Dr. Munira Shahidi

Chairman of Shahidi Cultural Foundation, Tajikistan

Legalisation of opera and its political, economical and cultural/civilizational significance from Central Asian perspectives is still a ‘hole’ in nowadays world cultural studies.  Although based on the rich literature  tradition of the region, as a whole, and adopting the new europeanized system of science and knowledge, a new musical genre created a new dimension in the regional history of musical culture, it’s integration into the world musical cultural is only on it’s start. However, as a deeply rooted artefact, opera of Kazakhstan, Kirgizstan Uzbekistan, Tajikistan and Turkmenistan, following an experience of the Azebeijan composer Uzeir Gajibekov and his ‘Leyli and Majnun’,  has been created in order to resist westernization of the world musical space, unifying nationalistic movements from Tashkent and Dushanbe to Moskow and Beijing.

Centenary history of the opera of Central Asia and Caucasus contributed crucially in forming national identities all over the Eastern countries, using national images and  national symbols, stimulating composers to ‘dig deeper’ in their national histories, identifying equal national musical expression of the world history.

Lively demandful diversity of national characteristics of Central Asian music, however, was ‘hidden’ within the World Musical Thought. To open and realise it delicately within the new opera genre, preserving religious-cultural beliefs of the people, commemorated deep knowledge of the symbols and complicated cultural interpenetration of the social and linguistic traditions. Thus,  aspiration to unveil that interpenetration formed  composers like Muchtar Ashrafi, Ahmad Jubanov, Veli Mukhatov, Ziyadullo Shahidi and their nowedays followers. The first generation of opera-makers traditions in Central Asia gave a push to use the opera as a forum for innovative musical expressions of their own nations.

As a matter of fact Uzeir Gajibekov’s “Leily & Majnun” is the first opera in Islamic world, based on the famous same-name poem of Nizami Genjavi, while Ziyadullo Shahidi’s opera “Komde & Madan” – is the first opera, based on the same name poem of the Tajik-Persian-speaking poet of India, Abdulqadir Bedil.

Thought the centenary experience of Central Asia-Caucasian opera along with the Indian and Chinese operas has a huje potential to upgrade the world opera tradition, it is still not evaluated in its inner interconnection and interpenetration within the globalising world culture of our own days.

With the intention to fill that ‘hole’ in the nowedays cultural studies and within the occasion of centenary of composer Ziodullo Shahidi we applied and got approval of UNESCO for carrying International conference “Opera along the Silk Road” (Dushanbe, October 2015).

Using this opportunity I would like to make announcement and call for papers for the conference. This is an invitation to all interested interdisciplinary experts (as well as musicologists) of different countries to participate in the planning event. Though the papers have to be expertised and participations have to be confirmed by the organising commetee of the conference and it’s performing part.

Munira Shahidi munira@shahidifoudation.com
Nargis Nurulla <nargis.nurulla@gmail.com>
Farangis Nurulla farangis@farangisnurulla

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