EU, Kazakhstan Mark 30 Years of Ties with Concert Featuring International Opera Stars


Some of the biggest names in European and Kazakh opera music gathered at the Astana Opera to celebrate the 30th anniversary since the establishment of diplomatic relations between Kazakhstan and the European Union (EU) in Astana on Feb. 2.

Taking place in Kazakhstan’s classical music scene, the concert showcased both local talent, soprano Maria Mudryak and tenor Medet Chotabayev, and an international musician from as far away as Portugal – soprano Susana Gaspar. 

Hailing from different countries and diverse backgrounds, each of the artists performed classic Kazakh and European pieces, demonstrating that cultural bonds transcend time and space.

The evening started with the officials from both sides highlighting achievements and events that carried great significance in the past 30 years of EU-Kazakhstan relations.

“Over the past three decades, our multidimensional cooperation has been strengthening across all sectors and continues to stay there and develop,” said Kazakh Deputy Foreign Minister Roman Vassilenko.

“We look forward to further strengthening our relations in trade and investment, transport and logistics, climate change, sustainable energy, and digital transition,” he added.

Head of the EU Mission to Kazakhstan Ambassador Kestutis Jankauskas highlighted that Kazakhstan has long been a stable and appreciated supplier of oil to Europe. Likewise, the EU maintains its position as Kazakhstan’s leading investor.

According to him, there will be a busy year ahead with extensive plans concerning the renewable energy investment deal signed between the two countries last November.

“I am looking forward to this year with both fear and hope because there is a lot to be implemented. You have innumerable sun, wind, and vast land resources. I think here [in Kazakhstan] there is a great potential for renewable energy, particularly green hydrogen. We have a lot of big plans,” said Jankauskas.

The following concert showcased the versatility of European and Kazakh music mixing Giuseppe Verdi and Giacomo Puccini’s excellent opera tradition with the widely admired Kazakh composers Latif Khamidi and Nurgisa Tlendiyev’s music.

An equally impressive moment was the solo part of Kurmangazy’s “Adai” kui (traditional Kazakh music) performed on the oboe.