Wednesday, January 3, 2018

opera in Mongolia ... seriously

Wowsers! ... an example of how/why Mongolia has gone ape-shit for opera:

Ariunbaatar doesn’t have a typical background for a contestant in one of the world’s most prestigious opera contests. He grew up in the traditional Mongolian way, living in yurts with his nomadic family, herding cattle on horseback across the steppe. As a child, he rode some 60 miles a day, and he was always singing. He won a place at university in Ulaanbaatar but dropped out after two years when he couldn’t pay the fees, became a taxi driver and one night got chatting to a customer who happened to be the chief of police. Long story short: he joined Ulaanbaatar’s police ensemble, worked his way back to university, then onwards to the grand opera houses of Russia and Europe.


  1. While Mongolian doesn’t have a history of Western Opera it does have a history of song and it’s own rather unique contribution to singing, overtone singing (AKA Tuvan | Tibetan Throat Singing).

    In my highly uninformed opinion, This guy is a very good opera singer. However I don’t know if coming from Mongolia is going to help much, the opera world probably so crypto-racist it will not treat him as a novelty like it would have decades ago. Hope he’s at least good enough for making the rounds in Asian Opera Houses.

  2. A single mother raising 2 sons in a strongly patriarchal society. Hm.. Did she have any help?much more information needed.