Wikipedia: Annagul Annakuliyeva (Russian: Аннагуль АннаКулиева) (December 31, 1924 – July 18, 2009) was a Turkmen soprano opera singer and film actress. Annakuliyeva was the first internationally known opera singer to emerge from Turkmenistan.
Annakuliyeva first began singing at the Turkmen Opera and Ballet Theater in Ashgabat, Turkmen Soviet Socialist Republic of the Soviet Union in 1941. She starred as the lead role in the opera, Zohre and Tahyr, at the theater.
Annakuliyeva performed throughout the Soviet Union during her theater and opera career. She also appeared in a number of Soviet films, some of which were directed by her husband, director Alty Garliyev. Annakuliyeva was named a People’s Artist of the USSR by the Soviet government in recognition of her professional accomplishments in the arts, especially opera.
The President of Turkmenistan Saparmurat Niyazov officially banned opera in the country in 2001. However, Niyazov’s successor, Gurbanguly Berdymukhammedov, lifted the ban in 2008, making opera legal in Turkmenistan again.
News About Annagul Annakuliyeva — Turkmen Opera Star Dies At 85
ASHGABAT — Turkmenistan’s first bona fide opera star, soprano singer Annagul Annakuliyeva, died in Ashgabat on July 18 at the age of 85, RFE/RL’s Turkmen Service reports.
She had battled a lengthy illness.
Annakuliyeva was famous throughout the former Soviet Union and was recognized by the Kremlin as a USSR People’s Artist.
Annakuliyeva started working in 1941 for the Turkmen Opera and Ballet Theater in Ashgabat, where she starred in the lead role of the opera «Zohre and Tahyr.»
Along with her opera and theater performances, Annakuliyeva also appeared in several Soviet films, some of them directed by her husband, Alty Garliyev.
Opera was banned in Turkmenistan by the late leader Saparmurat Niyazov in 2001, but was restored last year by his successor, Gurbanguly Berdymukhammedov.