Sunday, November 29, 2009

Opera Premiere of Serbian Epic ‘Hassan Aga’s Wife’

By: Li Novak
Belgrade, Nov.20, 2009 (Serbia Today) - The premiere of the opera Hassan Aga’s Wife, composed by Rastislav Kambaskovic, will be held in National Theater in Belgrade, on November 22nd.
The Ballad ‘Hassan Aga’s Wife’, is a famous Slavic folk ballad from Bosnia, handed down from generation to generation in oral form until it was finally written and published in 1774 by an Italian traveler and ethnographer, Alberto Fortis.
The ballad is about an the daughter of a Bosniak woman from a number family who is the wife of the Turkish Aga, trapped in a world governed by male prejudices and patriarchal domination. She is eventually stripped of her freedom, and eventually her children when she angers her husband, the Aga.
The writer Ljubomir Simovic dramatized this text in 1973, and adapted it for the theater. The composer Kambaskovic was inspired by this play, and has taken Simovic’s text as a libretto, making it into an opera.
Kambaskovic’s earlier compositions have used themes in folklore as a foundation for his compositions. In this opera, one can hear the musical elements from his composition ‘Glamoch’s Country Dance’ in the mysterious and ancient dance, which is without instrumental music or singing, and based only on the rhythm of footsteps, in the tragic third act, when Hassan Aga’s wife is saying goodbye to her children.
The director is Ivana Dragutinovic, scene and costumes have been done Boris Maksimovic and Katarina Grcic and the conductor is Mladen Jagust.
The Opera ‘Hassan Aga’s Wife’ performance on November 22nd, is to mark the National Day of Theater, in Belgrade. The National Day of Theater celebrates 141 years since the first National Theater performed its first play, ‘Djuradj Brankovic’.

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