Concerts, Ballet & Opera
Almaty has a good theatre and musical scene, and it’s well worth catching at least one performance while you’re here. Keep an eye open for concerts by the Sazgen Sazy (www.sazgen-sazy.kz) or Otrar Sazy folk orchestras.
Abay State Opera & Ballet Theatre (www.gatob.kz; Kabanbay Batyr 110; ticket office 10am-1pm & 2-6pm) Almaty’s top cultural venue, with three or four performances a week at 5pm or 6.30pm. Some get sold out a week or more ahead. Classics such as Swan Lake, La Boheme, Aida and Carmen are a few of the regular shows. Also look out for Kazakh operas such as Abay and Abylay Khan.
State Philharmonia (www.philharmonic.kz; Kaldayakov 35) offers a range of performances including symphony, chamber, jazz, organ and traditional music.
If you want to listen Live Music visit:
Zhest (www.zhest.kz; Abay 44B; working hours 10pm-8am Thu-Sat) This Nissen-hutlike building (the name means Tin) on the east side of the Central Stadium is a legendary live-rock venue. Top Kazakh, Russian and occasional international bands (eg Nazareth) rock the joint every weekend. Be sure to stay on the bouncers’ good side.
Guns & Roses (Dostyk 52/2; admission is free, working hours 2pm-3am) Assorted combos of rock, blues, and jazz musicians, most featuring the talented Indian Mark, play good music nightly except Monday from 9pm in this large expat pub in the Hotel Kazakhstan. There’s expat pub food, space to dance and usually a good crowd in. Happy hour is 5pm to 8pm Monday to Thursday.
Soho has a polished rock and blues band nightly from 10pm.