Operetta on stage for its 100th year
On its 100th anniversary, the operetta Arshin Mal Alan (Arşın Mal Alan) will be staged in Ankara on Oct. 27. The performance will take place on the Operet Stage in Ankara. “
Arshin Mal Alan,” (The Cloth Peddler) a two-act operetta, will be staged at the State Painting and Sculpture Museum’s performance hall. The operetta is a 1913 comic and romantic operetta by Azerbaijani composer Uzeyir Hajibeyov about a cloth peddler in 1900s, Shusha, who is looking for a wife. Hajibeyov composed the operetta in Saint Petersburg and it was staged on Oct. 25, 1913. Following the staging on the Azerbaijani scene, Arshin Mal Alan ventured across the theatres of Tbilisi, Yerevan and Ashgabat, as well as of Iran and Turkey.
The plot is centered on a bachelor named Asker, who wants to see and choose his bride before marriage. His quest for a wife, however, is difficult because in that time period, women were kept at home and when allowed out, they were heavily covered with a hijab. Asker’s friend Suleyman suggests he disguise himself as a fabric peddler, a sure way to meet women.