Fairytale Opera Puss in Boots to premiere in Astana
The premiere of the children’s opera Puss in Boots by César Cui will be a wonderful gift for young viewers on the International Children’s Day. The opera production based on the fairytale by Charles Perrault will take place at the Kulyash Baiseitova Chamber Hall on two days – May 30 and June 1, El.kz cites astanaopera.kz.
“The premiere of the children’s opera Puss in Boots is a wonderful event that will be one of the highlights of the 10th anniversary season,” Galym Akhmedyarov, the Astana Opera’s general director, Honored Worker of Kazakhstan, says. “Our opera house is evolving, and we always look for new forms and ways to interest the audience with the delightful world of musical art. At the Astana Opera, along with productions of world and national operas and ballets on the opera house’s big stage, the Piccolo Theatre functions in the Kulyash Baiseitova Chamber Hall, and active work is underway with young composers to create modern productions. This autumn, in the new theatrical season, we are planning to present to young viewers the first large national two-act opera Qanbaq Shal by Zholan Dastenov.”
The stage director of the production is a laureate of Digital Opera and Nano-Opera international competitions Yerenbak Toikenov.
The plot of the fairytale is familiar from childhood: when three brothers divide up the inheritance after the death of their father, the youngest one gets only a cat. However, as it turns out, the animal can completely change the life of his new owner. Having become a true friend, the cat not only helps the miller’s youngest son to get rich, but also facilitates his marriage to a charming princess.
“The opera Puss in Boots, created more than a century ago by the composer César Cui based on the fairytale by the famous writer Charles Perrault, has not lost its relevance to this day,” the stage director shares. “It seems to me that its main idea coincides with the idea of the parable about the boy who boasts of his father, presenting him as strong and omnipotent. Having become a young man, he begins to think that he knows and can do no less than his father, and having matured, he is sure that he has surpassed his parent. However, when maturity comes, and it becomes necessary to consult with someone, the father is no longer around. This story raises the topic of the value of parental wisdom, which cannot be bought with money. I think that the fairytale Puss in Boots says that you can find a way out of any situation. The fairytale teaches that you should never give up and lose heart, and to confidently reach for your goals, so it can be called motivational.”
It should be noted that the production is created by the forces of the younger generation, which the opera house management actively supports. Along with Yerenbak Toikenov, the author of the musical version Alikhan Idrissov, music director and conductor Elmar Buribayev, head of the children’s choir Altynganym Akhmetova, set designer Malika Tulegenova, and costume designer Dariga Taishikova are involved in the work on the children’s opera. The soloists will be young vocalists, with the Astana Opera International Opera Academy attendees among them. Ramzat Balakishiyev and Artur Gabdiyev will perform the Cat. Talgat Allabirinov and Alikhan Zeinolla will present the Youngest Son (Marquis), the Princesses – Honored Worker of Kazakhstan Zhamilya Jarkimbayeva, Nazym Sagintai, Yelena Ganzha and Ulpan Aubakirova.
“Today, it is more difficult to surprise the audience than before, especially children,” Yerenbak Toikenov emphasizes. “All this is connected with the development of modern technologies, an abundance of computer games, colorful animated films, so we, stage directors, always strive to look for new ideas. In addition to technical solutions, lighting special effects and the use of projectors, we involve masters of the visual art. The projections designer of the fairytale is Azamat Kuttyguzhin, a diploma holder of the international competition of multimedia artists.”
Incidentally, Puss in Boots is not the Astana Opera’s first production aimed at a children’s audience. For several years, Tleugazy Beissembek’s musical fairytale Samuryq Kelgen Tan has been successfully performed at the opera house’s Kulyash Baiseitova Chamber Hall with the Children’s Studio pupils performing the main parts. In addition, educational and entertaining concert programs for children are of great interest to the younger gen