Tag Archives: Uzeyir Hajibeyov

Koroğlu (opera)

Koroğlu (The Blind Man’s Son) is an opera in five acts by Uzeyir Hajibeyov to a libretto in Azerbaijani by Habib Ismayilov, with poetry by Mammed Said Ordubadi. The libretto is based on episodes from the Epic of Köroğlu, a heroic legend prominent in the oral traditions of the Turkic peoples. The opera premiered on April 30, 1937 at the Azerbaijan State Opera and Ballet Theater.

Background and history of the performance

Koroğlu was written in 1936 and first performed on April 30, 1937 at the Azerbaijan State Opera and Ballet Theater in Baku, conducted by the composer withBulbul in the title role. It was Hajibeyov’s last complete opera and is described by Yury Gabay in the Grove Dictionary of Music and Musicians as his most important work, winning him a USSR State Prize in 1941. The opera had its first Moscow performance in 1938 and received its first complete staging inRussian in 1943.

Koroğlu is still frequently performed by the Azerbaijan State Opera and Ballet Theater. In the late 1980s its overture became an unofficial anthem for the Azerbaijan movement for independence from the Soviet Union and is still often used to open concerts in Azerbaijan.


Role Voice type
Ali, old man, horse-holder of Hasan khan Bass (voice type)
Rovshan (afterwards Koroghlu), his son Tenor
Nigar, Rovshan’s beloved Soprano
Eyvaz, her brother Tenor
Hasan khan Baritone
Ibrahim khan- close of Hasan khan Bass
Hamza bey- close of Hasan khan Tenor
Ehsan pasha Tenor
Polad, Hasan khan’s servant Tenor
Hasan khan’s jester Tenor
Court singer (woman) Soprano
Nadir-peasant Tenor
Veli-peasant Tenor
Heralds-the 1st, 2nd, 3rd Tenor
Farrash Tenor
Commanders Tenor

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The Black Sea was storming

A poem “The Black Sea was storming” was written by Ahmad Javad in 1914, in Ganja. The poet dedicated it to the Army of Islam and its general Nuri Pasha. Ahmad Javad was troubled by the situation of the Ottoman Empire in the beginning of the 20th century. He joined the ranks of Caucasian voluntary regiment located in Istanbul, as a voluntary soldier with the poet and pedagogue Abdulla Shaig. He fought nip and tuck with Turkish brothers at Trakya front for the independence of Turkey. In 1914, during the World War I, Turkey’s battles at the eastern front led toSarikamish failure. The eastern part of the Ottoman Empire was occupied by the Russian Army and the population of Kars and Erzurum was killed by Russians and Armenians.

The “Charitable Society of Azerbaijan”, located in Baku helped the population of eastern provinces of Turkey. Ahmad Javad participated in this charitable work, too. In spite of Russians’ confusion to railway between Baku and Kars, he went to Turkey, helped Turkish brothers. He wrote many poems dedicated to historical events in Ottoman Empire. One of these poems is “The Black Sea was storming”. He glorified the Ottoman ArmyTurkish flag in this poem. He mentioned the strength of the Turkish Army and noted that neither enemies, nor storms could withstand it. He describes his desire of unity of all Turkish nations and calls all Turkish nations to raise the Turkish flag. Continue reading

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