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Astana Opera searching for creative solutions every day

20 January 2022 14:36

NUR-SULTAN. KAZINFORM - On the threshold of the 10th anniversary theatrical season, Astana Opera tells about the achievements of not only its performers, but also its masters of the backstage arts and crafts, about the progress they have made approaching this important date, Kazinform has learnt from the Astana Opera's press service.

It is impossible to imagine the stage without sets: even a small detail plays a huge role in revealing the subject matter of the performance to the discerning audience.

«We have a large-scale, organized work of a team of professionals, which begins with the Scenic Projects and Staging Works Management Department. Then we get projects that are prepared for implementation by the opera house workshops, including ours, Restoration and Scenic Shop. Before putting set elements into manufacture for each production, we study in detail the projects and requirements of the stage directors, and we also take into account and calculate what materials will be used. Primarily, we try to buy them from local manufacturers. For the set elements production, it is necessary to follow the technology of lightweight set elements. This process minimizes the load on the stage machinery and the workforce,» Adilbek Shaikamalov, head of the Restoration and Scenic Shop, says.

He recalls that, for example, it took several months to create complex individual set elements for the production of Boris Asafiev’s ballet The Fountain of Bakhchisarai.

«The uniqueness of this ballet lies not only in the beautiful choreography, richly conveying Eastern zest, but also in the large-scale sets created in 2015 by the outstanding set designer of our time, Ezio Frigerio. Our workshop created a number of set elements for this ballet: the bed of the khan, Zarema, Maria and captives, tables, and so on were made. The unique sets were brought to life in accordance with the striking sketches of the outstanding Italian set designer,» Mr. Shaikamalov says.

When creating set elements, the shop employees focus not only on quality, but also on the convenience of their transportation when touring. Their service life varies from 4 years minimum to 12 years maximum. In addition, the functions of the restoration and scenic shop include the restoration of the damaged sets during long tours. In order to prevent force majeure situations, backstage masters go on tour together with the opera house’s artists.

The work done by the shop staff to date is enormous. Not counting open-air performances, the shop created set elements for 40 productions.

It should be noted that the matters of professional growth of Astana Opera’s technical staff are organized at the appropriate level. Not only national, but also foreign theatre design masters come here and share their joint experience. For example, thanks to comprehensive collaboration, the team implements projects with well-known set designers, such as Ezio Frigerio, Riccardo Massironi, Yoko Seyama, Nicholas Georgiadis, Sofya Tasmagambetova, Pavel Dragunov, costume and set designer Manana Gunia and other prominent figures.

It is important to emphasize that all the employees of the restoration and scenic shop are very talented people with higher education. Each specialist, in addition to work, has his own hobbies, for example, Adilbek Shaikamalov and Nursultan Zhumyr create paintings, while Mirzhan Murzagaliyev makes sculptures.

Inspired by the creative work, the masters put a piece of their soul into each production and reverently await the audience’s reaction to each new premiere.

Keywords: Kazakhstan, Culture,