TODAY.AZ / Arts & Entertainment

Puccini's opera astonishes fans of classical music [EXCLUSIVE]

17 March 2023 [12:29] - TODAY.AZ
By Azernews 

Laman Ismayilova

Giacomo Puccini is well-known as one of the finest Italian composers, whose operas, including La Boheme, Tosca, Madama Butterfly, and Turandot are among the most frequently performed worldwide.

Puccini stands in line with prominent composers, like Pietro Mascagni, Ruggero Leoncavallo, Umberto Giordano, and Francesco Cilea, who composed music pieces in verismo style (realism).

Annually, the Azerbaijani State Academic Opera and Ballet Theater astonishes fans of classical music and Italian opera with Giacomo Puccini's masterpieces.

The opera theater has presented the composer's one of most intense and exciting operas.

Being one of the best works of opera classics, Tosca is still very popular and is in the repertoire of the theater.

The plot is based on a fusion of love intrigues and political adventures from the time of the first conquests of Napoleon.

Giacomo Puccini's was conducted by the principal conductor and music director of the Azerbaijan State Academic Opera and Ballet Theater Honored Artist Ayyub Guliyev.

This performance was especially important for the theater team, which devoted it to People's Artist Ali Asgarov.

"I would like to speak about the part of a jailer in the opera. People's Artist Ali Asgarov used to perform this role. Unfortunately, he passed away on February 23, 2023. This is a big loss not only for the theater but also for the whole Azerbaijani musical culture. For many years, he embodied some of the most memorable opera characters. His voice is a treasure of not only Azerbaijani but also world culture. Now the jailer part is being performed by the soloist of the theater's choir Nazim Mahmudov", Guliyev told Azernews.

Speaking about the opera performance, the renowned conductor said that the theater management invited the leading soloist of the Stanislavsky and Nemirovich-Danchenko Moscow Academic Music Theater Irina Vashchenko for the role of Tosca, while the leading soloist of the National Academic Bolshoi Opera and Ballet of Belarus, People's Artist of Belarus Vladimir Gromov performed the role of Scarpia.

"Vladimir Gromov has repeatedly appeared in our opera productions, for example in Puccini's opera La Boheme, Mozart's Marriage of Figaro, and Rossini's The Barber of Seville. He is most beloved by the Baku audience for the role of Scarpia. Thanks to his incredible talents, Vladimir Gromov immediately grabbed the audience's attention. Gromov is always open to new ideas. It is very enjoyable to work with him. He shared the same stage with amazing soloist Irina Vashchenko, who enchanted the audience with her voice. In general, the opera performance was very impressive, dynamic, and emotional. Vladimir Gromov, Irina Vashchenko, and Honored Artist of Azerbaijan Azar Rzazada captivated the audience. Honored Artist Tural Agasiyev brilliantly performed the role of Spoletta, young baritone Agshin Xudaverdiyev made a good debut on the theater stage, People's Artist of Azerbaijan Akram Poladov left a deep impression on the audience," the conductor said.

"Puccini's opera Tosca has always been sold out, and this time is no exception. The audience is undoubtedly attracted by fantastic music and new set design, made by Russian artist Dmitry Cherbadzhi. He is considered one of the finest minds in this field. Dmitry Cherbadzhi actively cooperates with famous opera theaters, including Azerbaijani State Academic Opera and Ballet Theater. He also stands behind the set design of the ballet Goya, one- based on the music of the outstanding Azerbaijani composers Gara Garayev and Faraj Garayev. Dmitry Cherbadzhi will also work on the stage design of the ballet Le Corsaire to be shown on March 26. I can say that Tosca is one of his greatest works. After the ballet performance, the audience was enthused over the stenography and colorful costumes," he added.

In conclusion, Ayyub Guliyev hailed the performance of the theater's choir, and symphonic orchestra as well as young talent Fatima, who sang the shepherd boy's song at the start of act 3.

"The theater's choir and symphonic orchestra are constantly working on themselves. More and more young talents are joining the theater. The opera's youngest singer Fatima sang the shepherd boy's song at the start of act 3. Her voice is very memorable. I would like to note that this opera fragment has not been played for a long time due to the lack of a suitable children's voice. Now the gap is filled. All opera participants demonstrated fantastic performance, which resonated deep in the hearts of spectators," said Guliyev.

Azerbaijani State Academic Opera and Ballet Theater will further thrill opera lovers with wonderful performances and pay tribute to Azerbaijan's outstanding cultural figures.


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