The Tatar Musa Jalil State Academic Theatre of Opera and Ballet is one of Russia’s most important music theatres and is a repository of the traditions of Russian music, world music and Tatar national music.
The Theatre is widely known for its classical arts Festivals, the oldest Festivals of their kind in Russia - the International Fyodor Chaliapin Opera Festival, which has been held every year since 1982, in February; and the International Rudolf Nureyev Festival of Classical Ballet, founded in May,1987 and held on a yearly basis ever since.
Forming the basis of the Theatre’s repertoire are masterpieces of world music theatre, the Russian classics, and also outstanding works by Tatarstan composers.
A characteristic of the Tatar Musa Jalil State Academic Theatre of Opera and Ballet is that it has done away with the notion of ‘top brass’, all Company members (whether director, ballet master or designer) are equal and, thanks to this, the Theatre for many years has managed to avoid clashes arising from personal and artistic ambitions.
At the end of the 1980’s the Theatre’s manager, Raufal Mukhametzyanov, overhauled its Artistic and administrative structure, he broke new ground in Russian theatre management by introducing the positions of Artistic Directors of Opera and Ballet. Thanks to the adoption of the contract system based on stiff competition and providing the potential for widespread use of guest artists, the Theatre has achieved a high level of spectator interest (on average in recent years the Theatre’s productions enjoy an attendance rate of 96-97% ). Today guest artists participate for the entire season in virtually all opera productions (operas of the national repertoire included), guest opera and ballet stars are invited to take part in the International Chaliapin and Nureyev Festivals, while leading Russian and world Theatre directors and designers etc., are involved in the work on new productions.
Since 1994 The Theatre tours annually in Europe (Holland, Germany, Austria, Sweden, Switzerland, Luxembourg, Portugal, Denmark, France, Great Britain and other countries) and in the course of these tours it presents up to 120 productions to the public a year.
In 2008 and 2012 2 Tatar and Musa Jalil State Academic Theatre productions
were nominated for the Golden Mask, Russia’s National Theatre Prize: Rezeda Akhiyarova’s opera Love of a Poet (Akhmed Agadi won a Golden Mask for his interpretation of the role of Tukay) and Donizetti’s opera Lucia di Lammermoor (a Golden Mask went to the Theatre’s soloist, Albina Shagimuratova, for her interpretation of the title role). Among important awards in recent years is the State Prize of the Russian Federation in the sphere of literature and the performing arts presented to the creators of the ballet Tale of Yusuf Leonid Lyubovsky and R. Kharis and also to the interpreter of the title role Nurlan Kanetov.