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Azerbaijan State Academic Opera and Ballet Theater

by PPA
September 7, 2020

The theatre was built at the request of magnate Daniel Mailov and funded by magnate Zeynalabdin Taghiyev. In 1910, famous Russian soprano Antonina Nezhdanova visited Baku giving several concerts at various clubs and performance venues. On a ball organized on the occasion of Nezhdanova's departure at the local casino, she was asked whether she would like to visit Baku again. Her response was negative followed by a concern that in a city of so many wealthy people no one would fund the construction of a decent opera theatre where singers could fully demonstrate their musical talent. Daniel Mailov who had grown to admire both Nezhdanova's voice and persona during her tour decided to use this opportunity and offered her to revisit Baku in one year to attend the opening of a new opera theatre, which he would order to build in her honour. According to an urban legend, Mailov and his brother were not invited to a housewarming ball of a famous opera singer from Baku whose new house (now the head office of SOCAR) was one of the most outstanding pieces of architecture in the city. The Mailovs therefore decided to erect a building of their own outdoing the "tactless" singer.

The Russian architect and civil engineer- descent Nikolai Bayev designed the architectural sketch of the theatre. However the construction of such grandiose building in a year was unheard of at the time and required many safety measures to be taken. The Mailovs decided not to wait for the approval of the City Council but were ordered to stop the construction as it violated building regulations. Soon Bayev managed to convince the city legislature and received its approval. Azeri magnate Zeynalabdin Taghiyev who had earlier sponsored the construction of the Taghiyev Theatre (present-day Azerbaijan State Musical Comedy Theatre) expressed his doubts that the new theatre could be fully constructed in such a short period of time. Daniel Mailov laid a bet: if the Mailovs did not manage to get the theatre built on time, they would offer it to Taghiyev as a gift; if the theatre was indeed built by 1911, Taghiyev would have to cover all the building expenses.The theatre was built at the request of magnate Daniel Mailov and funded by magnate Zeynalabdin Taghiyev. In 1910, famous Russian soprano Antonina Nezhdanova visited Baku giving several concerts at various clubs and performance venues. On a ball organized on the occasion of Nezhdanova's departure at the local casino, she was asked whether she would like to visit Baku again. Her response was negative followed by a concern that in a city of so many wealthy people no one would fund the construction of a decent opera theatre where singers could fully demonstrate their musical talent. Daniel Mailov who had grown to admire both Nezhdanova's voice and persona during her tour decided to use this opportunity and offered her to revisit Baku in one year to attend the opening of a new opera theatre, which he would order to build in her honour. According to an urban legend, Mailov and his brother were not invited to a housewarming ball of a famous opera singer from Baku whose new house (now the head office of SOCAR) was one of the most outstanding pieces of architecture in the city. The Mailovs therefore decided to erect a building of their own outdoing the "tactless" singer.

The Russian architect and civil engineer- descent Nikolai Bayev designed the architectural sketch of the theatre. However the construction of such grandiose building in a year was unheard of at the time and required many safety measures to be taken. The Mailovs decided not to wait for the approval of the City Council but were ordered to stop the construction as it violated building regulations. Soon Bayev managed to convince the city legislature and received its approval. Azeri magnate Zeynalabdin Taghiyev who had earlier sponsored the construction of the Taghiyev Theatre (present-day Azerbaijan State Musical Comedy Theatre) expressed his doubts that the new theatre could be fully constructed in such a short period of time. Daniel Mailov laid a bet: if the Mailovs did not manage to get the theatre built on time, they would offer it to Taghiyev as a gift; if the theatre was indeed built by 1911, Taghiyev would have to cover all the building expenses.

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