Alibek Dnishev, the most famous Kazakh opera singer and a wonderful person, the singing soul of Kazakhstan, turns 70 today.
Dnishev was born in Almaty and grew up in a typical Kazakh urban family, the son of a journalist.
Next to their apartment building was a cinema named Alatau where young Dnichev watched musicals with his three brothers.
As the family was not rich, the best time to go to the movies was summer. âThere was no air conditioning in the 1960s, so the doors were left open for natural ventilation. And we sneaked in, âDnishev later recalled. “I sat down and watched it all – and just sifted through the music.”
The other great musical impression of his childhood was the visit to Almaty in 1961 of Muslim Magomayev, the famous singer from Soviet Azerbaijan at the time. “We were sliding on sleds with friends right next to the theater, when the news of the Magomayev concert suddenly became the topic of conversation in the city,” Dnishev recalled in an interview with a journalist from the Kazakh public television. . âMy uncle worked in the theater, so he let us in – and I caught the virus, I decided to be like him, this great singer. I was only ten years old at the time and Magomayev was 20. â
Magomayev was famous for singing not only popular songs, but also operatic arias in Italian. This would later become one of Dnishev’s strong points – Dnishev could perform just about any famous song in the world: he sang not only in Kazakh and Russian, but also in Spanish and Italian.
A talented child, he began to learn music at the age of eight. But real success did not come to him until the age of 25 – at the Mikhail Glinka singers’ competition in the Georgian capital Tbilisi, in 1976. No one could ignore this promising novice from Kazakhstan – his lyrical tenor had a charming effect. and engaging, whether he is performing Kazakh folk songs, Russian “romances” or Italian opera arias. He became famous throughout the Soviet Union, and international fame was also around the corner. What surprised many people at the time was the fact that Dnishev owed his unique talent only to the music school of Kazakhstan: he graduated from the Almaty Conservatory and never needed additional studies outside his native country.
Despite numerous invitations, Dnishev never left Almaty. After getting a job as a soloist at the Kazakh Philharmonic Orchestra in the same year 1976, he then worked at the Almaty Opera Theater, went to concerts abroad, but never left Kazakhstan for a significant period of time. His main audience was the intelligentsia of Almaty and other Kazakh towns, whom he loved and claimed to recognize “a kilometer away”. âThey’re educated, but it’s also very easy to talk to them as people,â he said recently, describing his favorite audience. “After all, beauty is so simple and easy to see – in nature, in art, in humans.”
Dnishev considered it his duty to foster and develop Kazakh national opera – a unique combination of Italian, Russian and Kazakh musical cultures. He performed operas written by Yevgeny Brussilovsky, who is rightly considered the father of the Kazakh national opera. The operas âDudarayâ and âAidaraâ, based on Kazakh traditions and written on Kazakh librettos, are now impossible to imagine without Dnishev’s interpretation of the main roles and arias.
Out of four brothers, only Dnishev became a professional musician. But, more importantly, among millions he was the only one to give a voice to his time – his unforgettable lyric tenor wept and rejoiced in tune with his land.
Today, not only relatives and friends of Dnishev, but millions of his fans around the world wish him a happy 70th birthday and many years of productive and respected work, which so many people need.
The video features one of Dnishev’s last concerts on the local TV channel. He performed his first songs with the Zhetigen group.