Astana’s young opera director ranks second in prestigious international Nano-Opera competition

Opera theater

NUR-SULTAN – The main director of the Astana Opera, Yerenbak Toikenov, won second place in the fifth international competition for young opera directors, Nano-Opera, held at the famous Helikon Opera House in Moscow from May 22 to 28, the theater’s press service reported.

Toikenov receiving his awards. Photo credit: Astana Opera

The competition’s media jury, represented by the CEOs of popular domestic and Moscow media and radio stations, awarded Toikenov the prize for a creative approach to the art of opera staging, as well as the prize for audience.

“He demonstrated a high level of professional training, mastery and unlimited creative talent, as well as Kazakhstan’s competitiveness in the field of opera conducting,” the statement read.

Ten competition participants chosen from over 200 people worked with the actors of Helikon Opera during the staging of the aria, duet and mass scene.

Toikenov presented in the first round an aria from Cavatina Figaro from Gioachino Rossini’s “Barber of Seville”, then a duet Don José and Escamillo from “Carmen” by Georges Bizet and a chorus and a sextet from Bizet’s repertoire.

Contest participants had only 10 minutes to complete their tasks. Photo credit: competition website

On May 28, contest participants presented their best works at the final gala concert held in the Stravinsky Hall of the Helikon Opera.

Toikenov is expected to take part in the fourth international festival called the St. Petersburg Digital Opera. The Digital Era Opera Festival is scheduled for the near future. He was personally invited by the director and producer of the festival Nadezhda Abramova.

The Nano-Opera competition, created in 2013, brings together famous theatrical personalities and young talents once every two years. According to the organizers of the competition, this is the world’s first competition for young opera directors.