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The Carnival of the Animals

2018/2019 Chamber Hall the 6th Season

24 February * Sunday * 12.00 am (in English)

Camille Saint-Saëns


(Zoological Fantasy)

(in the English language)


The Astana Opera presents a creative project – the concert of music and poetry for children. One of the most popular compositions, The Carnival of the Animals suite by the French composer Camille Saint-Saëns, will be performed. Children will listen to the symphony orchestra instruments and find out the way they can imitate animals and birds’ voices and behavior. Along with the artists, the children will find themselves in the city zoo at the Carnival of the Animals.

The suite was first performed on 9 March 1886. The composer regarded this work as a piece of fun and specified in his will that it should be published posthumously, seeing it as detracting from his ‘serious’ composer image. Thus, until the composer’s death in 1921, The Carnival of the Animals was performed only in private houses and salons.

The Swan for cello and piano was the only movement of the suite, which Saint-Saëns allowed to publish and perform. During his lifetime, it came to stay in the repertoire of musicians. The choreographic composition The Dying Swan staged by Mikhail Fokine for the great ballerina Anna Pavlova has boosted its popularity.

In general, The Carnival of the Animals is full of humour; however, ‘quotes’ or parodies on famous musical works can be heard in some of its movements.



Astana Opera Chamber Ensemble. Conducted by Ruslan Baimurzin

Musicologist: Lira Bekbolatova


Lira Bekbolatova is a musicologist, Master of Art Criticism and scholarship holder of the Foundation of the First President of the Republic of Kazakhstan – Elbasy. She graduated from the Kazakh National University of Arts.

She won the Grand Prix of the “Musical Box” International Music Journalism Competition (Tashkent, Uzbekistan) and the Altyn-Art Competition for Young Composers (2018).

Lira Bekbolatova writes for Tengrinews as a journalist and the Harper's Bazaar and Esquire magazines as a columnist, as well as publishes her articles in the Italian Boop.it.

She is currently completing her Master’s degree in Fashion Studies at the Faculty of Philosophy and Humanities of the Sapienza University of Rome and is developing an educational project in collaboration with Italian art historians and the PiuPop Art Company.



Running time: 50 minute