Ancient theater hosts opera and ballet again

Ancient theater hosts opera and ballet again

ANKARA - Hürriyet Daily News
Ancient theater hosts opera and ballet again

Three ballets and seven opera shows will be staged by Turkish and international opera and ballet troupes in the Aspendos Ancient Theater during the festival.

The International Aspendos Opera and Ballet Festival will once again take place in the historic atmosphere of the Aspendos Ancient Theater in the southern province of Antalya. The 19th festival will open with the “Turandot” opera tomorrow.

The timing of this year’s festival has been changed, as it will be held over two separate legs, first from June 14 to July 4, and then from Sept. 3 to 15.

Three ballets and seven opera shows will be on stage at the festival, which is being organized by the State Opera and Ballet General Directorate. International guests will also attend the event, including the Estonian National Opera, the Yekaterinburg State Academic Opera and Ballet, the South Korean Daegu Opera and the Chinese Beijing Opera.

The festival will open tomorrow with Puccini’s “Turandot” opera. The three-act opera will be staged at the Aspendos Ancient Theater by the İzmir State Opera and Ballet, which is celebrating its 30th anniversary this year. The guest soprano from Kazakhstan, Gülzat Daurbayeva, will play the Chinese princess Turandot on the stage.

The first foreign orchestra of the festival will be the Estonian National Opera, which will accompany Italian composer Guiseppe Verdi’s opera “Rigoletto” on June 20.

Another foreign guest of the festival, Russia’s Yekaterinburg State Academic Opera and Ballet, will stage Alexander Borodin’s “Prince Igor” opera. The work, dramatizing the struggle of Russian Prince Igor Svyatoslavich against invaders in 1185, is considered one of the finest historical Russian operas. It will be staged on June 25.

The Yekaterinburg State Academic Opera and Ballet will stage on June 27 one more ballet at the festival, “Love and Death,” composed by former Azerbaijani Culture Minister and current Azerbaijani Ambassador to Moscow Polad Bülbüloğlu.

South Korea’s Daegu Opera will take the stage with the Antalya State Opera and Ballet orchestra and choir at the festival. The groups will perform Alexandre Dumas’ three-act opera “La Traviata” on June 30.

‘Zorba’ with Theodorakis’ unique music

One of the most anticipated performances of this year’s festival is the “Zorba” ballet. Staged by Mersin and Samsun State Opera and Ballet artists, it will be presented on July 4. The ballet has been adapted from Nikos Kazancakis’ famous novel and staged with the unique music of Greek composer Mikis Theodorakis. The renowned “Zorba” character will be played by legendary dancer Irek Mukhamedov.

The second leg of the festival will open on Sept. 3 with the Beijing Opera, which has been invited to the festival as part of the “Chinese Culture Year” in Turkey. The troupe will share the stage with Samsun State Opera and Ballet Orchestra and perform Puccini’s famous opera “Madame Butterfly.”

Antalya State Opera and Ballet will be on stage on Sept. 6 with Donizetti’s “Lucia Di Lammermoor” opera, one of the most powerful works in the world opera repertoire.

One of the most staged ballets in the world, “Swan Lake,” will also present a magnificent visual and aural feast for viewers on Sept. 10. Tchaikovsky’s famous work will be staged by a big troupe made up of State Opera and Ballet artists from six Turkish provinces. Renowned dancer Josef Varga will play the role of “Prince Siegfried.”

The festival will be brought to a close on Sept. 15 with the Ankara State Opera and Ballet’s version of Wagner’s legendary “Tannhauser” opera, staged by German director Peter Hans Lehmann.

All performances in June will start at 9 p.m., while the performances in September will start at 8:30 p.m.
Tickets for the festival are on sale via the website of the State Opera and Ballet, at prices ranging between 20 and 60 Turkish Liras.