The first in Central Asia professional musical theatre was founded in 1929 by a team of enthusiasts from the ethnographic ensemble headed by M. Kari-Yakubov.
In 1939, it was renamed as State Uzbek Opera and Ballet Theatre, and in March, 1948 it was united with Russian Opera Theatre and named Alisher Navoi State Opera and Ballet Theatre. For successful development of opera and ballet art, the Theatre was given the rank of Academic Theatre, and in 1966 it became the Grand Theatre.
M. Kari-Yakubov was a talented organizer and a tireless public figure. He was searching for talents all over the Republic. Tamara Khanum, Khalima Nasirova, Roziya Karimova, Karim Zakirov, Usta Alim Ramilov and many others who in after years became world-famous artists were those from the initial young and vigorous troupe…
M. Kari-Yakubov was the first Director and Artistic Administrator of the State Uzbek Musical Theatre, and the dance troupe was headed by Tamara Khanum, a talented dancer. The young team of artists performed not only on domestic stage but also far beyond their country – in Belgium, Holland, France, Britain, Egypt, Russia, Tatarstan, Azerbaijan, Georgia striking the audience with their national originality, vivid temperament and amazing musicality.
The Theatre building is unique by its history. Some time ago, the Voskresniy bazaar occupied this area which was one of the central parts of the city. Aleksey Shusev, the designer of the Mausoleum in the Red Square in Moscow, was the chief architect of the Theatre building in Tashkent. The construction took a long time interrupted by the Great Patriotic War: the construction was suspended as all the efforts were focused on the front. In 1944, the construction works were continued by Japanese prisoners of war deported to Tashkent from the Quantoon army.
The interior of the building is decorated with gunch carving; each hall bearing a name of a particular city of Uzbekistan is decorated in a unique manner corresponding to the traditions of the city. For instance, the Bukhara hall is adorned in the same way as the palace of Emir of Bukhara.
The halls and passages of the Theatre are decorated with mural paintings illustrating poems of Alisher Navoi and sights of Uzbekistan.
Upon completion of construction, the architect Aleksey Shusev (who, along with local artists, received a state award) proposed to erect a fountain in front of the theatre, in the façade area. Presently, this area is called the Theatre Square and is considered one of the most beautiful places in the city.
Currently, the Square fountain called Singing Fountain is townspeople’s favourite resting place. The Fountain’s jets colored and illuminated by floodlights, “dance” to classical music.
Plays Begin: weekdays – at 18:00, Saturday and Sunday – at 17:00. Matinees (mostly children’s plays) are held on Sundays and start at 12:00.
Day off: Monday