Opera celebrates 100th year of Atatürk’s arrival in Samsun
The opera, performed by the Samsun State Opera and Ballet, commemorates the 100th anniversary of Republic of Turkey founder Mustafa Kemal Atatürk’s arrival in the Black Sea province of Samsun on May 19, 1919 to start the War of Independence.
Using arias, duets, chorus music and dances, the opera opens with the story of the people who were forced to migrate from Istanbul to Rumelia after the 1912-1913 Balkan War and depicts the historical events leading up to the proclamation of the Turkish Republic.
The opera follows the events of World War I, the Dardanelles Campaign, Istanbul during the years of occupation, the journey to Samsun on the Bandırma Ferry, the Amasya, Erzurum and Sivas congresses and the Great Offensive.
As a first in the history of Turkish opera, Atatürk will also be portrayed on the opera stage. Tenor Ali Murat Erengül, one of the artists of Istanbul State Opera and Ballet, will play the role of Atatürk. His mother, Zübeyde Hanım, will be portrayed by Hatice Zeliha Kökcek.
Nearly 130 artists will perform on stage in the opera. Among them are Eda Bingöl Gürkan, Sezgi Elhüseyni, Gürkan Sezgin, Murat Göçken, Cüneyt Erdoğan, Yunusemre Kemal Sönmez, Bilal Doğan, Eray Dönmez, Hakkı Balkaş, Metin Bayram and Hasan Çelik.