Covid-19 can’t stop the Astana Opera Symphony Orchestra

When the State Opera and Ballet Theatre, also known as the Astana Opera opened in 2013, it instantly became one of Kazakhstan’s pride and joy. The theatre boasts a classically grand appearance both inside and out, and with a capacity of 1500, it was the largest theatre in Central Asia.

But with Covid-19 raging through the world, the Kazakhstan government has ordered most cities to be locked down. The lockdown imposes strict limits on the movement of people and vehicles, with public transport slated to shut down should it be necessary. Restaurants are also told to only do deliveries.

Since then, the stages in the theatre have sat empty.

But the musicians at the Astana Opera Symphony Orchestra have decided that the show must go on. And in this difficult time, when people can’t come to see the orchestra, the orchestra will go to them instead.

The troupe, consisting mostly of young musicians, decided to go online. With their instruments already at home, all they had to do was record themselves performing together. This was easier said than done, though.

“This way of working caused some technical difficulties, but certainly brought creative joy,” said the Principal Flute of the orchestra Alexey Kossyrev.

The final clip that went online on April 6 was only two and a half minutes long, but it took more than 100 musicians and several days of rehearsals to put together.

Conductor Abzal Mukhitdin said: “In this difficult time, Astana Opera is with you. Our message is to give people hope that all will be well.”