30 September 2022

Friday, 17:29


The outstanding Azerbaijani actress Firangiz Sarifova is no longer with us



Firangiz xanim said that she had inherited from her parents so much ardour and need to express herself that there was no way that she could not have become an actress. In one of the interviews she gave she recounted that she used to act out various little scenes with her brother and the neighbours all the time when she was a child. She constructed the scenery from curtains, dividing up the big room into two parts and played both the parts of actress and director. Everything in her pointed to the artistic nature in her genes inherited from the great actors and leading lights of Azerbaijan's theatre, Abbas Mirza Sarifzada and Marziyya Davudova. She always thought that all that was best about her came from her parents and her profession.

At the age of six, Abbas Mirza Sarifzada had already taken her onto the stage to play the sister of his main character in the show  "Oqtay Eloglu". But, aware of all the difficulties that have to be faced in the acting profession, Marziyya xanim was categorically opposed to her daughter becoming an actress. Even when she gave her daughter her blessing to study at the Choreography School, and then, on the advice of Uzeyir Hacibayli [Hacibayov], she sent her to the vocal studies department of the Azerbaijan State Conservatoire (now the Baku Music Academy), she said that it was "for her own good", because every woman should have good bearing, know how to move and of course to sing beautifully, if nature had endowed her with a good voice. Her first steps on the stage were at the Musical Comedy Theatre, except for her appearances in the concerts of the Baku Choreography School of course. 

Firangiz Sarifova recalled that "Many different genres of shows [musicals] were performed at that theatre; at that time it was customary to refer to them as operettas, in which the actors and especially the performers playing the main parts needed not only to be able to sing well, but also to dance readily and to communicate with their partners in sophisticated dialogues all at the same time. Those I portrayed in the main roles were Gulcohra ["The Cloth Peddler"] the Bayadere ("Bayadere"), Keto ([the Georgian comic opera] "Keto and Kote"), Durna ("Durna") and others. I had to sing, dance and be a dramatic actress as well, skilled at conveying weighty ideas and sincere feelings to the audience in a light and entertaining manner." When the Musical Comedy Theatre was closed down for refurbishment, Firangiz Sarifova moved to the Theatre of Youngsters, where her talented acting began to sparkle to an even greater extent than before.

"The style was different there, the material was different and naturally the audience was different, but, believe me, for me it was a great pleasure to feel that all your creative skill and art were required to play for them the leading roles in refined classical repertoire and our contemporary heroines, high-minded and charitable women," she said.

"The stage knows what people are like, tests them for their talent, fame, sense of decency and feeling of comradeship. You not only need a feeling of comradeship at work and in your everyday life outside work, but first foremost, I think, in the family. I have been very lucky in my life: thanks to my parents I became an actress who has enjoyed great success and many hours of creative inspiration, having learnt to be different and take control of myself in various extreme situations. But it is precisely this profession, this tough learning curve that has helped me to appreciate the happiness that a family provides, especially one that you have created yourself," Firangiz Sarifova said.

The actress created numerous striking theatrical roles during her career. She played parts in such performances as "What are you living for?", "Mahmoud and Mariam", "The Story of the Weeping Camel" and many others. Firangiz Sarifova starred in the films "Holiday Cottage for One Family" (she played with artistes like Igor Kvasha and Sergey Yurskiy), "The Owl has Flown in", "Legend of Silver Lake", "Autumn in Summertime", "Main Interview" and so forth. 

The characters which Firangiz Sarifova brought to life in Azerbaijani cinema are characterised by psychological depth, sincerity and conviction, have become striking film characters and have continued to enjoy success. The various shows in which the actress performed are stored at the National Television Archive as a valuable example of the art of acting. Her extremely interesting acting career, which lasted for more than sixty years, is serving as a real school of drama for many generations of young actors.

Firangiz Sarifova's great services to the development of Azerbaijan's theatrical and film art have been evaluated highly. She won a number of awards and honorary titles and was awarded the highest state decoration of Azerbaijan, the "Sohrat" order. 

This People's Artist of Azerbaijan and Cavalier of the Order of "Glory", Firangiz Sarifova, passed away on 20 February at the age of 89 years. All those who knew her will forever retain a lasting memory of her outstanding acting skills and of this sincere and responsive person.




Firangiz Sarifova was born in the city of Baku on 26 February 1924. She went to secondary school from 1931-1941 and also studied at the Baku Choreography School. In 1941 she started to study at the Azerbaijan State Conservatoire and she graduated from the vocal studies department of this institution of higher education in 1947. First employed at the Azerbaijan Musical Comedy Theatre, Firangiz Sarifova went on to work at the Azerbaijan Theatre of Youngsters from 1949-1961, and at the Azerbaijan State Academic National Drama Theatre from 1961-1965. In 1965 she returned to the Azerbaijan State Theatre of Youngsters and her fate was linked to this temple of the arts until 2011. Firangiz Sarifova was the grandmother of the "Eurovision-2011" song contest winner Eldar Qasimov.