The 13th Leylis of our opera stage


Our interviewer is Honored artist Gulustan Aliyeva

- Once upon a time. There was a girl in Yevlakh with a good voice. Mrs. Gulistan, let's hear the story behind this story from you...

- I opened my eyes to the world in Yevlakh, I studied there until the 8th grade of high school. Then, as the winner of the republican competition of young talents, I continued my education in Baku, at the Secondary Specialized Music School named after Bulbul. In 1985, I entered the conservatory (Baku Academy of Music - ed.). I studied in the mugham class opened here that year. People's artist, my beloved teacher Arif Babayev advised me to work as a soloist at the Azerbaijan State Opera and Ballet Theater after graduating from the conservatory. But I had to leave the capital.

- That is, you left the city and went to teach at a music school in one of our regions.

- I got married to a young lawyer named Zahid, whom I admired during my student years, and went to Jabrayil district, where he was born and raised. Even today, I am of the opinion that a woman is, first of all, a mother. Her greatest mission is to be the lady of her house, the mother of her children.

Unfortunately, our happiness did not last long. My husband Jabrayil worked in the district police department. In those years, black clouds began to hover over Karabakh. Armenian bandits made sudden armed raids on Jabrayil's villages. My wife was heroically martyred in one of the heavy battles against the enemy.

Then I taught at the high school named after my wife. After Jabrayil region was occupied in 1993, my life as an internally displaced person began.

We lived with Zahid for only 317 days. My son was not yet 40 when his father was martyred. I returned to my father's house in Yevlakh with my baby son. 33 years have passed since then, sweet and bitter feelings and unforgettable memories remain from those days.

- Did you visit those parts after Jabrayil was freed from the occupation?

- Of course, I went. The hermit's grave is in Haji Garaman shrine. I hugged the headstone and said, my dear, our lands have been liberated.

- How did you come to the opera stage?

- Desires are the foundation of human life. I came to the Azerbaijan State Opera and Ballet Theater following my dreams.

The time came, the words "Leyli is played by Gulustan Aliyeva" were written on the posters, which I once wanted so much, and since then I have been on the stage of the theater.

I consider myself a very happy artist. I played the roles of Shahsanam in "Ashiq Garib", Sanam in "Galin kayasi", Khananda girl in "Natavan", Aunty Jahan in "Arshin Mal Alan", Sanam in "O olasin, bu bolsh", Asli in "Asli va Karam". I have performed the role of Arabzangi in the opera "Shah Ismail" perhaps 100 times, and Leylin even more than that. All this gallery of images means a rich life of art.

- Ms. Gulistan, you are also engaged in teaching activities...

- Yes, currently I am an associate professor of mugham department at the National Conservatory, I have a PhD in art studies. I have been working as a teacher for more than 23 years.

- You probably have a lot of students...

- We have talented students. Some of them work in the Opera Theater, and some of them work as pedagogues in secondary music schools of our country.

- You also wrote a book about music.

- The thoughts about the place of the Azerbaijani woman in the national opera, in our music, in society in general made me think more. Therefore, I decided to give a musical analysis of the characters I played. I am the 13th Leyli in the Opera Theater. In the book, I have tried to show the place of Leyli performers before me in our musical history and to introduce them to the modern reader.

- What other innovations are there in your work?

- I am working on the next songs and clips. I am also thinking of giving a big concert. Each concert is a live meeting of the artist with the audience, a report. So far I have had 7 solo concerts. Hopefully, the sequel is coming.

He recorded the conversation:
Ramila Qurbanli