Famous people of Shusha

The people of Shusha made it the pearl of the Caucasus, the cradle of our culture, the mugham-singing heart of Azerbaijan

Famous people of Shusha

Ahmad Aghdamski

Ahmad Aghdamski, also known by the stage name of Ahmad Bashir oghlu Badalbeyli (5 January 1884, Shusha – 1 April 1954, Aghdash) who was an Azerbaijani opera singer, mugam singer and actor.

Ahmad Badalbeyli was born on January 5, 1884, in Shusha, Azerbaijan. He attended circles of theater-lovers and participated in national spectacles from his childhood.

Scenic activity of the actor began in 1910, with attendance of a theatrical troupe of “Nijat” charity union. He was famous for his performance of women roles in various operas in the early history of Azerbaijan Opera, when women’s appearance on stage was strictly forbidden by religion and tradition. But later he began to play male parts, too. Besides all these he also was engaged in pedagogic activity. He was always persecuted because of playing women’s parts. Ahmad changed his surname and address. For several years he was known as Miri. At the beginning of the 1920s he returned to Karabakh, where he established a theatrical troupe in Aghdam city, in 1923. In 1934, he moved to Aghdash.

In 1943, Ahmad Agdamski was conferred “Honored Art Worker of Azerbaijan” title.

In the 19th and 20th centuries, there were no women-actress in Azerbaijan and this is why men played female parts. Ahmad Agdamski, whose nice voice and fine constitution helped him in creation female roles, was one of them. He played pieces of Leyli (“Leyli and Majnun”), by persuasion of his brother Badalbey and because of refusal of Farajov (because of persecution of theater-haters), Asli (“Asli and Karam”), Gulnaz (“If Not That One, Then This One”), Gulchohra (“Arshin mal alan”), Minnat khanim (“Husband and wife”) and Tahmina (“Rustam and Zohrab”) from operas written by his cousin Uzeyir Hajibeyov. In “Shah Abbas and Khurshidbanu” he acted as poet Khurshidbanu Natavan.

In 1916, Agmad Agdamski was shot in “Arshin mal alan”, the first Azerbaijani comedy-film, which was based on motifs of an opera of the same name written by Uzeyir Hajibeyov.

Agdamski also played the female role of Gulchohra in the 1917 Azerbaijani film The Cloth Peddler.

He died on April 1, 1954.