Opera House Baku /Azerbaijan
The Azerbaijan State Academic Opera and Ballet House Azerbaijani: Axundov adına Azərbaycan Dövlət Akademik Opera və Balet Teatrı is the first and only opera house in the Azerbaijani capital Baku.
The Opera and Ballet House was founded in 1920 and as the National Opera and Ballet, it is a cultural institution of Azerbaijan. Institutionally, it is part of the Ministry of Culture and Tourism of Azerbaijan. The building is located in the city center with address, Nizami küçəsi 95.
The client for the construction of the house, the millionaire Daniel Mailov, and his brother had not been invited to the inauguration ball of the then architecturally significant private house of a famous opera singer in Baku. They therefore decided to erect a new building themselves, which was intended to duplicate the tactless opera singer. The decisive occasion was finally provided by the famous Russian soprano Antonina Nezhdanova, who visited some clubs and performance venues in Baku in 1910. When asked if she would come back one day, she expressed her incomprehension that in such a rich city no one wanted to finance the construction of an opera house befitting its status, in which opera singers could present themselves in a dignified setting. Her admirer Daniel Mailov then offered her to come back in a year for the opening of a new opera house in Baku, which he would have built in her honor. The architect and engineer Nikolai Bayev designed the building and did everything in his power to complete it in one year, even against the resistance of the city council, which insisted on security measures, among other things. When millionaire Zeynalabdin Taghiyev, who had already financed another theater in Baku, expressed doubts about the previously unknown shortness of the construction time, Mailov offered him a bet: If he managed to finish in a year, he, Taghiyev, should cover the construction costs, otherwise he would bear them himself. The work was completed in less than 10 months and the building was accepted before the end of the year. Taghiyev covered all the costs of over 250,000 rubles. The Mailovs' theater opened on February 28, 1911, and Antonina Nezhdanova was the first singer to perform there. Most of the social elite of Baku was present, except for the opera singer, who at that time did not invite the Mailovs to his ball...
Opera and Ballet House 1915post-card by "Photo Film Verlag", published 1920s