Film on renowned Azerbaijani composer Uzeyir Hajibeyli produced in Los Angeles
The Consulate General of Azerbaijan in Los Angeles produced a short film in English on renowned Azerbaijani composer Uzeyir Hajibeyli - the founder of the first opera and operetta in the Muslim world.
The film mentions that Hajibeyli was born on Sep. 18, 1885 in Azerbaijan's Qarabagh region and was raised in Shusha, the cradle of Azerbaijani music, where he studied Azerbaijani Mugham music.
It is stated that in 1908, then the 23-year old Uzeyir Hajibeyli’s “Leyli and Majnun", the first opera in the Muslim world, was performed in Baku, Azerbaijan, and that in 1913 his operetta "Arshin Mal Alan" (Cloth Peddler) premiered in Baku. It is noted that the operetta advocated for women's rights and emancipation, captivating soon the audiences in many other Muslim countries too.
The film highlights that during Azerbaijan's brief independence in 1918-20, Hajibeyli was one of the strongest champions for Azerbaijan's freedom, and that he composed the newly independent Azerbaijan's national anthem.
In 1920, Hajibeyli established the Azerbaijan State Conservatoire, training Azerbaijan's finest composers.
It is stressed that a feature film, based on his "Arshin Mal Alan," was made in 1945 and translated into 86 languages and shown in 136 countries. Colorized by Heydar Aliyev Foundation, the film premiered in Hollywood in 2015. "Arshin Mal Alan" operetta's largest U.S. performance was held in 2013 in Los Angeles. Moreover it is mentioned that the City of Los Angeles proclaimed Sep. 18, 2015 as "Uzeyir Hajibeyli Memorial Day".
The film notes that in 1992, Armenia invaded Hajibeyli's hometown of Shusha, looting and destroying his home museum and statues, and that in 2020, Azerbaijan liberated Shusha and returned Hajibeyli's statues and his home museum is being restored.
In conclusion, the film underlines that Uzeyir Hajibeyli's tremendous legacy lives on in and beyond Azerbaijan.
The film can be watched here: