A nation is known, recognized and distinguished among the world nations by certain characteristic features. The highest and the greatest of these features is culture.


The long-awaited ballet"Məhəbbət Əfsanəsi (Legend of Love)" was presented at the Heydar Aliyev Palace

The long-awaited performance of the ballet "The Legend of Love" by the outstanding composer, and People's Artist of Azerbaijan Arif Malikov took place at the Heydar Aliyev Palace. The opening ceremony of the XV Uzeyir Hajibeyli International Music Festival, organized by the Heydar Aliyev Foundation and the Ministry of Culture, was also held on September 18 - National Music Day, with the performance of the world-conquering ballet.

"Legend of Love" is played in the Heydar Aliyev Palace for two days - on September 18 and 19. This great presentation is a nice gift for the audience with its wonderful music, stage structure and layout on the National Music Day.

On this occasion, an exhibition was organized in the foyer of the Heydar Aliyev Palace. Posters of the "Legend of Love" ballet released so far, as well as photos and information about Arif Malikov's work were displayed at the exhibition.

It should be noted that guests from other countries also came to this music festival in Baku - the presentation of the "Legend of Love" ballet. Among them are Stefano Trespidi, the artistic director of "Arena di Verona", one of the largest and most famous concert venues in Italy, Paolo Fazioli, the founder of the factory that produces the world-famous FAZIOLI grand pianos, Nikolai Tsiskaridze, a famous Russian ballet dancer, who was one of the performers of the role of Farhad in "The Legend of Love".

Preparations for today's presentation of "Legend of Love" in the Heydar Aliyev Palace have been made for a long time and a lot of rehearsals have been going on for a month.

As in 1961, the play was staged based on the sketches of the famous painter Simon Virsaladze. So, for the historical presentation, the Heydar Aliyev Foundation prepared more than 200 costumes, as well as decorations and props based on Simon Virsaladze's original sketches.

In an unforgettable presentation not only artists of the troupe of Azerbaijan State Academic Opera and Ballet  theater and the Azerbaijan State Dance Ensemble but also soloists invited from foreign theaters have performed.

On September 18, Princess Mahmanabanu will be performed by Ayan Eyvazova, the leading soloist of the Azerbaijan State Academic Opera and Ballet Theater, laureate of the international competitions of ballet artists, President's prize winner, Farhad by Denis Rodkin, the leading actor of the famous Bolshoi Theater of Russia, the laureate of the international competitions of ballet artists, and Shirin by Maria Vinogradova, the leading soloist of the theater, and laureate of international competitions of ballet artists.

Arif Malikov composed the ballet "Legend of Love" to the libretto written by the well-known Turkish poet Nazim Hikmat based on the drama "Farhad and Shirin". Nazim Hikmat wrote the work inspired by the famous Azerbaijani poet Nizami Ganjavi's poem "Khosrov and Shirin". Arif Malikov gave a new life in the form of music to the work about tragic love and sacrifice. The composer started working on the work consisting of 3 acts and 7 scenes in 1958 and finished it in 2 years.

The premiere of the ballet "The Legend of Love" was held on March 23, 1961 at the Leningrad Opera and Ballet Theater (now St. Petersburg State Academic  Mariinsky  Theater), and a little later on the stage of the Azerbaijan State Academic Opera and Ballet Theater. The choreographer of this ballet, which is rightly called a masterpiece, is Yuri Grigorovich. The Baku premiere is presented by Grigorovich's assistant ballet master-director Oksana Tsvetnitskaya and chief ballet master of Azerbaijan State Academic Opera and Ballet Theater, Honored Artist of Russia Ruslan Proni. When the work was staged for the first time, the conductor was Maestro Niyazi. Currently, the mysterious music of the "Legend of Love" is being performed by the Azerbaijan State Symphony Orchestra named after Uzeyir Hajibeyli, conducted by People's Artist of Azerbaijan Yalchin Adigozelov.

"The Legend of Love" ballet has been performed many times in more than 60 theaters of different countries under the direction of outstanding ballet masters. The stage play was well received in the USA, Germany, Austria, Bulgaria, Great Britain, Brazil, the Czech Republic, Estonia, Finland, France, Italy, Kazakhstan, Egypt, Uzbekistan, Poland, Romania, Slovakia, Turkey, Ukraine, Japan, and other countries.

It is no coincidence that Arif Malikov's masterpiece "The Legend of Love" was presented in the "Year of Heydar Aliyev". 2023 is the 100th anniversary of the birth of the great leader Heydar Aliyev, and the 90th anniversary of the outstanding composer Arif Malikov. National Leader Heydar Aliyev highly valued the outstanding composer Arif Malikov as an artist and a person. Arif Malikov reflected his love and respect for National Leader Heydar Aliyev in his works, and the composer's 8th symphony "Eternity" was dedicated to the Great Leader.

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