Nelli Alekperova: "Mother is everyone's main teacher"

Nelli Alekperova: "Mother is everyone's main teacher"

The concert dedicated to the Teacher's Day is a traditional 'cultural event', however, the event, which was held in the Perm Opera and Ballet Theater on October 4, 2017, deserves special attention: it was a truly outstanding musical evening. Two great singers - tenor Aleksey Tatarintsev and baritone Vasily Laduk arrived to congratulate the teachers of Permsky Krai. The concert was called 'Our Favorite Melodies' and, indeed, touching, familiar and beloved melodies were performed during it. The first section included Russian folk and Neapolitan songs, and the second - Soviet pop songs, which stood the test of time.

It was perfect from a musical standpoint. Both singers are the leading soloists of the Novaya Opera theater and invited soloists of the Bolshoi Theater - they have exceptional voices and embody what is commonly called 'high stage culture'. I do not want to use such cliches, but they are very suitable in this case: both Laduk and Tatarintsev are surprisingly reminiscent of the legendary Soviet stars with their excellent vocal preparation and classical stage image. Not without reason their performance of songs from the repertoire of Muslim Magomayev, Joseph Kobzon and Lev Leshchenko were so organic. And what great songs those were! What great authors! "The music of Arno Babajanyan, the words of Andrei Voznesensky ..." You involuntarily think: are there now any songs written by a world famous poet and at the same time popular? I don't think so…

The musical level of the evening was adequately supported by the brilliant jazz pianist Alexander Pokidchenko and his 'Creative Commonwealth of Musicians'. They not just accompanied the singers - each of their acts was an independent musical performance, and the big screen carefully showed each musician, giving the audience the opportunity to evaluate them individually.

The musicians have already performed this program in the city of Osa and the Gagarin Palace of Culture in Perm. The evening at the Opera and Ballet Theater was the last one in mini-tours devoted to the Teacher's Day. The organizers of the event thought it through. The teachers arriving from all over the Perm region were greeted with champagne and fresh roses and a generous tea table, which was a good idea for those who spent several hours in the bus, looking forward to meeting with the artists. After the concert the opera stars held the autograph session and took pictures with the audience.

The autograph session of Alexei Tatarintsev and Vasily Laduk attracted many fans

Many projects organized by the LUKOIL Charity Fund are characterized by such forethought, generosity and care for people. It arranged an unforgettable Teachers' Day for the teachers of Prikamye. The president of the Foundation Nelli Alekperova visited the Perm region together with the artists and the 'New Companion' asked her a few questions.

- You are a musicologist, who worked as an editor of music broadcasting for many years. Surely you are personally involved not just in the organization of concerts, but also in the selection of performers and programming?

- We always personally choose those artists to work with, and, fortunately, we have such an opportunity. With Alexei Tatarintsev and Vasily Laduk, we have been in creative contact for eight years already. They were very young when we noticed them. I follow their successes. They are amazing soloists, and we repeatedly invited them to participate in the cultural program of the Oil Company LUKOIL. It exists since 1993 and is in part an educational purpose. Twice a year - on the Old New Year and on Oilman's Day - we organise big concerts and invite Denis Matsuev, Nikolay Lugansky and other best musicians of our country. Our task is to get oilmen and residents of the territories of our activity to music, those people who work and live in remote places and do not have the opportunity to attend concerts of famous stars.

When Vasily Ladiuk appeared in our musical program, we became friends and our whole team likes him very much. We try not to miss his performances in the New Opera. Alexei Tatarintsev also works there, they are a wonderful duet of Onegin and Lensky in the beautiful play of this theater. We are pleased to cooperate with them.

The present concert was held thanks to Alexander Vasilenko, a deputy of the State Duma. In the summer he asked us to organize concerts in Udmurtia. We thought that in summer, when opera theaters and orchestras are on vacation, we can work with a small team. Then the ensemble titled 'Creative Commonwealth of Musicians' was created, which copes with musical tasks no worse than a large orchestra. Concerts were held in three cities - Izhevsk, Votkinsk and Tchaikovsky. The LUKOIL leadership from Perm attended the concerts in Tchaikovsky. They really liked it, and they said: "Let's go for us!"

Today we have the final tour concert, and yesterday's evening in Osa was incredible! What a great audience we had there! Have you seen how warmly artists are received here? And there - even warmer!

- It's not surprising: Osa is not just a musical city with a brilliant music school, but also a long-time friend of the 'New Opera' theater . It is a cult name for Osa residents.

- Yes! They even created the Yevgeny Kolobov Museum there! (conductor, founder and first head of the 'New Opera' theater - Ed.) Our soloists work in the Kolobov Theater, so they decided it was their duty to  visit this museum.

- May I ask you a personal question? You worked on the radio as a music editor for years, you loved this work. How did you come up with the idea of charity? Surely something inspired you ...

- It's a very personal story, indeed. I do not like to answer such questions, but I will answer you sincerely and personally.

Until 1996, I was one of the head of the music broadcasting Gosteleradio for 30 years. First of all, 'Mayak' was my station, but I was in charge of music at all other central radio stations. In 1996, my husband, writer Boris Zabolotskikh, died unexpectedly and tragically. I suffered and even got sick, I could not work the whole year. Then my brother (President of LUKOIL Vagit Alekperov) invited me to do public relations in his company LUKOIL, and I created the LUKOIL Charity Fund. The chairman of the foundation Olga Maryseva is also present here, she is a candidate of pedagogic sciences and helped me very much at the very beginning, when, frankly speaking, I did not even know how to get down to work. Since then we have been working together. We have a lot of work, and, thank God, we see the positive results of our work. This is very inspiring.

Being engaged in music is my spiritual need, and at the same time the best way to enforce good taste.

- Your family is very unusual. Five brothers and sisters lost their father, lived a very poor life in a small village ... But all five received a good education and made excellent professional careers. For sure, on Teacher's Day, you want to remember those teachers who helped you along the way?

- Our mother Tatyana Fyodorovna become a widow with five children when she was 38 years old. Vagit was the youngest - he was only three years old. Mom managed to unite the family so much that we were like one. The elders always helped the younger ones, the younger ones listened to the elders. Of course,our teachers also helped - there was a very good school back then, with good traditions. We lived like everyone else, not better, but not worse than others. Mom did not have to worry about our textbooks - can you imagine, for five children? - all the textbooks were given to us in the school. In general, we took full advantage of the benefits of free education: all five graduated from a music school for free! It is essential for the full realization of the person.

But the main merit in our upbringing belongs to our mother.

- Is your mother your main teacher?

- Yes.

- Your family is also unusual, because they do not write about you in tabloids, they do not find compromising material ... But they tell legends. They say, for example, Persians-Zoroastrians were among the ancestors of your father, and therefore the fire element, oil and gas, favor your family ...

- How interesting, I've never heard about it! It sounds beautiful, but I cannot confirm it. But our father, in fact, was from Tabriz, this is a city on the border between Azerbaijan and Iran (Persia). And he was an oilman as well. My elder sister Zuleika worked in this field and headed the research laboratory at the Institute of Petroleum Chemistry in Baku. In general, almost everyone in my family was oil workers, except me.

- Does the LUKOIL Charity Fund have more musical projects related to Permsky Krai?

- We have been invited here, and I hope that we will organize a festival of the Vladimir Fedoseyev orchestra here. We are planning three significant events: a symphony concert, the opera 'Eugene Onegin' with Tatarintsev and Laduk, and another pop concert. I think all this may be held in the next year, and then these artists will again come on this stage.