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Lavish and extravagant celebration of poetic ballet The Fountain of Bakhchisarai at Astana Opera

Photo © Karla Nur/Astana Opera Photo © Karla Nur/Astana Opera

The Astana Opera is currently preparing for a grand premier of The Fountain of Bakhchisarai, a ballet inspired by Alexander Pushkin’s poem of the same title, Tengrinews reports.

The new edition of The Fountain of Bakhchisarai was choreographed by a Kazakhstani masterminds Tursynbek Nurkaliev and Galiya Buribayeva. Decorations for the choreographic poem were created by Italian designers Ezio Frigerio and Franca Squarciapino.

The Fountain of Bakhchisarai presents extensive and lavish decorations. The designers were able to optimize the large-scale decorations by using durable and light aluminum. The overall weight of the set is eight tons. All the movable decorations were crafted at the Astana Opera production facility,even in the tiniest details. For instance, making of a vase for the set took a while day and then it took around two hours to paint it. But most of the decorations were manufactured in Italy. The details of the set were hand crafted.

The Astana Opera will present truly grand decorations for the masterpiece ballet. The frame of the set is as tall as a 5-storey building - around 23 meters wide and 12 meters high.

The aluminum frame is covered with fiberglass, masterly painted and covered in handcrafted moulding. Frigerio translated his ideas into the design of the fabrics as well.

Photos ©Karla Nur/Astana Opera

Italian artists and special effects artists developed the lighting very thoroughly - The Fountain of Bakhchisarai ballet uses a lot of light and special effects.

The decorations will be changed in the course of the show. For example, in the second act, the massive decorations will be elevated and will disappear under the ceiling.

Academy Award winning costume designer Franca Squarciapino worked on extravagant costumes for The Fountain of Bakhchisarai. All in all, the designer created 186 designs of costumes. 26 of the costumes for secondary characters of eunuchs, slaves, maids, Circassian troops, Catholics and elderly Tatars were made at the Astana Opera sewing shop.

The Fountain of Bakhchisarai is conducted by the Merited Artist of Kazakhstan Aidar Abzhakhanov. Three ballet dancers of the Astana Opera Baurzhan Mekembayev, Zhanibek Imankulov and Zhandos Aubakirov play the part of Khan Girey. On the day of the premier, choreographer Tursynbek Nurkaliev will perform the role of Khan Girey. Nurkaliev performed the role since his debut in 1979, when The Fountain of Bakhchisarai was first staged by Rostislav Zakharov. Talented Madina Basbayeva, a dancer of the Astana Opera and invited dancer from the French Opéra National de Bordeaux will dance Maria’s part. In total, 92 dancers participate in the ballet.

The lyrical, poetic and passionate ballet about love and jealousy The Fountain of Bakhchisarai hits the stage of the Astana Opera from April 11 to 12 at 7:00pm. Tickets are available online starting from $3. The Astana Opera is located on Dinmukhamed Qonayev Street. 

By Gyuzel Kamalova

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