Opera Festival opens in Istanbul
ISTANBUL - Hürriyet Daily News
The two-act ‘Tulip Mania,’ composed by Ali Hoca for the 400th year of Turkish- Dutch relations, will be staged by the Antalya State Opera and Ballet. DHA photo
The 4th International Istanbul Opera Festival opened on June 26 with Verdi’s “Rigoletto” opera at the Haliç Congress Center. The State Opera and Ballet Director and the International Istanbul Opera Festival art director Yekta Kara, speaking to Anadolu Agency, said the hall was packed for the performance despite the recent hot days. “The festival befits Istanbul,” he said.
Kara said he had modernized the work, staying true to the message of the composer and libretto writer, adding that opera was not a type of art for the elite section but rather for everyone.
“I have carried the work to Naples of 1920s. Naples was the center of the mafia. I was symbolizing a male-dominant culture in which women were commoditized,” Kara said, stressing that “change” was at the core of “Rigoletto.”
The opera, regarded as a “golden age work” of Verdi, was staged by the Ankara State Opera and Ballet artists under the conduction of the State Opera and Ballet General Director Professor Rengim Gökmen.
In the opera, written by Francesco Maria Piave and based on the play “Le Roi s’amuse” by Victor Hugo, the honorary guest of the festival, Ekaterina Siurina, was on the stage with the role of “Gilda.”
The two-week festival will feature nine productions, including five opera productions and a gala concert. As well as works by the Istanbul, Ankara, Antalya and Samsun state opera and ballets, the audience will view Viva Verdi gala concert in the magical atmosphere of Hagia Irene.
On June 27 and 29, the Istanbul State Opera and Ballet will perform the “Bajazet” opera by baroque composer Antonio Vivaldi at the Kadıköy Süreyya Opera. The Turkey premier of this opera was made in last year’s festival and drew significant interest, telling the story of the great victory of Tamerlane over the Ottoman sultan Beyazit.
The two-act “Tulip Mania,” composed by Ali Hoca for the 400th year of Turkish-Dutch relations, will be staged by the Antalya State Opera and Ballet on June 28 at the Bahçeşehir Culture and Arts Center.
On July 1, Hagia Irene will host the Via Verdi gala concert. Soprano Aleksandra Kurzak, bartion Marco Vratogna and tenors Stefano Secco and Marco Berti will be on the stage, for a concert that will be conducted by Roberto Abbado.
The artists will be accompanied by the Istanbul State Opera and Ballet artists.
Samsun State Opera and Ballet will be on the stage on July 3 and 4 with two performances. Mozart’s famous opera “Abduction from Seraglio” will be staged at the Topkapı Palace under the direction of Kara.
The same trope will also stage “Sultan Murad IV” opera on July 7 and 8 in the same venue.
Tickets for the festival can be purchased from MyBilet.