Irada Ayupova: ''We should promote cultural brands of Tatarstan''

The minister called the name of a new circus director, told about museums’ move and the necessity of tours for the opera theatre

Irada Ayupova: ''We should promote cultural brands of Tatarstan'' Photo: tatarstan.ru

Tatarstan Minister of Culture Irada Ayupova took a clear course for publicity and regularly holds meetings with the press in a format of dialogue. Realnoe Vremya's correspondent learnt details of Kazan National Cultural Centre's collection's move and the confirmation of Sharifullin's candidacy for the post of director of the Kazan circus at such a meeting in the Tatarstan Ministry of Culture's conference hall on 12 March.

Don't worry about circus

Tatarstan Minister of Culture Irada Ayupova approached the next meeting with the press well prepared, having studied issues that are more often discussed in the mass media beforehand. The first question Ayupova answered was about the appointment of the Kazan circus director. This topic was well covered in the press, while it wasn't easy to choose the candidate. But a clear answer was heard at the meeting with journalists: ''We had two leaders in the final – it's Sergey Nesterov and Ramil Sharifullin. But Nesterov withdrew his candidacy, he has organisational issues related to his company. He called, apologised and was ready for cooperation. The second leader is Ramil Sharifullin, he won in the competition in the end. The competition's procedure itself was very interesting. It seems to me that if the director of the circus manages to hear those ideas and topics that were mentioned in the discussion, our circus will become competitive,'' told Irada Ayupova.

According to her, now there is a problem of creating their own company: they need to give up the concept of rented site. As for Sergey Nesterov's withdrawn candidacy, he can become a consultant in the Kazan circus in the future, joint projects with him are also supposed to be. Probably a new interesting creative approach awaits for the Kazan circus.

''If the director of the circus manages to hear those ideas and topics that were mentioned in the discussion, our circus will become competitive.'' Photo: Oleg Tikhonov

Another question was about Kazan National Cultural Centre's move to a new facility, part of the Tatarstan National Library will be located in its place. ''The library is also a cultural centre,'' Irada Ayupova stressed. She explained that the concept of the Tatarstan National Library in the former building of Kazan NCC isn't designed for an environment with barriers: it will be a space for communication where there will be many cultural projects.

A site for Kazan NCC has been found – it's a building of the city hall at the beginning of Bauman Street. This building will open after reconstruction, both the funds and the exposition of Kazan NCC will be located there. The project of the city hall's reconstruction and re-equipment of Kazan NCC into the library is one of the most expensive at the moment. Nevertheless, it's planned to finish them by our republic's centenary. ''The collection of Kazan NCC will suit the city hall's building fine,'' noted the culture minister. Ayupova calmed down: one of the most beautiful houses in Kazan – the Ushkova House where the National Library is now – will remain this organisation's property.

As for the Russian Museum for whose branch the city hall's building was designed for at first, nobody refused to cooperate with it, now they will look for ways to place its expositions on existing sites of the fine arts museum.

''The collection of Kazan NCC will suit the city hall's building fine.'' Photo: poznamka.ru

Kazan to host M. Glinka competition

Some time ago it became known that the revived competition among vocalists named after M. Glinka will be in Kazan in April, Tatarstan President Rustam Minnikhanov supported this project. Albina Shagimuratova became the jury's chairwoman. Apart from prize money, the competition's laureates will have a chance to participate in one of the most prestigious international music competitions – named after P. Tchaikovsky – without prior audition.

''Applications can be submitted until 30 March. Now we're working with conservatoires, and the Russian Ministry of Culture supports us in this issue. The competition will be good if two components work well – the jury, here everything is fine, and the fate of competitors, it's what concerns us now,'' Irada Ayupova said.

There must be at least 50 competitors for a successful competition. But the number of applications from potential participants doesn't exceed 20. Perhaps it's linked with a very complicated material they will have to perform at three stages of the competition.

''The competition will be good if two components work well – the jury, here everything is fine, and the fate of competitors, it's what concerns us now.'' Photo: tatarstan.ru

Irada Ayupova also told about a meeting with directors of Tatarstan theatres held one day earlier. It was decided to create a fund to support an older generation of artists, people who have worked in theatres, those who need financial help – to receive treatment, to purchase medication – in the Tatarstan Union of Theatre Workers. Theatres will send one per cent of extra-budgetary revenue to this fund, which will be about three million rubles.

One of the questions raised at this meeting was about theatres' tours and trips to festivals. ''Going outside the republic, we almost create an opinion of spectators about the level of our culture. What values we transmit, the quality of our products – it's an issue can be resolved by experts,'' Irada Ayupova explained. It was offered to create a commission of experts in the Union of Theatre Workers.

''It's very important that expenditure of budget money not turn into the payment of tours. If we're going somewhere, we should understand why we're going there. If we're participating in a festival, we should understand its status,'' noted Mrs Ayupova.

There was simultaneously asked a question about tours of the M. Jalil Tatar State Academy Opera and Ballet Theatre in Europe. It's been recently discussed in some mass media that know little about intricacies of a theatre's work and forget that our opera is promoting Tatarstan's cultural brand this way.

''Localisation in one place is wrong, we should promote our professional brands in the arts outside Tatarstan, too.'' Photo: Maksim Platonov

The minister's answer to this question was clear: ''Our opera theatre performs about 110 plays in Kazan a year. Is it much or little? Our opera and ballet companies are in one place at the same time – it's a rare thing. I often buy tickets to European theatres. For instance, La Scala has an opera season, a ballet season, a symphony season. There are certain economic problems, and it's wrong for everyone to be in one place from an economic perspective. The stage was repaired in the opera theatre last year. This is why there were restrictions on the performance of plays because many stagings are high-tech. The theatre stages national plays, for instance, Syuyumbike opera will be on 13, 14, 15 April. Localisation in one place is wrong, we should promote our professional brands in the arts outside Tatarstan, too. From a perspective of the money earned in tours, the opera theatre was examined last year, they have everything regulated. Money doesn't go to some unknown companies.''

''We have things to show''

The journalists not just asked questions but also made their proposals, as the culture minister asked. One of them was about the opening of a branch of Moscow Kremlin museums in the Kazan Kremlin – like The Hermitage-Kazan Centre. Irada Ayupova didn't support the proposal by reasonably noticing that, firstly, it's very expensive to transport museum valuables, insurance is also a costly thing. Secondly, we ourselves have countless treasures in reserves that should be exhibited more. The minister put an example of how director of the Tretyakov Gallery Zelfira Tregulova admired the reserves of the Tatarstan State Museum of Fine Arts, particularly a collection of works Silver Century. ''Our Feshin is a world level, I doubt that many Tatarstan residents have seen these collections,'' Irada Ayupova fairly noted.

One of the questions was about the level of Tatar pop culture, which has received many complains in recent time. Only the project The Wind of Change, which has been existing for three years already and sets the pace, is a good exception.


''We don't have such a big pool of composers writing for Tatar pop culture.'' Photo: tatarstan.ru

''I think that pop culture is a business. But there is another problem – the quality of repertoire for Tatar pop culture. We don't have such a big pool of composers writing for Tatar pop culture,'' Irada Ayupova answered and noted there was also a problem of promoting talented Tatarstan performers.

At the end of the meeting, Irada Ayupova asked the journalists to send their ideas, their vision that will help to develop and promote culture in Tatarstan. ''I don't wait for your reply today, but I would like very much to receive ideas, your vision from you, it's what we lack,'' the minister ended the meeting with these words demonstrating her aspiration for dialogue and openness.

By Tatiana Mamayeva