Wagner in Kasachstan

schmidtFilm reports for the MDR Thuringia from Almaty, Kazakhstan, on the final events of the German-Kazakh Year. The reason: On December 24 the theatre manager Ansgar Haag and the director Kerstin Jacobsen, both from Meiningen, will stage Wagner’s “Tannhäuser”. It is the first performance of Wagner in Kazakhstan, taking place in the country’s largest opera house.

Kazakhstan is a star amongst newly industrialising countries. By far the richest of Central Asia. A country as big as Western Europe. In which you can experience all four seasons in one day – from the perpetual ice in the Kazakh mountains to the infinite horizons of the parched steppe. Under which there are some of the most important oil fields of the world. Since the end of the Cold War Kazakhstan strives towards establishing closer economic ties with Western Europe. Successfully. The number of companies investing in the country is increasing. The export of oil and gas is booming. The annual economic growth: 10 percent.

Germany is the largest European import partner of the country. Kazakhstan now wants to intensify the connections to Germany. And it doesn’t limit its cooperations anymore to economy and politics, but extends them to another area that has been neglected so far: culture.
On site, schmidtFilm investigates how and if it works.

Written by: Anna Schmidt
Direction: Anna Schmidt
Director or Photography: Harry Carius
Editor: Mario Biehl
Air Date: 2010