Culture • 13 February, 2019

Shakespearean debut to be made at Astana Opera

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A debut will take place at the Astana Opera in Sergei Prokofiev’s ballet Romeo and Juliet staged by the French choreographer Charles Jude. Talented ballet dancer Olzhas Makhanbetaliyev will perform the part of Tybalt for the first time on February 13 and 14 at the opera house’s Great Hall.

In S. Prokofiev’s popular ballet, Olzhas Makhanbetaliyev is preparing to perform an impressive character role of Tybalt – a fierce troublemaker and unrelenting guardian of the Capulet family honor. The composer created particularly expressive musical images of the characters in the score, including the figure of the somber, ruthless Tybalt. One of the most memorable moments in the ballet is the scene of the deadly battle between Tybalt and Mercutio. In order to convey the hero’s personality in the language of ballet, it is important for the dancer to use correct plastique of the body frame, broad, amplitude movements, to show his character’s stateliness and nobility in every gesture, every turn of the head.

“Tybalt is the heir to a noble family, from an early age he was taught to protect his loved ones, to be the head of the family. He strives to be always in control of himself, to comport himself in accordance with his position and upbringing. However, he can be overly arrogant and cold. When the situation gets out of his control, because of his naturally hot-blooded personality and quick temper, Tybalt flies off the handle and simply ‘explodes’. Thus, he often gets into duels. Incidentally, the fight scenes are choreographically complex; each movement must be very precise. A technique of small movements is often used in Charles Jude’s production. This is a characteristic feature of the European school of ballet, which is very different from ours,” Olzhas Makhanbetaliyev noted.

Honored Worker of Kazakhstan Madina Basbayeva will perform the part of young Juliet; Honored Worker of Kazakhstan Tair Gatauov will portray her beloved Romeo. Mercutio – Serik Nakyspekov, Paris – Yerkin Rakhmatullayev, Benvolio – Nikolay Korshunov. The Artistic Director of the Astana Opera Ballet Company is the world-famous prima, People’s Artist of Russia Altynai Asylmuratova.

Music Director of the production Maestro Giuseppe Aquaviva will conduct the Astana Opera Symphony Orchestra. Libretto by Charles Jude based on the tragedy of the same name by William Shakespeare. Set Designer is an outstanding theatre designer Ezio Frigerio, Costume Designer is the Academy Award winner Franca Squarciapino, Lighting Designer is Vinicio Cheli, Projections Designer is Sergio Metalli.

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