in the opera house’s repertoire, will take the stage for the first time in the main part of Aidar, Abai’s pupil. For the soloist, it is important to fully reveal the emotional state of his hero and convey Aidar’s inner feelings to the viewers as best as possible.

«I feel deep, unconditional love for this opera. It is close to me like no other. Probably because I was born in Kazakhstan and I have the Kazakh mentality. The amazingly beautiful music by the classics Akhmet Zhubanov and Latif Khamidi penetrates deep into the heart, and I also really like the writing style of these truly great composers. To give a specific example from the score, there are moments in the music of this work, as if a horse is galloping. And I love horseback riding, especially the gallop. And this gallop tempo is so energizing that there is a feeling that I am riding a horse across the endless expanses of the steppe. Abai can be called a miracle of the national opera. It is a simply incredible production, in which the work of truly colossal people has been invested. To everyone who was involved in the production process, I say a huge thank you. Maestro Alan Buribayev, who did a tremendous job on the musical part, the designers Ezio Frigerio and Franca Squarciapino, who created magnificent sets and costumes,» the soloist shares.


Ramzat Balakishiyev also noted that the stage director Giancarlo del Monaco was able to deeply reveal the previously unfamiliar to him opera of an unknown culture, to comprehend the national spirit not only from the outside, but also from the inside as if the production was staged by a Kazakh aqsaqal.

«I had a great honor to take part in the production from the moment when the preparation process of the premiere performances started. I was preparing the parts of Aform and Narymbet. Some of Maestro del Monaco’s advice I still remember and actively apply in mit y creative work. Also, in the performance of this opera and other Kazakh national operas, the importance of the semantic load in the text must be emphasized. The Kazakh language is a popoeticis is characterized by a special richness of imagery, which can be interpreted in different ways, up to the colors of individual words, their meanings and, perception as a whole. As a result, words often do not have a direct translation into other languages, but there is a context. Moreover, the opera includes songs written by Abai himself, and it is a special responsibility for me, as for any Kazakhstani, to perform these songs. In addition, in this case, my hero Aidar is a poet, and in his lines, he raises pressing topics that concern the people. Therefore, when preparing, I need to pay special attention to the words that he pronounces throughout the action, so that everything turns out to be precisely accurate,» Ramzat Balakishiyev said.


It is important to note that this evening two more debuts are expected in the performance: the role of biy Zhirenshe, an old-school man, conservative to the backbone, is being prepared by baritone Altynbek Abilda. This character opposes the great poet, philosopher and ,educator Abai, a fighter for the triumph of good and justice. In addition, tenor Artur Gabdiyev is preparing to present Zhirenshe’s relative Narymbet.

A day earlier, Meir Bainesh, Talgat Galeyev, Yerulanand Kamel will present their interpretations of Aidar, Zhirenshe and Narymbet to the audience.

On different days, Kazakh classical vocal art stars, principal soloists Zhanat Shybykbayev, and Talgat Mussabayev will take the stage in the title role of Abai. The brilliant opera primas Zhannat Baktay,and Saltanat Akhmetova will portray Aidar’s beloved Azhar. Azim – Beimbet Tanarykov, Qarlyghash – Tatyana Vitsinskaya, Saltanat Muratbekova, Kokbai – Yerzhan Saipov, Syrttan – Bolat Yessimkhanov, Shynggys Rassylkhan, Mes – Khaidar Mustapin, Nurlybek Kosparmakov.

The work with the choir was carried out by the opera house’s chief choirmaster Yerzhan Dautov, choreographers – Tursynbek Nurkaliyev, Galiya Buribayeva, assistant director – Yerenbak Toikenov, the opera company director – Azamat Zheltyrguzov.

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