Kazakh Theater of Opera and Ballet

Kazakh Theater of Opera and Ballet

 

(full name, Abai Academic Kazakh Theater of Opera and Ballet). Founded in 1933 in Alma-Ata as the Music Studio, it became the Music Theater in 1934. It was given its present name in 1937 and the name Abai was conferred upon it in 1945. The theater moved to new quarters in 1941. Performances are given in both Kazakh and Russian.

The establishment of a national opera repertoire was promoted by the composer E. G. Brusilovskii, the stage director Zh. Shanin, the singers and stage directors K. Baiseitov and K. Dzhandarbekov, and the singers K. Baiseitova and M. Er-zhanov. The first Kazakh opera, Kyz-zhibek, by Brusilovskii, was performed at the theater in 1934 and in 1938, the first ballet, Kalkaman and Mamyr, by Velikanov. The theater’s repertoire includes national Kazakh opera and ballets, classical works, and works by Soviet composers from other republics. Among the most outstanding Kazakh operas performed at the theater have been Brusilovskii’s Zhalbyr (1935) and Er-Targyn (1937), Zhubanov and Khamidi’s Abai (1944), Tulebaev’s Birzhan and Sara (1946; State Prize of the USSR, 1949), Rakhmadiev’s Ka-mar-Slu (1963), and Mukhamedzhanov’s Aislu (1964) and Zhumbak kyz (1971).

The theater’s most outstanding ballets include Tlendiev, Stepanov, and Manaev’s Along the Path of Friendship (The Dzhungara Gates; 1958) and Zhubanova’s Legend of the White Bird (Akkanat and Khirosima; 1966). In 1969 the theater staged its first Uigir ballet, Chin-Tomur, by Kuzham’iarov.

The Kazakh Theater was awarded the Order of Lenin in 1959. In 1972 the theater’s company included the singers People’s Artists of the USSR R. Abdullin, R. Dzhamanova, E. Ser-kebaev, and B. Tulegenova and People’s Artists of the Kazakh SSR Sh. Beisekova, K. Kenzhetaev, G. Kurmangaliev, and A. Umbetaev. Its ballet soloists included People’s Artist of the Kazakh SSR S. Kusherbaeva. Its principal conductor is Honored Artist of the Bashkir ASSR V. D. Rutter and its principal director, People’s Artist of the Kazakh SSR B. D. Dosym-zhanov.

REFERENCES

Mekishev, B., and G. Bisenova. Kazakhskii gosudarstvennyi akademicheskii teatr opery i baleta im. Abaia. Alma-Ata, 1954.
Messman, V. Vozrozhdenie pesni. Alma-Ata, 1958.

B. G. ERZAKOVICH

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