Maia Mamadzhan Kulieva

Kulieva, Maia (Mamadzhan)


Born 1920 in the aul (mountain village) of Bezmein, Turkmen SSR. Soviet Turkmen lyric soprano. People’s Artist of the USSR (1955). Member of the CPSU since 1947.

Kulieva studied at the national Turkmen division of the Moscow Conservatory from 1938 to 1941. In 1941 she became a soloist at the Makhtumkuli Turkmen Theater of Opera and Ballet. In the works by composers of the Turkmen SSR and other republics of Middle Asia she has created a number of important portrayals, including Shasenem in Shaposhnikov and Ovezov’s opera Shasenem and Garib, the title roles in Shaposhnikov and Ovezov’s Aina and Meitus and Kuliev’s Abadan, Zokhre in Shaposhnikov and Mukhatov’s Zokhre and Takhir, and Gunchabi in Shaposhnikov’s The Rose and the Nightingale. Kulieva is the first Turkmen female singer to perform the European opera repertoire, appearing in such roles as Marfa in Rimsky-Korsakov’s The Tsar’s Bride, Tatiana in Tchaikovsky’s Eugene Onegin, Marguerite in Gounod’s Faust, and the title role in Puccini’s Madame Butterfly. A deputy to the second and fourth convocations of the Supreme Soviet of the Turkmen SSR, she has been awarded the order of the Badge of Honor.