Aspendos Festival to open in September
The 28th International Aspendos Opera and Ballet Festival will be organized by the Culture and Tourism Ministry at the Aspendos Ancient Theater in Antalya between Sept. 4 and 12 and will open with the opera “Murat IV.”
According to a written statement made by the General Directorate of State Opera and Ballet, the festival will present five shows this year, including two operas, a ballet and two concerts by the soloists of the State Opera and Ballet directorates to be accompanied by the Antalya State Opera and Ballet Orchestra.
The festival will start with the opera “Murat IV” by Turkish composer Okan Demiriş.
The play, which has an important place in the Turkish opera repertoire with its subject, inspired by the life of Sultan Murat IV, his relations with his mother Kösem Sultan and periodical and historical events, will be staged by the Antalya State Opera and Ballet artists on Sept. 4 at 9 p.m.
Haldun Özörten directed the three-act opera with the libretto by Turan Oflazoğlu. Under the direction of conductor Hakan Kalkan and choir conductor Mahir Seyrek, the work will be accompanied by the Antalya State Opera and Ballet Orchestra and the Antalya and Ankara State Opera Ballet choirs, with the decor design by Özgür Usta, the costume design by Gazal Erten and the lighting design by Mustafa Eski.
As part of the festival, on Sept. 10 at 9 p.m., Giacomo Puccini’s famous opera “Madama Butterfly” will meet with art lovers at the Aspendos Ancient Theater, accompanied by popular arias by Cio-Cio San on the stage.
The soloists, accompanied by the Antalya State Opera and Ballet Orchestra under the baton of Zdravko Georgiev Lazarov and the Antalya State Opera and Ballet choir under the baton of Mahir Seyrek, will tell the sad story of the American officer Pinkerton and the Japanese girl Cio-Cio San.
Director Yiğit Günsoy will stage the piece, in which South Korean opera singer soprano Lilla Lee will be a guest performer in the role of Madam Butterfly. The choreography of the work was made by Kürşat Kılıç, the decor design by Gürcan Kubilay, the costume design by Gülden Sayıl, and the lighting design by Mustafa Eski.
At the festival, the “3 sopranos, 3 tenors” concert with a wide repertoire, ranging from opera arias to Neapolitans, from symphonic folk songs to popular songs, will be presented on Sept. 15.
Under the direction of the conductor İbrahim Yazıcı, accompanied by the Antalya State Opera and Ballet Orchestra, sopranos Çiğdem Önol, Esin Talınlı, Funda Saltaş Ateşoğlu and tenors Ayhan Uştuk, Aykut Çınar and Şenol Talınlı will be on the stage.
The ballet “Pandemic,” which had its world premiere by the Antalya State Opera and Ballet sometime ago, will be staged on Sept. 18 as the only ballet piece in the festival.
Dedicated to heroic medics and featuring the pandemic process, the work shows the COVID-19 process through artistic performance. It is choreographed by Armağan Davran and Volkan and accompanied by the music of Bach, Vivaldi and Albinoni. The decor and costume design of the work was made by Çağda Çitkaya.
The festival will close on Sept. 23 with the “Gala Concert,” to be performed by the soloists of the State Opera and Ballet and the Antalya State Opera and Ballet Orchestra conducted by Zdravko Georgiev Lazarov.
In the concert, sopranos Burcu Uyar, Deniz Yetim, Görkem Ezgi Yıldırım, Nurdan Küçükekmekçi, mezzo-soprano Asude Karayavuz, tenor Cenk Biyik and baritones Gürhan Gürgen and Melih Tepretmez, will perform works by Verdi, Donizetti, Beethoven, Bizet and Lehar Bellini, etc.
Festival tickets are available at www.biletinial.com and the State Opera and Ballet ticket sales points.