Title: Ateh or The Revelation of the Khazar Princess
Libretto: Gh. Ciobanu after the novel of  Milorad Pavic "Dictionary of khazars"
First performance: June 26, 2005, the National Opera and Ballet Theatre of Republic of Moldova.

The protagonists:

7 dancers



The mono-opera Ateh or the Revelation of the Khazar Princess was created by composer Ghenadie Ciobanu in 2004. The stage premier took place on June, 26, 2005, at the National Opera and Ballet Theatre of Republic of Moldova.

The composer selected 3 monologues of Ateh from the Dictionary of Khazars novel of Milorad Pavic.

Composer intended to create the image of an outstanding woman like feminine characters of the famous operas. Ateh is presented in different female hypostasis, as the mistress, leader, an actress, the philosopher or simply wise woman.

Besides Ateh, the princess of the disappeared ethnos, seven dancers take part in the mono-opera. One of the women-dancers is embodied Ateh’s internal feelings. The dancers in this opera have the function of the choir in ancient Greek tragedy.

Musical expressivity, as well as dramatic action and choreography are solved with modern means. The performance is deep metaphoric provoking various associations. The show is saturated with archetypes and symbols.

Ghenadie Ciobanu is an adept of the archetypal method of using ethnic elements in music. Composer marks himself in the introduction: “I was always attracted by the music of different ethnos. …This time I searched necessary to me for archetypes in rhythmic and pitch systems of east musical tradition, “ having explored” Asia Minor, Turkey, the Balkans up to Caucasus and the steppes of the Central Asia.”

The show represents the rituals, mixed on myths, legends, and beliefs. The harmonic combination between tradition and modernism, between intellectual and emotional concept is found in the Ateh or The Revelation of the Khazar princess mono-opera with ballet.


“When at night we fall asleep, we all turn into actors and step each time onto a different stage to play our part”.

Revelation I

“I have memorized my mother’s life and, like in a play, I act it out in front of the mirror every morning for an hour. This has gone on day after day for years now. I don my mother’s robes, holding her fan, my hair done like hers, plaited into the shape of a woolen cap. A enact her in front of others as well, even in the bed of my beloved. In moments of passion I cease to exist, I am not me, but her.  […] In other words, she has already stolen my every touch of love. Yet I do not begrudge her, because I know that she too was once robbed in the same way by her own mother. If someone were now to ask me why I act so much, I would say: I am trying to give birth to myself anew, but in a better way….”

Revelation II

 “On our ship, my Father, the crew swarms like ants: I cleaned it this morning with my hair, and they crawl up the clean mast and strip the green sails like sweet vine leaves into their anthills: the helmsman tries to tear loose the helm and haul it off on his back like spoils to feed and live on for an entire week; the weakest among them pull at the salty rope and disappear with it into the bowels of our floating home. Only thou, my Father, hast no right to the kind of hunger. While they devour speed, to thee, my heart, thee, my only Father, belongs the quickest part. Thy food be the shattered wind. “

Revelation III

“When at night we fall asleep, we all turn into actors and step each time onto a different stage to play our part. And by day? By day, when we are awake, we learn our part. Sometimes, when we do not learn it well, we dare not appear on the stage and instead hide behind other actors, who for the moment know their lines and moves better than we do.

And you, you come to the theater to watch our performance, not to act in it. May your eye behold me when I am well rehearsed, for no one is either wise or beautiful all seven days of the week.”

Calendar of Performances:

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