Premiere of the Nejep Oglan opera – the modern sound of the musical tradition

Premiere of the Nejep Oglan opera – the modern sound of the musical tradition

The Nejep Oglan opera opened in Ashgabat. It was one of the brightest highlights of the Culture Week timed to the Day of Cultural and Art Workers, as well as great classic of Turkmen literature Magtymguly Pyragy. The extensive and interesting forum programme presented the works by the creative community of our country in all their genre and style diversity.

The opera by People’s Artist Nurygandym Hojamuhammedov, based on the destan Nejep oglan, appeared before the audience on the stage of the National Music and Drama Theater named after Magtymguly. It was directed by Honored Art Worker Ainazar Batyrov.

This story is about a young talented bakhshi, whose perfect dutar play and performances were famous for the magical and healing power of influence. The legendary Turkmen bakhshi narrators are the guardians of the people’s musical and folklore tradition and the disseminators of classical works, and their art combines the dutar music, vocal and oratory skills.

People’s Writer of Turkmenistan Govshutgeldi Danatarov, the creator of the libretto, showed the path of forming a young man from a simple music lover to a professional musician who received a blessing “pata” from the mentor, which became one of the basic precepts in his life. The composition reflects the poetry and romance of the hero, the beauty and grandeur of high feelings.

The music of the opera is based on the interconnection of the Turkmen folk music and author’s original ideas. The plot includes a number of songs associated with the eponymous destan, including “Sonam geldimi”, “Pendim budyz tekepberlik eýeleme”, “Toýa geldiňmi”, “Mylaýym han gelsin diýdi” and others. They were performed verbatim, actively transformed, and organically interacting with modern composer’s writing techniques.

The originality of the spirit of a distant age was emphasized by the scenography of Honored Artist of the country Ainazar Batyrov, including picturesque scenery, costumes of artists in which the style of traditional attire was observed and many other visual and plastic solutions for the performance.

The main parts in it were played by teachers and students of the Maya Kuliyeva Turkmen National Conservatory, who showed great professional responsibility in the preparation of difficult musical material. Second year student Shatlyk Gurbannazarov in the role of Nejep oglan became the unequivocal leader, captivating spectators with a peculiar voice timbre, vivid vocal qualities and a romantic interpretation of the image.

Sona Gelin turned out to be natural in musical and stage terms, the part of which was convincingly played by Arzygul Gylyjova. Another good luck was the Destan narrator by Honored Bakhshi of Turkmenistan Kerven Elbasharov, who emphasized energy and color, which this character probably required.

A separate line should highliht the brilliant performances of Honored Artist Bibijamal Amanova and teachers Aman Amanov, Begench Gaipov, Begench Moshiev. Their names are well known in musical circles, they are loved and appreciated, and interest in their work is always great.

Warm words should be said about the choirmaster, People’s Artist Kurbanmyrat Babayev. Thanks to his efforts, the choir’s singing was characterized by clear phrasing and plastic voice-leading, and all its component melodic lines were organically interlaced, composing an elegant musical palette. The Ylham Conservatory Orchestra conducted by Symphonic Conducting Department student Dovletmammed Okdyrov also kept the bar high.

Many months of hard and painstaking work was carried out to produce this opera. For young artists, just embarking upon their career, participation in such a large-scale project was a real miracle. They were instructed by venerable teachers actively helping them understand a variety of performance issues. It was pleasing that the young artists felt free on the stage, like professional actors, and it is hopeful that this appearance on the big stage will largely determine their future fate.

During the premiere, spectators, who are the main critics for the creative team, praised its work. The applause of the hall did not stop for a long time…

It is apparently that Nejep oglan is one of operas based on plots of folk tales such as Shasenem and Garib by D. Ovezov and A. Shaposhnikov, Leyli and Mejnun by D. Ovezov and Yu. Meitus, Kemine and Kazy ny V. Muhatov and A. Shaposhnikov – the first pieces of musical and stage work in Turkmenistan.

The new epic production showed the prospects for the development of this variety of the genre, which sounded absolutely modern, as well as the significance of the continuity of generations forming the interlinkages between the past, present and future.