Istanbul Opera Festival starts
The 5th International Istanbul Opera festival starts today, presenting the Istanbul audience with a rich program including local and foreign artists until June 17.
The festival will open on June 3 at Zorlu Center PSM with “Attila,” one of Giuseppe Verdi’s classic operas, a production of the Ankara State Opera and Ballet. The premiere was performed by the Ankara State Opera and Ballet earlier this year and each performance this season played to full houses. In the work, staged by the famous director Andrejs Zagars, Attila’s love for Odabella, who was captured during Roma’s invasion, and the latter’s plans for revenge are told.
On June 6, Gioachino Rossini’s “Mehmet II” will be staged by the Istanbul State Opera and Ballet under the name “Fatih Sultan Mehmet,” directed by the head director of the State Opera and Ballet, Yekta Kara. The Janissary Band Group will appear on the opera stage for the first time ever, also with the participation of hundreds of artists on the Zorlu Center PSM stage. The opera was also presented in the first year of the festival.
On June 9 and 10, Mozart’s “Abduction from the Seraglio” will be performed by the Samsun State Opera and Ballet, with the participation of solo artists from Istanbul, Ankara and İzmir. The opera will be directed by Yekta Kara, who has directed the same opera many times abroad. The piece emphasizes the differences of players coming from Eastern and Western cultures, with Selim Pasha presented as the main character of the play. The work will be staged in the garden of the Istanbul Archeology Museum.
In this year’s festival, many operas will be seen for the first time on different stages. Among them is “Birjan and Sara” by Kazakh composer Mukan Tulebayev, which will be staged on June 13 by the Samsun State Opera and Ballet at the Bakırköy Leyla Gencer Opera Stage. The work’s Turkish premiere was held last year in honor of Tulebayev’s 100th birthday.
Salzburg State Opera
On June 14 and 15 at the Kadıköy Süreyya Opera Theater, C.W. Gluck’s “Unexpected Encounter” will be presented to with two performances by the Salzburg State Opera. In the work, Gluck brings together many disparate factors such as oriental folk dancing and classical arias. The Salzburg State Opera, which adapts the adventures of a colorful pilgrimage group on the deck of the Nil ferryboat on the way to the Cairo port, will meet Istanbul audiences for the first time in the festival.
The 5th International Istanbul Opera Festival will continue with a very important work in the history of Turkish musical theater: Cemal Reşit Rey’s “Luxurious Life,” which will be staged at the Bakırköy Leyla Gencer Opera Stage on June 15 and 16 by the Mersin State Opera and Ballet. It will be directed by veteran theater actor Haldun Dormen.
For the closing of the festival on June 17, the world famous baritone Dmitri Hvorostovsky will be on stage for a gala concert. The artist, who has been one of the favorite artists for major opera stages in the world, will be accompanied by soprano Ana Maria Martinez and the Istanbul State Opera and Ballet Band. The concert will be performed at Zorlu Center PSM and orchestrated by maestro Constantine Orbelian.
The International Istanbul Opera Festival has been organized for five years by the Directorate General of State Opera and Ballet with the contributions of DenizBank.