L’Italiana in Algeri wins Astana audience’s hearts

Photo: astanaopera.kz
ASTANA. KAZINFORM The premiere of Gioachino Rossini’s rarely performed opera L’Italiana in Algeri was marked by the audience’s delight and unceasing applause. The soloists of the Astana Opera and the International Opera Academy, the symphony orchestra and the choir impressed the viewers with their skills and boundless talent. The production graced the program of the Operaliya International Festival, the press service of Astana Opera informed.

L’Italiana in Algeri is an example of a classic opera in the comedic genre. The eventful opera buffa required filigree performance skills from all its participants. This is absolutely new material for the company, because such performances are rarely staged all over the world, so they expand the opportunities for vocalists, orchestra musicians and, of course, shape the tastes of the audience.

The production’s music director and conductor Ruslan Baimurzin and conductor Giuseppe Acquaviva, together with the Astana Opera Symphony Orchestra and Choir were able to reach the high bar set by the composer and immersed the listeners in the abyss of passions raging onstage.

The special atmosphere of the performance was created by the stage director, laureate and diploma winner of international competitions Yerenbak Toikenov, who transferred the exciting plot to our days. Italian costume designer Manana Gunia gracefully brought the stage director’s concept to life.

Rossini’s operas are notable for their virtuosity of performance, which requires serious preparation and impeccable technique. Since the premiere performances were presented mainly by the International Opera Academy attendees, assisted by vocal teacher and consultant Ala Simonishvili (Italy), it can be said with confidence that their performances became a difficult exam, which they passed honorably. This was evidenced by the audience’s applause as a reward for the artists.

«Each meeting with the wonderful world of opera art is a great celebration and a special treat for me,» Gaukhar Muratova, a resident of the capital, says. «To join the world of classical music, to hear a symphony orchestra and opera singing live, to see this fantastic hall, magnificent costumes created by talented designers – all these opportunities are created for us by the Astana Opera. I try not to miss the premieres, and I was looking forward to L’Italiana in Algeri. The music written by the great classic is eternal, just like the human vices that the author exposes. The symphony orchestra is truly a miracle, and the magical voices of the performers framed by the choir make the heart skip a beat. It was very interesting to see the combination of music, which has a 200-year history, with a contemporary storyline.»

In the premiere performances, guest soloist Laura Verrecchia and the academy attendee Elmira Shpekpayeva performed the main female part of Isabella. Completely different in appearance, these amazing vocalists demonstrated two different, but incredibly expressive heroines, capable of sweeping men off their feet. Beautiful rich basses Zhandarbek Yerkinbayev and Shyngys Rassylkhan presented the main male part of Mustafà. Lyric tenors Alikhan Zeinolla and Narul Toikenov performed Lindoro. Guldana Aldadossova and holder of the Order of Qurmet Aizada Kaponova talentedly portrayed Elvira, the wife of the Bey of Algiers, suffering from unrequited love for her husband.

The magical soprano Aigerim Amanzholova took the stage as Zulma, the brilliant baritones Yerzhan Saipov and Azat Malik performed Taddeo. The rugged Dinmukhamed Koshkinbayev and the artistic Altynbek Abilda made their debut as Haly.

Gioachino Rossini’s opera L’Italiana in Algeri will be performed next at the Astana Opera in the new theatrical season. The production, staged in Kazakhstan for the first time with the support of the Ministry of Culture and Sports of the Republic of Kazakhstan, will certainly take its rightful place in the repertoire of the capital’s opera house.

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