The State Opera and Ballet Theatre «Astana Opera»
The State Opera and Ballet Theatre «Astana Opera» was founded in 2013 on the initiative of the First President of Kazakhstan Nursultan Äbishuly Nazarbayev and its inauguration was confined to the 15th anniversary of the Capital. June 21, 2013, the ‘Astana Opera’ Theatre solemnly opened its first theatrical season with the opera by a great Kazakh composer Mukan Tulebayev called ‘Birzhan and Sara’.
Fall, 2013, saw world premiere of the ‘Astana Opera’ Theatre that opened its doors to the entire world with the performance of the immortal opera by Giuseppe Verdi ‘Attila’. It has been designed as an unusual complex combining the entire set of technical and artistic achievements, and, by every right, was included into the list of the world’s most prominent and prestigious opera and concert halls, such as ‘La Scala’ in Milan, the Bolshoi Theatre in Moscow, ‘Metropolitan Opera’ in New York. Its erection involved not only Kazakh specialists, but also those from Switzerland, Italy, Albania, Russia, and Morocco. On the whole, the project is classic style with an emphasis on Hellenistic motifs, Mannerism and Baroque. Lighting and color palette of suite circles and five upper circles are mostly amber tints with golden glints that give the spectators warmth and coziness without fatiguing their eyes and without stealing attention from the stage. The ‘Astana Opera’ Theatre may boast of its unique acoustic properties. The leading specialists from Italy and Germany put their effort into the acoustics. The portico of the main entrance of the Theatre is decorated with auteur sculpture compositions “A Kobyz Player” and “A Girl with Zhetygen” sculptured by Murat Mansurov and Tokhtar Yermekov. Quadriga, installed on the top of the Theatre exterior, is the image of the Saki queen Tomiris driving a chariot, sculptured by Kanat Nurbaturov.
The Theatre is decorated with 24 columns of 24 meters (approx. 80 ft) in height. The special pride of the Theatre is the space of its auditorium. The Main Auditorium with foreground, orchestra pit, the stalls and different circles make the heart of the entire Theatre ensemble, its physical and spiritual center. It is ornamented in the national style and accommodates 1,250 seats. Peculiar upper circles, exuberantly decorated with the Kazakh national ornament imitating inlaid turquoise stones, are of convex shape. Chairs and mirrors, ornamental plasterwork, everything that reflects or absorbs sound vibration, has been thought out to the last detail. Chair tilt and turn angles have also been taken into account.
Multi-purpose Chamber Hall can accommodate up to 250 persons. It is intended for chamber music concerts, choral singing, drama plays and poem recitals, for conducting conferences with film projection.
The philosophy of Wiesbaden stage technical school was implemented in the Theatre. According to it the wings and the backstage are located next to the central stage, and auxiliary spaces are adjacent to the backstage. Orchestra space is around the orchestra pit. The musicians have 8 additional minor rehearsal rooms at their disposal. The major rehearsal room for choir accommodates 100 persons and is connected to the stage by staircases and elevators which save time for costume change. A rehearsal hall of an area similar to that of the stage area is at the disposal of ballet company. The Theatre has its own scenery shop and the entire set of shops for carpenters, blacksmiths, sculptors, painters, upholsterers, plasterers.