Azerbaijani Operetta “Arşın Mal Alan” mesmerizes Los Angeles

Initiated and held by the Consulate General of Azerbaijan in Los Angeles, and generously sponsored by the State Oil Company of Azerbaijan (SOCAR), the Azerbaijani musical comedy “Arşın Mal Alan” (Cloth Peddler) was performed in Los Angeles on September 7 to a great acclaim.

Hosted in the Dorothy Chandler Pavilion, one of the world’s largest and most renowned opera houses, the performance was attended by over 3000 Angelenos, as well as guests from many other California cities and U.S. states. The immortal musical comedy of Uzeyir Hajibeyli, the composer of the Islamic world’s first opera and operetta, received well-deserved standing ovations and left the audience mesmerized.

Produced and newly adapted by award-winning American producer Michael Schnack, the musical commedy was performed by outstanding American opera singers, who sang in original Azerbaijani (with projected English translations) and spoke in English. A Hollywood orchestra of exquisite musicians played the music.

Dedicated to the 100th anniversary of the operetta, it is the first time that “Arşın Mal Alan” was performed at such a scale in the entire Western world.

Following the performance, the Consulate General of Azerbaijan in Los Angeles hosted a reception attended by officials from the City and County of Los Angeles, Consuls General and Honorary Consuls of various countries, Hollywood actors, directors and composers, university professors, journalists and others. Speaking at the reception, Consul General Nasimi Aghayev called the performance of “Arşın Mal Alan” an enormously important event in the history of Azerbaijani culture. The Consul General characterized this successful performance as a triumph of the cultural diplomacy defined and guided by the President of Azerbaijan Mr. Ilham Aliyev.

Addressing the audience, the Rector of Baku Music Academy Mr. Farhad Badalbayli, members of Azerbaijan’s Parliament Sevinj Fataliyeva and Asim Mollazade stressed the importance of the performance and shared their impressions.

A proclamation of appreciation signed by all members of the Board of Supervisors of the 10 million-strong Los Angeles County was presented to Consul General Aghayev. The proclamation expresses gratitude for Azerbaijan’s continuous contribution to the cultural diversity of Los Angeles and for bringing the globally renowned “Arşın Mal Alan” operetta to the county.

Speaking afterwards, the famous Hollywood actor, known to the audience primarily as “Apollo Creed” from “Rocky” sequels, shared his best impressions about the performance and stressed the significance of continuing such cultural projects. He cordially thanked the Consulate General for introducing him to the rich music and culture of Azerbaijan.

It should be mentioned that immediately following the performance, via various websites and social media many American attendees expressed their appreciation of the operetta and its production, as well as the professionalism and superb vocal and artistic skills of the performers.

A video report on the performance prepared by AzerTAj News Agency can be watched here:

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