From Wedding to the Stage

Tenor from Turkey Murat Karahan and baritone from Italy Elia Fabbian arrived in Astana Opera to perform in Teatro alla Scala’s original production of Giacomo Puccini’s opera «Tosca».

Having arrived on a morning flight, the artists have already seen the opera house and met with their Kazakh colleagues, particularly Zhupar Gabdullina, for whom this will be the debut performance in the title role of Floria Tosca. In just a few minutes before going on stage for the first rehearsal, the singers shared with us their impressions.

Murat Karahan: «Kazakhstan is a special country»


– Did you manage to get accustomed here and did you like the opera house?

The opera house is wonderful; I saw very few of them in the world of such a level. I will say with confidence that it is one of the best. This is my first visit to Kazakhstan; I would like to note that this is a special country for me, because my grandmother and my grandfather are originally from Kazakhstan.

– In two days’ time you will sing the role of the painter Cavaradossi in «Tosca», can you paint in real life?

Oh, no, I do not know how to paint; however, Cavaradossi is the number one role in my extensive repertoire. I love it very much and I am always happy when I sing it.P1160847

– Are you feeling nervous?

I am never nervous, I am very relaxed because I love my job and do everything with this light feeling, certainly not with anxiety and worry.

– How does your family feel about your constant absences associated with touring?

My mother has greatly contributed to the fact that I took up the art of opera, she is very happy that I travel. Berlin, Paris, Russia and Kazakhstan – is the list of places that I have been to recently, there were so many of them already…

There was a big event in the life of Murat Karahan: on Saturday, he got married, and now his wife follows him in his travels, even in rehearsal she was sitting in the hall overseeing Murat’s work.


– Do you think that tenors are well-versed in the intricacies of love?

I have nothing interesting to say to this, I just got married (laughs). Love is complex, but if you have found the right person, it means that love has come to you.

Italian baritone Elia Fabbian joins the conversation; he will perform the role of Scarpia.

– The audience does not like your character – he is the villain in this story. Does it hurt you to be working on the stage the entire evening and having the viewers experience only negative emotions towards your character?


First of all, I really love this role. From the music and intonation viewpoint, the part of Scarpia is incredibly beautiful, I love it very much and I think that the audience will be able to feel this love and enjoy the musical component of this role.

– Your vocals seem ideal, which part is the greater part of your voice – the nature’s gift or your hard work?

Beautiful vocals are given by nature, but the quality of said vocals is the result of hard work.

– Can singers be called loudspeakers of the era?

The singer is the embodiment of a historical character, the artist has to become the character not just perform or convey it.

– What kinds of things provide comfort in your nomadic life?

The very life of a singer gives me great pleasure – yesterday I was in Seoul, then in Berlin, after that in Finland. The hardships of these constant journeys are followed by the joy of communicating with my family on Skype. I see them every day.

– What hobbies does a baritone have in everyday life?

I play golf, which is very relaxing for me.

The sound of the last call summons the artists onstage, well, we wish them good luck and good work. As for our readers, we would like to remind that the opera «Tosca» will also be held on May 24, but with a different cast. The title role will perform the Honored Worker of the Republic of Kazakhstan Margarita Dvoretskaya paired with Murat Karahan, and Yeskendir Abzhanov is preparing to perform Baron Scarpia on that day.

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