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.