In the history of Uzbek musical culture of the 20th century, the name of outstanding artist Barir Zakirov became closely connected with becoming and development of popular art of the republic. Multifarious nature of B. Zakirov’s talent gave the opportunity to create bright and original performing school and unique troupe «Music — hall» in Uzbekistan. The wide public knows B. Zakirov, before everything else, as a pop singer.

Besides pop singing, the artist was good in painting and cinema, wrote verses and prose, which brightly reflected his world vision, interests, depth and fine sides of his inner life. The studying of art heritage of Batir Zakirov forms one of the important issues in solution of topical problems of modern Uzbek pop music.

The mid — 1970s became the most fruitful years in B. Zakirov’s art biography. He was seriously interested in dramaturgy and theatre. His first experience in a genre of theatre became the libretto to opera of Ikram Akbarov «Leopard from Sogdiana». Compositionally, B. Zakirov’s libretto can occupy rightful place among the best samples of classical opera heritage, what characterizes the author as a true specialist in scenic and musical dramaturgy.

In Tashkent, in 1972, Batir Zakirov created the first in the East and the third in Soviet Union troupe, which, despite its short scenic life, was destined to play an important role in development of pop art in Uzbekistan. In «Music hall», creative nature of B. Zakirov received the most full realization as a singer, actor and art director. Together with famous Moscow director Mark Zakharov, he directed the program that was based on national Uzbek traditions.

Mark Zakharov in cooperation with a leading actor of Theatre of Satire, Alexander Shirvindt created scenario of the program of Musical «1973rd journey of Sinbad the Sailor». B. Zakirov invited the best artists of the republic to the new troupe. In different years, at «Music hall», together with B. Zakirov worked his sister Louise, brothers Navfal, Farruh and Ravshan Zakirovs, famous singers Eson Kaidov, Natalya Nurmuhamedova, Vladimir Sarkisyants, Larisa Kandalova, Yunus Turaev, leading actors of the troupe — Elior Ibraghimov, Taghir Rakhimov, Edward Sumarokov and Ravshan Urakov, masters of art word, conferenciers — Margarita Hong, Vladimir Lapin, the puppeteer — Andrey Petrovets, representatives of a circus genre — Yury Makarashvili, Alexander Bolenko, acrobats — Andrey Ryabinin, Eugeny Vishnevsky as well as a ballet group, which involved such dancers, as Inna Gorlina (choreographer), Galina Zakirova, Tatyana Vlasova, Natalya Voryuhina, Zulaiho Rahmatulaaeva, Narzulya Galieva, Munira Argunbaeva, doira musician Odil Kamolhujaev and National Actress of Uzbekistan, choreographer Tamara Yusupova.

The program of the musical included two acts — «Oriental bazaar, or Oriental fairy tale», and «Tashkent wedding». The performance was opened by a picturesque scene of noisy and motley oriental bazaar. Backed by solemn sounds of doira, was developing the performance of jugglers, rope — walkers and athletes. Popular satirical form «asqia» formed a basis of «Oriental bazaar».

The ballet dances, created on elements of national choreography, together with bright stylized pop songs and satirical interacts in a modern style, created integral composition of the musical. Original art solution was participation of actual guests in a scene of «performance of guests at the wedding feast», that is singers and pop groups invited. In «Music hall» performed Vladimir Vysotsky, Irina Ponarovskaya, groups «Singing guitars», «Yalla», «Navo», ensemble «Alan» from Northern Ossetia and the other famous groups and artists from different regions, where Tashkent Music Hall gave performances. The invited artists made this extremely popular program especially interesting and unique.

Dancing scenes of the musical were created by the winner of international competition, Yulian Vzorov, Nikolay Markaryants and Takhir Dusmetov. «… Especially perfect were such original dances, as «Captains of blue ships», «Weavers» and «Sindbad and Astrologer», delighting the spectators by interesting choreographic finds», — recollects the ballerina of «Music hall», Natalya Voryuhina. Music to the musical was composed by such composers as Anatoly Kalvarsky, Edward Qalandarov, Enmars Salihov, Dilarom Saidamonova, Vladimir Silin, etc. «The song of Sindbad», written by composer Tofik Babaev on verses of A. Gaindberg (leading motive of the performance) became a symbol of Tashkent «Music hall». «In Tashkent music hall, Mark Zakharov for the first time turned to «tsans». This find of the famous director was then often used in his other works», — noted Andrey Petrovets, playing roles of Vizier, Padishah, Devil and Astrologer. Development and stabilization of the program became full responsibility of B. Zakirov. At «Music hall», besides genius of acting, stage directing, performing and managing, B. Zakirov revealed his talent in scenography. On his sketches were done some suits of the main personages. The troupe of «Music hall» gave performances all over the former Soviet Union. They enjoyed a grandiose success in Leningrad at the Big hall «October» and at Moscow Theatre of Satire.

However, Uzbek spectators could not see the full version of the program, as then in the republic there was no suitable theatre or concert hall, capable to contain this grandiose show on its stage. Absence of a permanent hall made the troupe to spend much time in tours. In his diary, Batir Zakirov wrote with a sorry: «This day also failed. The mood has been spoiled since morning by news that today the stage is being occupied for all the day. Bsides that, we don’t have any stage for running…, Nazarov failed to enforce the philharmonic to settle is. Anyhow, tomorrow — a concert, and very important. What shall we do? To whom shall we complain? Where to go? »

Last concert of Tashkent «Music hall» was held in 1978 in Irkutsk. Nonsolvability of many financial and organizational problems, which have accumulated for many years at «Music hall», became a reason of its liquidation in 1979. The life of Tashkent «Music hall» was bright, but very short. However, its operation left a deep trace in the Uzbek musical art and elevated a national pop art on a new level.

Author: Gulshan Tursunova