Festivities dedicated to the 100th anniversary of the famous operetta by great Azerbaijani composer Uzeyir Hajibeyli, "Arshin Mal Alan" ("The Cloth Peddler") will be held at the UNESCO headquarters in Paris on September 17.
The events will be organized by TURKSOY and UNESCO's permanent representations in Azerbaijan and Kazakhstan.
UNESCO included the operetta's 100th anniversary in the list of dates to be celebrated internationally in 2011.
A photo exhibition reflecting the creation of the musical masterpiece and the 20-year-long activity of TURKSOY as well as a concert dedicated to this magnificent piece of work are planned as part of the celebrations.
The operetta will be performed in a concert version by a Kazakh orchestra, accompanied by soloists from Azerbaijan, Turkey and Kyrgyzstan.
The well-known operetta will also be staged in Strasbourg on September 19 with the organizational support of TURKSOY.
TURKSOY is an international cultural organization of countries with Turkic populations, whose speaking languages belong to the Turkic language family. The organization has its roots going back to the 1992 meetings in Baku and Istanbul, where the ministers of culture from Azerbaijan, Kazakhstan, Kyrgyzstan, Uzbekistan, Turkey, and Turkmenistan declared their commitment to cooperate in a joint cultural framework.
"Arshin Mal Alan" is the third and last operetta of Uzeyir Hajibeyli, author of the first Oriental opera, which was composed and staged in 1913 in Baku.
The operetta, which is close to the comic opera genre, with an amusing love story, is one of the most well-known and dearly loved stories among Azerbaijanis.
It is also gathering a broad audience worldwide, being successfully performed in over 60 countries of the world, including Austria, France, China, Greece, India, Russia, and Turkey.
On September 7, it won the hearts of some 3,000 Los Angeles theater lovers at the Dorothy Chandler Pavilion. The American opera singers sang in original Azerbaijani, with projected English translations, and speaking English.
It was also successfully staged in Tashkent, Uzbekistan, having been translated into the Uzbek language.
The plot is centered on a young man Asker, who wants to see and choose his bride himself before marriage. However, it was difficult at that time, as traditionally women were kept at home and were heavily covered in hijabs when going outside.
Asker's friend Suleyman suggests that he dress up as a fabric peddler and go around the houses selling fabrics and meeting women.
Asker falls in love with Gulchohra and asks Gulchohra's father, the wealthy Sultan bey, for marriage permission. Sultan bey agrees, but Gulchohra objects, as she can only love the peddler. Eventually, she learns that the rich businessman Asker is really her beloved peddler and they get married.