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Diplomacy and Cultural Fusion Take Center Stage at DOMBRAsadors Concert in Astana Opera

3 min read

ASTANA – Astana Opera hosted the DOMBRAsadors live concert on Dec. 4, featuring a unique blend of foreign diplomats and local theater artists. Breaking away from the traditional concert format, the event showcased not only the musical talents of diplomats but also championed a good cause, with all proceeds generated from the event to be directed towards charity initiatives.

The concert participants receive a standing ovation. Photo credit: Assel Satubaldina/ The Astana Times

The audience enjoyed a diverse musical journey, spanning a wide array of genres and cultural influences from the enchanting Turkish folk song “Bülbülüm Altın Kafeste” to the tango “La Cumparsita.”  

A lineup of performers included the Ambassador of Portugal to Kazakhstan Maria de Fatima Mendes, who performed a Portuguese folk song, and the Ambassador of Spain Jorge Urbiola, who showcased his skills on the accordion. Nout van Woudenberg, deputy ambassador of the Kingdom of the Netherlands, took the stage with his piano performance. 

Also featured in the lineup was Attaché and Head of the Consular Section at the Embassy of Turkiye Erkin Semih Ozturk, presenting the mesmerizing sounds of the Turkish saz alongside his vocal contributions. Kazakhstan’s ambassador and former vice foreign minister Konstantin Zhigalov and the Astana Opera director Galym Akhmediyarov also performed on the stage.

Ambassador Urbiola performs tango composition with the Astana Opera orchestra. Photo credit: Assel Satubaldina/ The Astana Times

Spanish Ambassador Jorge Urbiola noted that music is a universal language. “It helps build bridges between countries, between peoples, between societies. In my profession, that is our objective to build bridges between our countries,” he told The Astana Times. 

But the concert was more than a festive event. Funds raised from ticket sales and the auction after the concert will be directed to the Kazakhstan Foundation for Cultural, Social and Educational Development. Founded in 1999, the foundation runs social initiatives and training programs in different areas aimed at empowering women. 

Erkin Semih Ozturk plays Turkish bağlama. Photo credit: Assel Satubaldina/ The Astana Times

“On the other hand, we are now in the spirit of Christmas and the end of the year. Charity is always something that we have to do to carry out,” said the envoy.

It was not the first time for Portugal’s Ambassador Maria de Fatima Mendes to perform on the stage. The song she sang is traditionally sung by women when they are working in the fields.

“This one is about love. A woman says that the person she loves is on the other side of the river, and the boat doesn’t work so they cannot see each other, just from one side to the other,” she said in a comment for this story. 

She stressed the double responsibility she feels when on the stage. “It is not just being an ambassador of my own country, but in this sense, it is a charity concert. (…) I believe that I like to receive but I like to give and to share through music the happiness and the joy of being alive,” she said. 

“I believe that we have made something positive, not just for the ones who are listening, but for the ones who will profit from this concert and I am very honored to be part as a little drop of water in that effort,” she added. 


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