Brussels to première Kazakh Masterpiece: Kyz Zhibek

The Astana Musical Hall will present in Brussels, next December 8, the Kazakh opera Kyz Zhibek, directed by Askhat Mayemirov.

Kyz Zhibek is a Kazakh poetic folk legend of the 16th century, tells about the period in the Kazakh nation when the people suffered from bloody feuds. In those times each province of the Kazakh nation had its own Khan and each tried to supersede the other. The love story of Tolegen, the brave warrior, and the beauty Zhibek ends tragically because of inter-family strife. Tolegen is foully murdered by Bekejan (the batyr, or nobleman, of the rival family), who earlier strived for the hand of Zhibek. Zhibek commits suicide after learning about the death of Tolegen.

In 1934 an opera about “Kyz Zhibek”  was was created and its première occurred at the Abay Opera House in Almaty, Kazakhstan. The music was composed by the soviet composer Yevgeny Brusilovsky and the libretto written by Gabit Musrepov.

Now, 83 years later, this opera will be presented for the first time in Brussels. The masterpiece of Yevgeny Brusilovsky and Musrepov will be presented in a modern version.

“Brusilovsky’s music remains the same. We have recovered several musical performances that were not used in previous famous productions. In the new version, the opera will be more dynamic. Soloists feel more comfortable on the stage with the musical recitatives because there is no need for them to transform into dramatic actors, who have completely different means of expression not typical for vocalists. The orchestra has quietly become richer as well,”  explains Abzal Mukhitdinov Music Director and Conductor from the Astana Opera.

“Vintage national instruments add special colour to the sound of the opera. However, now I am working on another version of instrumentation, so that it could be performed by the standard symphony orchestra composition. I hope that this opera will become very popular and in-demand after our performance. It is close to the heart of every Kazakh person, and at the same time it talks about what all people are always interested in, what stirs their minds – love, the struggle between good and evil, loyalty and betrayal,” concludes Mukhitdinov.

Good to know:

  • Address: Brussels 44 Center – 44, Boulevard du Jardin botanique – Brussels
  • The opera will start at 08:00pm
  • Entrance is for free but you should register ASAP by email: