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The Astana Opera’s new production of César Cui’s children’s opera Puss in Boots based on Charles Perrault’s work will be a welcome autumn gift for young viewers. The beloved fairytale will be presented to residents and guests of the capital at the Kulyash Baiseitova Chamber Hall on October 14 and 15, Astana Opera press office reports.
The stage director of the fairytale opera, which premiered with great success this year, was the laureate of the prestigious international competitions Nano-Opera and Digital Opera Yerenbak Toikenov. The well-known story about a savvy cat who asked his owner to buy him boots, and then solved all his problems by making the poor miller’s son a marquis with a luxurious castle and a beautiful princess for his wife, played with fresh colors in the young talented director’s interpretation.
Working on an opera for a children’s audience places a special responsibility on its production team and performers, since in this case the performance is intended to be educational in nature, instill in children moral and ethical values, develop artistic taste and introduce them to the world of musical theatre. In my opinion, staging for young audiences is much more difficult in all respects. A different principle of acting is used here, because if the children do not believe what is happening onstage, they will be distracted," the director shares. "In the production we used projections and created hand-drawn animations of various interesting characters. For example, the image of the Ogre was created using a beautiful costume, but his transformation into a lion and a mouse were depicted thanks to projections. Fortunately, we managed to get the message across and during the premiere the children followed the action with bated breath, and the applause showed how warmly they greeted the performers."
The stage director said that one of the innovations introduced was the participation of the opera house’s children’s choir in the fairytale opera, which had not previously been used in César Cui’s work.
Of course, the production process with child artists has its own special aspects. On the one hand, working with them is very interesting. The younger the children are, the more authentic their acting is, the more sincere their belief in what they are doing. However, on the other hand, there are certain difficulties involved: the composition of the team changes, someone might leave, someone might forget something, and each time we start reworking the material from scratch. Here I should also mention the work of the author of the musical edition, Alikhan Idrissov. He perfectly orchestrated the arrangement of the score for children’s voices, while preserving the composer’s original idea and musical dramaturgy," Yerenbak Toikenov concluded.
It should be noted that on these days, the Astana Opera’s opera soloists, orchestra, supernumeraries and children’s choir will perform under the baton of the music director of the production Elmar Buribayev. Shyngys Rassylkhan is expected to debut as the Ogre. The opera company director is the Honored Worker of Kazakhstan Azamat Zheltyrguzov, and the director of the children’s choir is Altynganym Akhmetova.
It is worth adding that the program of the month will feature an educational concert for the younger theatregoers In the World of Music, dedicated to the International Music Day. On October 1, children will get to know the types of operatic voices and symphony orchestra instruments, and listen to popular works of national and world classical art.
A varied repertoire of exciting concerts and performances will also be offered to adult audiences. Thus, on October 4, the Composers Union of Kazakhstan will dedicate the concert Yel Zhuregi - Astana to the 25th anniversary of the capital. The union members’ works will be performed by the Astana Opera’s soloists and other Kazakh artists.
On October 8, the Gaziza Zhubanova State String Quartet under the direction of the Honored Worker of Kazakhstan Yernar Myntayev will perform works by world classics Beethoven and Shostakovich, as well as music by the famous Kazakh composer Tolegen Mukhamejanov as part of the concert Music is Eternal: XIX, XX, XXI...
Music of Angels by world classics Tchaikovsky and Dvořák will be performed on October 17 in the interpretation of virtuoso musicians - violinists Honored Worker of Kazakhstan Bagdat Abilkhanov and Yerkebulan Saparbayev, violists Darkhan Sadvakassov, Gulnara Tleugabylova, cellists Kurvanzhan Akhatov, Yermek Kurmanayev, as well as pianist Anara Kamelinova.
On October 20 and 21, Rossini’s brilliant comic opera La Scala di Seta will bring a good mood and kind smiles to the listeners. The music director and conductor of the production, Honored Worker of Kazakhstan Abzal Mukhitdin, will take the helm of the opera house’s chamber orchestra. Talgat Allabirinov is preparing the part of Dormont.
Concert Zhetigen-anyz of the Saryarqa folk music ensemble of the Yerkegali Rakhmadiev State Academic Philharmonic will take place on October 27. Soloist - zhetigen performer Karagoz Gassimova.
The concert of the Turkish quintet Golden Horn Brass, which will take place on October 28 with the support of the Turkish Embassy in the Republic of Kazakhstan, is dedicated to the 100th anniversary of the founding of the Turkish Republic.
On October 29, the guest of the Evening of Baroque Music will be an artist from Italy - violinist and soprano singer Ketevan Abiatari, who will perform accompanied by the opera house’s chamber orchestra. The Astana Opera’s principal first violin Bagdat Abilkhanov will demonstrate to the audience the nuanced art of instrumental performance.
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