Today.Az » Arts & Entertainment » Azerbaijani professional theatre turns 150
27 December 2023 [17:57] - Today.Az

Laman Ismayilova

Azerbaijan has a rich and diverse cultural heritage, and one of its most significant contributions to the world of performing arts is its professional national theatre. This year marks a remarkable milestone as the Azerbaijani Professional National Theatre celebrates its 150th anniversary.

Azerbaijani professional theatre has been an integral part of the country's artistic legacy. The national theatre has dynamically evolved, embracing various genres, styles, and forms.

The history of Azerbaijani theatre dates back to the late 19th century, when the first professional national theatre was established in Baku.

The National Theatre was created in the 1870s at the initiative of prominent playwright Mirza Fatali Axundov.

Adventures of the Lankaran Khanate Vizier was the first dramatic work played on the stage of the Azerbaijani theatre. Its premiere took place on March 10, 1873, at the initiative of Azerbaijani print media founder Hasan-bay Zardabi and dramatist and public figure Najaf-bay Vazirov.

Thus, March 10 became the day of the Azerbaijani professional theatre establishment.

Another comedy by Akhundov, "Haji Gara", was shown to the audience a month later, in April 1873.

Baku Theatre School was opened in 1923, and its students played an important role in the development of the national theatre.

During the 1960s, the Azerbaijani theatre entered a transformative phase with the staging of William Shakespeare's "Antony and Cleopatra." This era saw the emergence of talented young playwrights who made significant contributions to the theater's repertoire.

Notably, the arrival of the renowned Azerbaijani poet Bakhtiyar Vahabzade at the Academic Drama Theatre in 1969 with his work "Second Voice" added depth and variety to the theater's life. The plays by Nabi Khazri, Anar, and other playwrights achieved widespread acclaim and popularity when performed in the country's theatres.

In the 1980s, the Azerbaijani theatre experienced a period of remarkable artistic development. This era witnessed significant advancements in terms of stylistic and genre diversity, contributing to the theater's overall artistic growth.

Starting in the 1990s, Azerbaijani theatres demonstrated plays by modern and classic Azerbaijani writers, as well as works by Russian and international dramatists. This era marked a broadening of the theater's repertoire.

The year 2023 marks the 150th anniversary of the Azerbaijani professional theatre. Over these years, the theatres in the country have produced a wide range of theatrical works that have gained wide recognition.

A series of special events and performances have been planned throughout the year to mark the 150th anniversary of the Azerbaijani professional theatre.

Besides, the Azerbaijan Theatre Workers Union has hosted a scientific and practical conference dedicated to the 150th anniversary of the Azerbaijani professional national theatre.

Co-organized by the Culture Ministry, the Theatre Workers Union, and the Jafar Jabbarli Theatre Museum, the event was attended by prominent theatre scholars and figures.

During the conference, extensive reports were heard on the topic of finding ways to solve problems in the field of theatre, discussions took place, and proposals were voiced on this issue. At the event, a video was shown reflecting the rich history of the national theatre.

The Azerbaijani theatre will further continue to embrace new forms of expression and captivate theatre enthusiasts worldwide.

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