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Music: Tabriz concert, Arshin Mal Alan Opera

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Arshin Mal Alan  is a 1913 comic and romantic operetta by Azerbaijani composer Uzeyir Hajibeyov about the cloth peddler in the 1900s Shusha, who is looking for a wife.

Hajibeyov composed the operetta in Saint Petersburg and it was staged on October 25, 1913. The operetta is rich in national characteristics and realism.


The plot is centered on a bachelor man called Asker, who wants to see and choose his bride before marriage. His wife quest, however, is difficult because women are kept at home and when allowed out are heavily covered. Asker’s friend Suleyman suggests him disguising as a fabric peddler, a sure way to meet women. Asker agrees and starts to go round the houses selling fabrics.

Asker finally meets a woman called Gulchohra and both fall in love with each other, even though Asker’s actual identity remains unknown to Gulchohra. Asker ultimately asks Gulchohra´s father, the wealthy Sultan bey, for marriage permission, revealing his real activities. Sultan bey agrees, but Gulchohra objects as she can only love the peddler. She eventually learns that the rich businessman is really her beloved peddler.

The story ends with four couples getting married at the same time.

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Arshin Mal Alan – 1965