TODAY.AZ / Arts & Entertainment

Eminent actor who stands at origins of national theater and cinema

05 April 2022 [13:15] - TODAY.AZ

By Azernews

By Laman Ismayilova

The history of the Azerbaijani theater and cinema is rich in outstanding personalities. It's impossible to imagine the history of the national theater without Aghasadikh Garaybayli.

The actor made an invaluable contribution to the development and prosperity of cinematography and theater art in Azerbaijan.

Aghasadikh Garaybayli was born in 1897 in Shamakhi region. After the devastating earthquake, his family moved to Baku.

Garaybayli was drawn to the stage from an early age. His uncle was one of the best friends of Azerbaijan's eminent actor Huseyn Arablinski.

Moreover, they were neighbors, and the theatrical rehearsals often took place in Garaybayli's house. So, it is not surprising that a teenager was drawn to the stage from an early age.

For the first time, Garaybayli appeared on the theater stage in the role of a woman. At that time, all female roles were embodied by men. His acting skills were highly appreciated by Huseyn Arablinski.

Since that time, Garaybayli had been actively involved in theatrical life. He was one of the active members of the Nijat Theater Society established in 1917 by director and actor Mir Mahmud Kazimovski.

Furthermore, he created a new theater troupe "Safa" that was financially supported by well-known philanthropist and industrial magnate Haji Zeynalabdin Taghiyev.

In 1933, Aghasadikh Garaybayli started working at the Azerbaijan Drama Theater, where he performed until the last days of his life.

The actor brilliantly embodied both comedy and dramatic roles.

Garaybayli stood at the origins of not only the national Azerbaijani theater but also cinema. He started acting when feature cinema was just beginning to develop in Azerbaijan.

In the days of "silent cinema", he starred in the film "The Maiden Tower Legend" (1924).

Next, national playwright and film director Jafar Jabbarli invited Aghasadikh Garaybayli to play the role of Balash in the film adaptation of the playwright "Sevil" together with Izzat Orujova, known as the first Azerbaijani woman who acted in films.

The playwright focuses on the theme of the role of women, their oppression, struggle, and ultimately, victory over dated patriarchal traditions. Many women discarded their veils in the city theater after seeing the play.

After these films, Garaybayli had a break in cinematography for more than 25 years. The next time he acted in films was in the film "Bakhtiyar" (1955).

Undoubtedly, the role of Rustam bay in the film "If Not That One, Then This One" brought him great fame.

"If Not That One, Then This One" is a 1910 operetta in four acts that reflects social and everyday life relations in pre-revolutionary Azerbaijan. It is the composer's second work written in this genre.

In his work, Hajibayli used the Azerbaijani mugham and included extracts from Fuzuli's ghazals in the libretto.

The premiere of "If Not This One, Then That One" was held in Baku on April 25, 1911, at the Mayilov brothers' theater (now State Opera and Ballet Theater).

In 1956, Huseyn Seyidzade shot the movie "If Not This One, Then That One". The film criticized backward traditions and celebrated emerging modern lifestyles. It was translated into many languages and within the next three years was shown in more than 40 countries.

"If Not This One, Then That One" film is considered one of the most famous and successful cinematographic pieces in the history of Azerbaijan’s film industry.

Aghasadikh Garaybayli believed that the actor should be young at heart so that his roles wouldn't be forgotten.

His name has been inscribed in the history of Azerbaijani cinematography in golden letters.

The State Film Fund has recently opened a photo exhibition dedicated to Aghasadikh Garaybayli's 125th anniversary.

The exhibition featured 30 photos that reflected the legacy of the outstanding actor. The photo exhibition aroused great public interest.


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