Askar Abdrazakov: "I heard only good thing about Baku thanks to Rostropovich and Magomayev"
Russian opera singer, soloist of the Mariinsky Theater, Askar Abdrazakov, visited Vestnik Kavkaza's studio.
- The 7th International Competition for Vocalists named after Bulbul will be held in the beginning of June in Baku. You will be in the jury of this competitions, as well as perform with a concert. When did you decided to hold a concert?
- I came up with this idea spontaneously. This winter, during a concert dedicated to outstanding singer Muslim Magomayev, I met a wonderful person [head of the humanitarian relations department of the Heydar Aliyev Foundation office in Russia] Tamila Akhmetova. We met and talked a lot, and when Tamila found out that I had never been to Baku, she asked me to perform there. I accepted this proposal with great pleasure. Now we're working on the program, which will include not only arias of Russian and foreign composers, but also songs of Soviet years, romances, duets. This will be kinda like my presentation in Baku. Yana Melikaeva will perform together with it. So it will be more interesting. When a beautiful girl sings on the stage, men are always interested in that.
- In other words, you decided to charm both female and male halfs of the city?
- Yes, take the bull by the horns, so to speak.
- What do you know about Azerbaijan?
- I heard only good things about it from Mstislav Leopoldovich Rostropovich, who is from Baku. Then I heard Muslim Magomayev's stories about Baku, although we didn't talk too much or too often, since we both had a busy schedule. I have great respect for Azerbaijani musicians and for people in general, so I will be glad to perform for them.
- You worked together with many outstanding conductors. Was Mstislav Rostropovich among them?
- Yes. We met in St. Petersburg, he was looking for a performer. I helped him, and Rostropovich and I became friends. We talked about images, about performing art, and about the attitude to this or that character. One day Rostropovich said that he will come to my concert, but that I won't know when he comes to it. I said: "If you come to my concert, then the entire audience will stand up and applaud you. He was very happy. He, of course, was an outstanding musician. His wife Galina Vishnevskaya also helped us, young vocalists, performers. She was very strict, but she was always right and intelligent. So I have great memories of these people.
- Baku is a city where people love, appreciate and understand jazz. What do you think about this musical genre?
- I really love it and often listen to this music. It's a special genre, where musician must constantly improvise. He shouldn't rely on notes, he relies on what was born in his soul. It's very interesting.
- Do you have any free time?
- There's always time if you use it correctly. I like to read books when I'm in the airplane. Now too many young people are using gadgets, few of them read books. It's nice when you see young people reading... It's impossible to sing 24 hours a day. You can play on musical instruments for a long time, but vocal art - two or three hours a day at best. You get tired and need to rest. I host the "Makeup of Orpheus" program on the radio "Orpheus". I like to talk, to joke. I think it's great when you can talk about interesting things, you can hear something from people. When professional journalists ask questions, some musicians don't like to answer, but when they talk to a colleague, it's hard to stop talking. It's really great and very interesting. We're all different, but we have on passion - art. We like to share this art with people when we go on stage. Audience must see high level art, we must show this world to the audience.
As for free time, I like to spend it with my child...
- Would you like it if your daughter followed in your footsteps?
- I think she will make this decision herself. It's a hard work. It may seem that you just ho on stage, open your mouth and sing. But in reality you have to sing competently, clearly, beautifully. It requires years and years of work. Although, of course, everyone want their child to continue traditions.
- What would you like to tell your Baku audience?
- There's always a lot of interesting things in the musician, and it's important to "pull it out" yourself and give something unique to a particular audience on a particular evening. Artist waits for an ovation, wants to be loved. And the audience loves those who gives it a piece of his soul. When people start applauding, shouting "bravo", musician will always want to return, tell about something new and interesting. I wish the Baku audiece a great mood, balance and harmony.