The ballet "One Thousand and One Nights" on the stage of the Sofia Opera and Ballet
16 May 2022Sofia Opera and Ballet

The ballet "One Thousand and One Nights" on the stage of the Sofia Opera and Ballet

With the premiere spectacle the opera and ballet theatre celebrates the 100th anniversary of the Azerbaijani composer Fikret Amirov

Sofia Opera and Ballet will delight its audience with the long-awaited premiere of the ballet spectacle "One Thousand and One Nights". On five dates in the period 27 May – 1 June, the spectators will be able to enjoy the fabulous story of Scheherazade, who with her wisdom and beauty manages to warm the icy heart of the stern Sultan Shahriar. A fairy tale within a fairy tale, told in an exciting and beautiful way with the choreography of the great choreographer Eldar Aliev and the captivating music of Fikret Amirov. With the spectacle "One Thousand and One Nights" Sofia Opera and Ballet will mark the 100th anniversary of the great Azerbaijani composer. Conductors – Ayyub Guliyev ( смени името на диригента и в творческия състав на балета) and Boris Spasov.

Fikret Amirov was born in 1922 in the family of the famous musician Mashadi Amirov, from whom he inherited his love for Azerbaijani folk music and the secrets of the ancient musical instrument tar. Amirov's work covers a variety of genres of musical art – operas, operettas, ballets. He is the creator of a new genre called "symphonic mugam", in which he boldly weaves oriental melodies into European classical music forms, imitating the sound of a folk orchestra.

In 1979, the composer wrote the ballet "One Thousand and One Nights" and dedicated it to his wife. "To Aida, my assistant," is written on the title page of the score. In the score, Amirov uses an endless repertoire of percussion instruments – bongos, tom-toms, xylophone, vibraphone, drums, bells, timpani, cymbals – to express the richness of Arabic rhythmic. The use of a female choral background gives additional nuance and character to the music. The choral sound appears at key moments to create a certain mood – either to express grief at the beginning of the ballet, when doomed to death women mourn, or to sing the victory of good and the female power in the love duet of Shahriar and Scheherazade.

The choreography of the ballet is the work of the world-famous ballet dancer, choreographer and pedagogue Eldar Aliev. He realizes a second ballet for the troupe of the Sofia Opera and Ballet. Five years ago, he staged the ballet "Le Corsaire" for the first time on the Sofia stage, preserving many of Petipa's original choreography, but updating it to meet the expectations of modern audiences. The Baku-born ballet dancer and choreographer has staged the ballet "One Thousand and One Nights" in America and Europe over the years.

The libretto was created by the famous Ibragimbekov brothers: Rustam Ibrahimbekov, a future co-author of the award-winning films of Nikita Mikhalkov and Magsud Ibrahimbekov – screenwriter and director. They embody their concept in two acts of the ballet and make a selection from the book to choose from the three most popular tales told by Scheherazade: Sinbad, Aladdin and the Magic Lamp, and Ali Baba and the Forty Thieves. All the stories demonstrate such basic feminine traits as love, beauty and wisdom.

The ballet "One Thousand and One Nights" will be presented on the stage of the Sofia Opera and Ballet on 27, 28, 29, 31 May and on 1 June.