‘Leyli & Majnun’ 
Marionette Show in 14 Scenes
Mugham Opera

The opera was written by Uzeyir Hajibeyli in 1907, based on the poem of the same title by Muhammad Fuzuli (1494–1556)

The show created in 2013–2016
Soundtrack recorded in 2015

This is the first opera created in Azerbaijan and in the Middle East in general. Uzeyir-bey composed it based on extremely rich folklore materials including mughams and lyrical songs. At the same time, it contains both Oriental and European musical traditions interwoven with each other. Combined with a popular, classical story, its unique musical solution made this opera beloved not only in Azerbaijan but in many other nations as well.

‘Leyli & Majnun’ is the ancient legend of a delicate love story and endless fidelity. Its roots are in Arabian folklore, but it has been embraced by the entire Oriental world. Young Leyli and Majnun, the protagonists of this tragic and poetic love story, find their direct analogies in classic European literary tradition: Tristan and Iseult, Romeo and Juliet, etc.

Stage Director – Tarlan Gorchu
Art Director – Tarlan Gorchu
Music Adaptation – Salman Gambarov
Puppet Craftsman – Tengiz Khalvashi
Light Director – Azer Mukhtarov
Stage Mechanisms – Ilkin Mirzayev

Cast of Characters / Singers Recorded:

Leyli – Gunay Imamverdiyeva
Geys / Majnun – Mansum Ibrahimov
Leyli’s Father – Jabir Hasanov
Majnun’s Father – Elgiz Aliyev
Majnun’s Mother – Gizilgul Babayeva
Nofel, friend of Majnun – Jahangir Gurbanov
Maurus, friend of Nofel – Elgiz Aliyev
Ibn-Salam – Ramiq Bayramov

Instrumental performers of mugham:

Rashad Ibrahimov (tar)
Tabriz Yusubov (kamancha)


Fariza Babayeva
Ali Allahverdiyev
Aysel Badalova
Tatiana Terentyeva
Nazim Huseynov
Nasrin Vusal
Hikmet Aydinoghlu


1. Moon in the Skies
This millstone grinds the starts and their endings.
It breathes infinity—the secrets of existence.

2. Fairies
The thread of life is thin and candle’s light is dim,
But throbbing love contains the Earth, the Skies and Oceans...

3. Declaration of love
Leyli: My lips refuse to hide my heart’s confession...
Geys: You are my breath! The world is only you!..

4. Geys with his parents
Geys: My mind turns dark as I am stricken with love...
Parents: We’ll ask the father of Leyli to give his consent!

5. Leyli’s father rejects their marriage proposal for Leyli
Geys’ Father: Bestow your blessings – give Leyli to Geys...
Leyli’s Father: No, I will not. He is “majnun” – a madman!

6. Hopeless sweethearts
No mercy! Separated! Look, oh Moon!
Now Geys, indeed, will turn into Majnun...

7. Ibn-Salam’s marriage proposal visit
Leyli’s Father: You’ve got your aim, I give her, I agree...
Ibn-Salam: Then since today you are my dearest father!

8. Majnun buries his head in the desert
Majnun: My fate is now at enmity with me.
             It offers me no hope and no relief...

9. Nofel meets Majnun
Maurus: Your friend was parted from Leyli and, thus, went mad.
Nofel: I’ll solve it with my gold or with my weapons!

10. Battle for Leyli
Nofel: Show mercy, give Leyli to her beloved Majnun!
Leyli’s Father: Neither your pearls nor arms can persuade me!

11. Ibn-Salam’s residence
Leyli: Please, give me time; his love still dwells inside me.
Ibn-Salam: Oh, yes, I‘ll wait. Don’t worry, I have patience!

12. Refusing to yield to her fate, Leyli dies...
Leyli: My sorrow is unbearable. I have no hope.
         And this despair has burned my heart to ash...

13. Majnun’s death
Majnun: My God! I need no longer this my life!
             No longer do I need a world without Leyli!

14. Final Scene
These two, young souls, two spirits will forever
be joined by Love that bound them together...

Designer: Tarlan Gorchu

Photographers: Eva Abilova, Tarlan Gorchu, Vladimir German, Andrey Kovalyov, Anatoliy Khmelevskiy, Hikmet Aydinoglu