Minister of Culture and Sports of the Republic of Kazakhstan Arystanbek Mukhamediuly delivered a welcoming speech to the audience.
“The musical life of Kazakhstan is rapidly developing. Two years ago, the Astana Opera Soloist Maria Mudryak has won the title of laureate of the prestigious Placido Domingo’s Operalia, The World Opera Competition, which was held in Astana. In a short time, she has achieved tremendous success. Today, Maria performs at world’s best venues. It is gratifying that Maria recently performed with great success the role of Violetta from Verdi’s opera La Traviata at the Royal Opera House Muscat in Oman, where Maestro Plácido Domingo himself conducted. We all remember the story a young girl from Pavlodar, who became a recipient of the Bolashak grant. The author of this program is the Leader of the Nation Nursultan Nazarbayev. Today we have the opportunity to hear Maria Mudryak’s beautiful singing. This evening, a wonderful tenor, Principal Soloist of the Astana Opera Medet Chotabayev, who has won the prestigious first prize of the Mikhail Glinka International Vocal Contest in Moscow, will perform. He is also regularly invited to perform in world’s best opera houses. Celebrated musician Ilya Mashkevich will be conducting the orchestra,” Arystanbek Mukhamediuly said.
The Minister of Culture and Sports also thanked the large industrial companies of Kazakhstan for the financial support of the culture and sports of our country.
“The Eurasian Resources Group is the initiator of such social projects as Children of the World and many others, which inspire gratitude in the hearts of millions of Kazakhstanis. The Eurasian Resources Group actively supports many theatres and sports competitions in our country. We would like to express our gratitude to Alexander Mashkevich, Chairman of the Board of Directors of the Eurasian Resources Group,” Arystanbek Mukhamediuly concluded.
Famous Maestro Ilya Mashkevich, born in Frunze, now living and working in Belgium, has opened the evening. In the first part, the conductor chose to perform Antonín Dvořák’s Symphony No. 9. One of the contemporaries of the Czech composer said, “He writes music which brings the scents of meadows and mountains, seas and forests. The radiance that Goethe so admired among the Greeks, vitality, soaring, fervor – all this we will find in Dvořák.” Indeed, this is true.
The capital’s beau monde, represented by music critics, as well as high art lovers, appreciated the rare melodic generosity and emotional ingenuousness of this work. The symphony orchestra under the baton of Maestro Ilya Mashkevich sounded rhythmically precise, following his interesting interpretation. The conductor’s skill in using filigree nuances was very impressive.
Maestro Ilya Mashkevich worked with Kazakh musicians not for the first time. It is known that he performed with the philharmonic and symphony orchestras in Almaty as part of various concert programs. Years later, returning to the country of the Great Steppe, the conductor was unsurprised by the global changes in Kazakhstan. According to Ilya Mashkevich, this development is natural, given that the country is headed by a very strong President of Kazakhstan Nursultan Nazarbayev.
While the musicians performed the last chords of Antonín Dvořák’s Symphony No. 9, Maria Mudryak and Medet Chotabayev were preparing to go onstage. Astana Opera Soloist Maria Mudryak opened the second part with Leonora’s aria and cabaletta from Giuseppe Verdi’s opera Il Trovatore. The vocalist’s numerous fans from Pavlodar came to see her performance. They, among other listeners, greeted the singer’s every stage appearance with a barrage of applause.
Maria Mudryak’s young voice, rich in overtones, sounded great throughout the musical evening. Some works required flexibility from the soprano, others demanded warm and rich colors, all of which the singer easily executed in music. She demonstrated the gold standard of classical bel canto, performing Marguerite’s aria from Charles Gounod’s opera Faust, Giuditta’s aria from Franz Lehar’s operetta Giuditta, Norina’s aria from Gaetano Donizetti’s opera Don Pasquale and much more.
Neither classical music connoisseurs, nor regular listeners remained indifferent to her stage partner – tenor, Honored Worker of Kazakhstan, Knight of the Order of the Star of Italy Medet Chotabayev. The audience has repeatedly applauded the singer’s mastery and organic performance. For the first time, he presented Loris’ aria from Umberto Giordano’s opera Fedora on the capital’s stage, and also performed Agustin Lara’s beautiful song Granada and Mario Cavaradossi’s aria from Giacomo Puccini’s opera Tosca. In addition, the artists performed brilliant duets, one of which was everyone’s favourite duet of Mimi and Rodolfo from Puccini’s opera La Boheme.
High art connoisseurs did not want to let the vocalists, orchestra musicians and conductor leave the stage. The shouts of ‘Bravo’ did not cease in the auditorium for a long time, prolonged applause sounded like gratitude to the creative team for the triumphal concert, which was held on a single breath.