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Jalil Opera and Ballet Theater - Kazan's Cultural Heritage

In the year 1803, a small theater was established and opera began to infiltrate the city of Kazan in Russia. By the late 1800’s a permanent theater was constructed and in 1851 the residents of Kazan sat down to listen to Italian Opera for the first time, with a performance by the Italian Opera Company. It was only in 1938, that the government decided on establishing the M. Jalil Opera and Ballet Tatar Academic Theatre, or Jalil Opera and Ballet Theatre that is today considered to be home to one of the best troupes performing in Russia.

To be able to open the doors of Jalil Opera and Ballet Theatre to the public, professional musicians, actors and dancers would be needed, so the government opened a studio where they could be trained in 1934. Those who showed tremendous talent as composers, musicians and conductors were send to Moscow to further their training and become assets to the theater. On their return, and with the preparation of the opera “Runaway”, which opened in 1939, an explosion of talent in dancers and singers was experienced.

History was made at the M. Jalil Opera and Ballet Tatar Academic Theatre, when the ballet “Wood-Goblin” took to the stage in 1945. It was the first time a national Tatar ballet production was performed and it opened the door to the theater evolving into the biggest Tatar music centre in Russia. Kazan has continued to be a hive of activity in regard to music and the arts, with numerous music schools and colleges developing the talent of the future. The Jalil Opera and Ballet Theatre is also home to a variety of festivals such as the International Shaliapin Opera Festival and the International Nuriev Ballet Festival. The festivals bring honor to those who have contributed to the success of the theater and to the world of arts and music in Kazan. The interest instilled into the community by P.P. Yesipov, who build the first little theater for serf peasants, has grown into a way of life for many in the city, and a part of the tradition of Kazan. Visitors to Russia will be able to experience true Tatar music and performances in Kazan, and it is guaranteed to be an experience few will forget.


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