Baysa – from the steppe of Mongolia and Bayasgalan Dashnyam from Sofia Opera and Ballet – Trud Daily
30 Apr 2014

Baysa – from the steppe of Mongolia and Bayasgalan Dashnyam from Sofia Opera and Ballet – Trud Daily

Baysa – from the steppe of Mongolia and Bayasgalan Dashnyam from Sofia Opera and Ballet – Trud Daily

For her friends she is Baysa. Otherwise on the posters of Sofia Opera she is Bayasgalan Dashnyam. She is the prima who one cannot mistake for someone else – a face with Asiatic features and unique voice.

She has been in the company since 2002. Her crown role is Princess Turandot, and this year she made two of the most difficult opera parts – Brunhilde from "Siegfried" by Wagner and Odabella from "Attila" by Verdi. She won’t rest also in summer. In August are forthcoming spectacles at "Stage of the Ages" on Tsarevets citadel (Turandot for the 108th time!) and at the first Festival at the Lake in Pravets.

But Baysa likes it to be engaged. It is so still when she was a child. She was born in Ulan Bator, Mongolia. Her father – a physician, died in an accident, and her mother is a folk singer. Her grandfather was a lama. After the revolution there was a secret altar in their home, and the traditions were always followed. One of them ordains that till school age the children must get used to manage everyday life by their one. And when in 1986 Baysa came to study at the Conservatoire in Sofia, she was the only one from the girls in the hall of residence who had no problems with everyday life. Moreover, in a foreign country among people with foreign culture. Namely the proverbial diligence opened to Baysa door after door. The five years in the class of Prof. Konstantin Karapetrov seemed to her not enough and that is why, after graduating, she continued her education by him.

The 90-ies of the past century were difficult for the Bulgarians and they were difficult for the Mongolian too. But, instead of complaining, she worked as a waitress in a coffee-house and Chinese restaurant. After that she worked as saleswoman in a super market close to the Embassy of Mongolia in Sofia. "I saw the advertisement, I asked if I could be a candidate, I was told "yes" and they obviously liked me. I was entrusted the cheese and yellow cheese counter", remembers now the opera prima. She accepts the gathered experience, not specific for her, as a part of the road which she dreamt to walk. And her dream has always been to sing like Callas! It is true, the dressing room where she received me, is not at La Scala, but here she feels herself at home. She is grateful to the present Director Plamen Kartaloff and to his precursors Borislav Ivanov and Hristina Angelakova, who gave chance to the talent. But the person, because of who Bayasgalan Dashnyam is what she is today, is Ghena Dimitrova.

Namely the great opera singer discovered the young Mongolian and took her in her master class. "Four years of my life passed with her – tells Baysa. – From 200 candidates she chose 6 and I was among them. She told me that the main criterion for her choice was the nature, i.e. the volume of the voice. Besides, she noticed that I am a humble and dedicated, hard-working person. She was proverbial with her diligence. She was able to perceive people’s energies, she knew who was lazy and in an offhand manner she chased him or her away from her life." Ghena Dimitrova was not just a pedagogue, she was also a mother, and a friend for Baysa. Almost two years the Mongolian lived in her home, shared everything with her, she was seeking her advice even for the banal things in life. She was, however, not always obeying. And it was maybe wilfulness which brought the greatest success and opened before the Asian girl the way to the big stage.

Bayasgalan and a colleague of her, also student of the opera prima, learned that there was an audition for singers for a production of "Turandot". The crown role of the great Ghena! They asked her if they were ready to take part and she encouraged them. Not for the difficult part of the princess, but for the role of the slave Liù.

Baysa’s restless inner voice, however, whispered something else and before starting, she took also the score of Turandot. They went, the Mongolian asked how many were the candidates and it turned out that only two of them dared to sing the more difficult part. "I don’t care, I will sing Turandot", she told herself, but her heart was sinking with fear. And then she thought out the next move. She decided to take off her glasses in order not to see well the jury with her short-sighted eyes. She sang the aria and... received the role. The more frightful came in the evening. How to confess before Madame? When Ghena came home late in the evening and asked the girls how did the audition pass, Baysa’s colleague said: "Well, we sang this and that". "What does it mean? "Well, I sang Liù, and our dear Baysa – Turandot", confessed the girl at the end. "And I was chosen", joined in Baysa. The astounded Ghena managed only to say: "Well, tomorrow we start singing. Every day!"

"She taught me exceptionally worthy things – confesses Dashnyam. – At the end she told me: "I am giving you an official permission to sing! You can!" Since then Baysa’s voice has sounded at many of the leading opera theatres in Europe, but she continues to live here. Already 26 years she has been in Bulgaria and typically in Asian way she is enthusiastic for what she likes and reserved for the negative. She has a lot of friends, she adores our sea, our fruits and vegetables, and about the musaka, the lentils and the shopska salata (traditional Bulgarian meals) she frankly has no words. She already kooks them by herself. She tries to teach her friends to kook Mongolian dishes, but they quickly refuse – they are difficult for them. I am asking her weather she is not irritated by the trash, our eternal complaining, the envy... And Baysa replies: "Envy is everywhere in the world. I am leaving it behind. I don’t understand the complaints – sometimes we feel hot, sometimes we feel cold, sometimes we feel something else, and our life depends on ourselves. I was taught so as a child. "Regarding the trash, she simply cannot make it out – at home everyone does his best, and outside... And she told me how as a child her grandmother saw her to tear a dandelion and to throw it. She got angry, she tore one hair from her head so that Baysa could understand that the flower also feels pain, then she showed her the white sap of the stem, i.e. its tears. "Since then I understood that I must cherish everything around me", says Baysa, in tears with the memory of her relatives. She hasn’t gone home since she arrived here. It is better the relatives to come – there is no sea there, isn’t it. And after the great dream to sing together with Pavarotti didn’t come true, now she is secretly dreaming of Arena di Verona. At least one time! At the grave of Ghena Dimitrova she has sworn that she will continue the art. That is why she is repeating herself constantly two proverbs. The Bulgarian one is that the one who works will receive. And the Mongolian one: The pure soul is king of its fate.

Violeta Tsvetkova