By Laman Ismayilova
The ballet “Goya” will be once again presented in Baku on February 3.
Azerbaijan State Academic Opera and Ballet Theater will stage the ballet set to music by the outstanding Azerbaijani composers Gara Garayev and Faraj Garayev.
The ballet choreographer is Honored Artist of Estonia, artistic director of the St. Petersburg Dance Open Ballet Festival, member of the UNESCO International Dance Council Vasily Medvedev, Azertag reported.
Art director of the ballet is Academician of the Russian Academy of Arts Dmitry Cherbadzhi. The author of the libretto is the well-known writer Yana Temiz (Turkey), the choirmaster of the play is Honored Art Worker of Azerbaijan Sevil Hajiyeva.
The performance will be attended by leading ballet soloists – People’s Artist of Azerbaijan, presidential scholarship, artistic director of the ballet troupe Kamilla Huseynova, honored artists Nigar Ibragimova, Makar Fershandt, as well as Anar Mikayilov and Jamila Karimova.
The ballet will be conducted by music director of the Opera and Ballet Theater, Eyyub Guliyev.
The premiere of the ballet took place last year. The event was timed to the 100th anniversary of Gara Garayev.
The ballet “Goya” tells about famous Spanish painter Francisco Goya, who had a hard character, but a huge talent.
He is considered by many to be the “Father of Modern Art”.
Spanish painter was one of the last of the Old Masters of painting, as well as the first of the moderns.
Having synthesized Eastern and Western musical traditions, Gara Garayev’s works cover essentially all genres. They are performed all over the world.
At the age of eight, Garayev first entered the junior music school at the Azerbaijan State Conservatoire. His exceptional musical talents let him to study simultaneously in two faculties at the conservatoire. His teachers were Georgi Sharoyev, Leonid Rudolf, and the prominent Azerbaijani composer Uzeyir Hajibeyli.
In 1938, Garayev composed his first musical piece, a cantata “The Song of the Heart” to the poem by Rasul Rza. It was performed in Moscow’s Bolshoi Theater in the same year. He was only 20 years old at the time.
Garayev returned to Baku in 1941. He began teaching students at Azerbaijan State Philharmonic Society.
In 1945, both he and Jovdat Hajiyev wrote the “Motherland” opera, for which they were awarded a prestigious Stalin Prize. At the age of 30, Garayev was again awarded this prize for his symphonic poem “Leyli and Majnun”, based on the same-titled famous work of Nizami Ganjavi.
In 1952, under the direction of the choreographer P. A. Gusev, Garayev’s “Seven Beauties” ballet was staged at the Azerbaijani Theater of Opera and Ballet. Based on Nizami Ganjavi’s famous poem, “Seven Beauties”, it became the first Azerbaijani ballet and opened a new chapter in the history of classical music of Azerbaijan.
His ballet, “Path of Thunder”, staged in 1958, was dedicated to racial conflicts in South Africa. In the same year, he wrote the score for the documentary film” A Story About the Oil Workers of the Caspian Sea”, directed by Roman Karmen and set at the Oil Rocks.
Through his life, Garayev wrote nearly 110 musical pieces, including ballets, operas, symphonic and chamber pieces, solos for piano, cantatas, songs and marches, and rose to prominence not only in Azerbaijan, but also worldwide.
He brilliantly juxtaposed features of Mugham with jazz, blues, African music, European counterpoint styles, and developments related to the 20th century Western music such as the 12-tone technique.
Garayev died on May 13, 1982 in Moscow at the age of 64.
The composer has left a legacy of music that will be felt for generations to come.
Faraj Garayev is an Azerbaijani composer, son of the prominent Azerbaijani composer Gara Garayev.
He is regarded as one of the leading composers of post-Soviet period.
Works of Faraj Garayev are performed at festivals and concerts in the CIS countries, Europe, South America, the USA and Japan.
Famous conductors such as Gennady Rozhdestvensky, Vassily Sinaisky, Alexander Lazarev, Maxim Shostakovich (the USSR, Russia), Rauf Abdullayev (Azerbaijan), Ingo Metzmacher (Germany), Reinbert de Leeuw and Ed Spanjaard (Netherlands), Ensemble of soloists of the Orchestra of the Bolshoi Theatre (Moscow), “Studio of new music” (Moscow), Ensemble Modern (Frankfurt, Germany), Nieuw Ensemble and Schoenberg Ensemble (Amsterdam, Netherlands), Quatuor Danel (France), Continuum (New York City, USA) and others are among performers of his compositions.