Great leader Heydar Aliyev's favorite "Corpses" play staged at Heydar Aliyev Center in Baku (PHOTO/VIDEO)

Politics Materials 25 February 2023 12:53 (UTC +04:00)
Great leader Heydar Aliyev's favorite "Corpses" play staged at Heydar Aliyev Center in Baku (PHOTO/VIDEO)
Vugar Imanov
Vugar Imanov
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BAKU, Azerbaijan, February 25. The “Corpses” play written by Jalil Mammadguluzade, a prominent Azerbaijani playwright and satirist, has been performed at the Heydar Aliyev Center within the "Heydar Aliyev and National Theatrical Art" project dedicated to the 100th anniversary of the birth of the national leader, Trend Life reports.

The project was implemented by the Azerbaijan State Academic National Drama Theater with the joint organizational support of the Heydar Aliyev Center and the Ministry of Culture.

Following the Decree of Azerbaijani President Ilham Aliyev, the 2023 year has been declared the “Year of Heydar Aliyev” in Azerbaijan. On this occasion, the Heydar Aliyev Center plans a number of projects and events, among which will be theatrical performances as part of the project "Heydar Aliyev and National Theatrical Art" project. Mammadguluzade's “Corpses” play was one of Heydar Aliyev's favorite works.

The event began with a video showing the great leader’s views on the mentioned play: “The “Corpses Play” is a deeply philosophical work. In terms of its philosophical content, it ranks first among the dramatic works of Azerbaijani literature. This play is distinguished by its deep national spirit, nationality..."

The national leader regarded the Azerbaijani national theater the country’s national treasure. Regularly attending theatrical performances, he was holding meetings with creative groups, giving advice to them, and was paying special attention and care to cultural figures.

The “Corpses”, speaking out against ignorance and hypocrisy was first published in 1909 and was one of the earliest examples of modern Azerbaijani drama. It was first staged by the great actor Huseyngulu Sarabski on the stage of the Taghiyev’s Theater in Baku on April 29, 1916. The second performance took place at the Shusha Realni School on August 17, 1916, which was played by Azerbaijan’s famous poetess, the daughter of the last Karabakh khan Mehdigulu Khan Javanshir – Khurshidbanu Natavan.

The play has been successfully staged throughout many years. This time, it was presented in the Auditorium Hall of the Heydar Aliyev Center, where bright sets and actors' costumes were especially created for the play. The current interpretation’s Director, People's Artist Azer Pasha Nematov presented a new arrangement of music written in its time for the “Corpses” by the outstanding composer, People's Artist of the USSR Gara Garayev. The music was performed by the Azerbaijan State Symphony Orchestra named after Uzeyir Hajibayli under the direction of People's Artist Rauf Abdullayev.

All the tickets for the play were sold out.

The story of the play is about Sheikh Nasrullah, who by skillfully using people’s ignorance, makes a list of their dead relatives and promises to bring them back to life. Uneducated people happily await the "resurrection" of their relatives and are ready to sacrifice everything for the sake of Sheikh Nasrullah. Literally. The playwright exposes the true appearance of these people who follow and believe in the greatness of Nasrullah, like zombies. In the meantime, the "fallen man", drunkard Iskandar opens people's eyes, shows the danger of fanaticism and superstition. Iskandar’s monologues in the play are considered among the best in national literature. The work’s author, who fought for enlightenment, education and culture all his life, makes a clear difference between genuine and sacrificial situational approach. That only is the phrase of Iskandar: "Everyone keeps saying 'study science, be a scientist', but no one said 'study science, be human'".

An interesting point: the oldest actor in the play was 85-year-old People's Artist Rafig Azimov, while the youngest was 10-year-old Sadjat Kazimov. The actors shared their impressions with Trend.

Rafig Azimov: "Jalil Mammadguluzade has a special role in the country’s literary, social thought and history, as he brought new ideas to the national culture, raising the most relevant issues of his time. Having made an ordinary person a hero, the writer makes the reader to reflect on this. I’m very happy to take part in this historic event staged at the Center, named after the great Heydar Aliyev, who appreciated this play. I wish this performance was also presented on world stages to promote the heritage of Jalil Mammadguluzade and our theatrical art. This day has become a great holiday for national culture."

Sadjat Kazimov: "I'm 10 years old, and I portrayed a 10-year-old character on stage. It is a great joy for me to partake in this performance. Thanks to great stage masters’ support, I didn’t experience any problems at all."

Nuraddin Mehdikhanli (played Sheikh Nasrullah): "This play is philosophical and instructive, and it is relevant to this day, as there are still people like Sheikh Nasrullah and the people around him. One should not be deceived by the messages and false promises of such people. You should always go toward the light of science and development, as well as enlightenment and the right way to preserve national traditions.”

Following the end of the performance, the entire creative group that participated in its preparation was awarded letters of thanks and gifts from the Heydar Aliyev Center.