The Unslaked Fires of Love

This story of a burning love became a poem by Muhammad Fuzuli (1483-1556), which became the libretto for an opera by the Azibaijani composer Uzeyir Hajibeyli (1885-1948) that premiered in Baku in 1908. A hundred years later, violinists Johnny Gandelsman and Colin Jacobsen of Yo-Yo Ma’s Silkroad Ensemble collaborated with the great Azerbaijani singer Alim Qasimov to transform the opera into a chamber piece. In 2016, Mark Morris added dancing to it—not incidental dancing, but movement deeply embedded in the music and the story.