The First Art Newspaper on the Net   Established in 1996 Monday, November 23, 2020


Turkmenistan stages first opera after 19-year ban
Two Turkmen women wait to watch the premiere of Pagliacci, an Italian opera by Ruggero Leoncavallo directed by Danielle De Plano, at the Makhtumkuli National Music and Drama Theatre in Ashgabat on November 19, 2019. Reclusive Turkmenistan staged its first foreign opera on November 19, 2019, nearly 19 years after the Central Asian country's founding president banned the art form as "incompatible with Turkmen mentality". Igor SASIN / AFP.

by Anton Lomov



ASHGABAT (AFP).- Reclusive Turkmenistan staged its first foreign opera on Tuesday, nearly 19 years after the Central Asian country's founding president banned the art form as "incompatible with Turkmen mentality".

A state theatre in the capital Ashgabat was packed for the staging of 19th century Italian composer Ruggero Leoncavallo's opera "Pagliacci" ("Clowns") as part of an international drama festival.

Older spectators leaving the theatre late on a cool Tuesday night voiced a nostalgia for the long-taboo art form while younger spectators enthused over the performance.

Mekan Byashimov, a 54-year-old schoolteacher said he hoped that operas would be staged regularly and that ballet would also make a reappearance on the national stage.

"We used to have good premieres. I went regularly. If we want to call ourselves a cultured nation, we need to restore opera and ballet," Byashimov told AFP.

Aina Shiryayeva, a 20-year-old student watching opera for the first time said she had enjoyed the performance despite not understanding any of the words.

"The music and the artists! Everything was so wonderful. I am delighted. I have seen the opera!" she said.

Gas-rich Turkmenistan's eccentric first leader Sapurmurat Niyazov banned opera as well as foreign ballet in 2001 in what he posited was a move to protect Turkmen culture.

The ban on art forms closely associated with Soviet and Russian imperial rule continued under second president Gurbanguly Berdymukhamedov, who came to power after Niyazov's death in 2006.

The director of Tuesday's joint Turkmen-Italian performance Daniele de Plano told AFP in an interview that Pagliacci was staged as part of a "cultural exchange programme" between Italy and Turkmenistan.

He said he felt "honoured to be the first director to bring back opera" to Muslim-majority Turkmenistan.

"I really hope this is the beginning of a new path of ties becoming closer between Turkmenistan and opera, particularly Italian opera," said de Plano.

Of the main roles in the performance only one was played by an Italian, with the others filled by Turkmen singers.

Baritone Amangeldi Amanov was singing for the second time the part of Silvio -- a lover who gets murdered by a jealous husband, the opera's lead character, Canio.

The first time he played the role in March 2001 was his debut and also the last time that opera was performed in Ashgabat, a city of one million.

"This is historic for us. Our younger generation is coming into contact with European culture. This performance is a first step in the comeback of the Turkmen operatic tradition," Amanov enthused in an interview with AFP before the performance.

Strongman Berdymukhamedov has maintained many of the repressive policies of his late predecessor, whom he once served as a personal dentist.

Both men are honoured by golden statues in Ashgabat, testifying to leadership cults that draw regular comparisons with North Korea.


© Agence France-Presse










Today's News

November 20, 2019

Getty opens 'Balthazar: A Black African King in Medieval and Renaissance Art'

A tiny Brontë book comes home

European police bust gang looting artifacts in Italy

No more excuses for Gauguin

Not ba-a-a-a-a-a-a-d! Lalanne sheep sculptures sell for $468K at Palm Beach Modern's Nov. 9 auction

French court confirms sentence for Picasso's electrician over hoarded art

Christie's announces highlights of the Important Russian Art Auction

Early Mozart minuets sell for 372,500 euros at Paris auction

Soulis Auctions' Dec. 7 Winter Fine Art sale shines spotlight on rare Alphonse Mucha graphics

Kanye West unveils opera to premiere this month

Sotheby's Milan announces sale of Modern & Contemporary Art

Russell Lee: A Documentarian's personal Kodachromes exhibition opens at The Redwood Library & Athenæum

Exhibition of hyperreal charcoal drawings by Robert Longo opens at Metro Pictures

'Spirit of the Southern Speedway' by Hunter Barnes released this week by Reel Art Press

The Chicago Symphony's brass is world-famous. Hear it blast

Tiffany & Co. fancy intense blue diamond ring to lead Phillips' Jewels Sale at $1.5-2.5 Million

Colette Senghor, wife of Senegal's poet-president, dies in France

Turkmenistan stages first opera after 19-year ban

Art Design Chicago to return in 2024, with increased budget and new grant opportunities

Doris Day's two day auction event announced by Julien's Auctions

Handbags x Hype features the largest collection of Supreme offered at Christie's

Miller & Miller announces highlights included in its Watches & Jewelry auction

Hollis Taggart now represents William Buchina

Paddle8 announces new CEO

Christie's Paris Design Sale achieves a total of $10,077,273

10 Secrets to Hiring the Right SEO Company

Buy Trending Dresses Online on This Black Friday





Museums, Exhibits, Artists, Milestones, Digital Art, Architecture, Photography,
Photographers, Special Photos, Special Reports, Featured Stories, Auctions, Art Fairs,
Anecdotes, Art Quiz, Education, Mythology, 3D Images, Last Week, .

 



Founder:
Ignacio Villarreal
(1941 - 2019)
Editor & Publisher: Jose Villarreal
Art Director: Juan José Sepúlveda Ramírez

Royalville Communications, Inc
produces:

ignaciovillarreal.org avemariasound.org juncodelavega.com facundocabral-elfinal.org
Founder's Site. The most varied versions
of this beautiful prayer.
Hommage
to a Mexican poet.
Hommage
       

The First Art Newspaper on the Net. The Best Versions Of Ave Maria Song Junco de la Vega Site Ignacio Villarreal Site
Tell a Friend
Dear User, please complete the form below in order to recommend the Artdaily newsletter to someone you know.
Please complete all fields marked *.
Sending Mail
Sending Successful