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State Opera and Ballet Theater to mark 120th jubilee of first female opera singer

5 October 2017 09:33 (UTC+04:00)
State Opera and Ballet Theater to mark 120th jubilee of first female opera singer

By Laman Ismayilova

"La Traviata", an opera in three acts by Giuseppe Verdi will be staged at Azerbaijan Opera and Ballet Theater.

The event will mark the 120th anniversary of great female opera singer of Azerbaijan Shovkat Mammadova, Trend Life reported.

Shovket Mammadova is known with her valuable contribution to the treasury of the centuries-old Azerbaijani music. She was a perfect musician able to blend achievements of the world vocal school with national music traditions, and thus write brilliant pages in the history of Azerbaijani opera.

President Ilham Aliyev has signed an order on the 120th jubilee of the great musician -- the "first sign" of spring at Azerbaijani Opera.

The Ministry of Culture and Tourism together with the Ministry of Education are instructed to implement an action plan in this regard.

The opera will be conducted by People's Artist of Azerbaijan Javanshir Jafarov.

People's Artist of Azerbaijan Ali Askerov, honored artists Inara Babaeva,Farid Aliyev, Jahangir Gurbanov, Akram Poladov , Nina Makarova, People's Artist of Azerbaijan, Professor Javanshir Jafarov will perform on the same stage.

The opera singer was born in 1897 in Tbilisi, Georgia. Her father, a shoemaker, noticed her musical gift when she was only six.

Azerbaijani, millionaire and philanthropist Zeynalabdin Taghiyev, decided to help the talented girl. At the age of 14, she left for Milan, Italy to pursue a musical degree at the Milan Conservatory with the financial help of an Azerbaijani multimillionaire.

However, Mammadova had to return home in 1912 because his sponsorship was discontinued for undisclosed reasons.

Shovket Mammadova made her first stage appearance at the Taghiyev Theatre in Baku, performing a piece from Uzeyir Hajibeyov's "Husband and Wife."

With her crystal-clear and sonorous voice Shovket performed with several vocal numbers.

Starting from 1921, Mammadova toured Moscow, Saint Petersburg, Paris, Milan, Tabriz, and Tbilisi performing arias from La Traviata, Barber of Seville, Rigoletto, Les Huguenots, etc. She accomplished her studies in Milan in 1927–1930 and head back to Azerbaijan to go on with her career at the State Opera and Ballet Theatre in Baku.

In 1939–1945, she was the director of the Azerbaijan State Opera and Ballet Theatre. She was later appointed the Chair of the Vocal Department at the Azerbaijan State Conservatory, where she professionally trained young vocalists until her death in 1981.


Laman Ismayilova is AzerNews’ staff journalist, follow her on Twitter: @Lam_Ismayilova

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