Aspendos Opera and Ballet Festival prepares for summer

Aspendos Opera and Ballet Festival prepares for summer

ISTANBUL - Anatolia News Agency
Aspendos Opera and Ballet Festival prepares for summer

This year the festival will focus on Guiseppe Verdi on the 200th anniversary celebrations of Verdi’s birth. Artists will perform exclusive solos and duets by Verdi. AA photo

The State Opera and Ballet General Directorate (DOB) is preparing for the Aspendos Opera and Ballet Festival, which will begin on June 2 and continue until June 22. There will be many foreign and Turkish artists visiting the Aspendos festival this year.

Speaking to Anatolia news agency, DOB festival organizer Mehmet Yılmaz said this year the festival would focus on Guiseppe Verdi because of the 200th anniversary celebrations of Verdi’s birth. Artists will perform exclusive solos and duets by Verdi.

DOB manager Rengim Gökmen has taken the first steps for the festival, Yılmaz said. This year the repertoire was once again prepared by Gökmen.

The opening of the festival will be made with tenor and orchestra conductor Jose Cura on June 2 at the 20th Anniversary Gala concert.

World premiere

The Aspendos Ancient Theater stage will witness a world ballet premiere on June 5, celebrating the festival’s 20th year.

The music for the work was composed by Hasan Niyazi Tura, its choreography was done by Nuzgar Magalashwil and the libretto by Şefik Kahramankaptan. The work, titled “Centuries’ Love on Aspendos,” will be staged by Antalya State Opera and Ballet artists.

Yılmaz said it was known that the work used be staged for kings and queens at the time the stage was built by architect Zenon. The work will transport the audience to ancient times, according to Yılmaz.

On June 12 Verdi’s “Aida” opera, which has its world premiere in Cairo in 1871, will be on stage.
The opera will be staged by Czech National Brno Theater and artists of the Ankara State Opera and Ballet.

”On June 15 the Ankara State Opera will be staging the ‘Rigoletto’ opera by Yekta Kara. On June 19 Russian composer Pyotr Tchaikovsky’s Swan Lake will be on stage. This season the choreography of the ballet has been conceived by Mehmet Balkan, in a departure from the earlier choreography of Petipa and Ivanov,” Yılmaz said.

Özge Başaran and Deniz Zirek will be taking the stage in the role of Odette, and Odile will be played by İlke Kodal, Tülay Yalçınkaya and Müge Celiloğlu. Jozef Varga from the Dutch National Ballet (Het National Ballet) will take on the role of Prince Siegfried as a guest artist of the ballet. The costumes will be made by Savaş Camgöz.

The first performance of Swan Lake in Turkey took place in 1965 in Ankara. Meriç Sümen and Gülcan Tunççekiç played the roles of Odette and Prince Siegfried. İDOB once again staged the ballet in Paris in 1974.

The festival is not only contributing to the arts and culture scene but also tourism in the area, according to Yılmaz. During the festival many tourists come to the area to see the shows.

Yılmaz said Aspendos had many different civilizations and ruins so it attracted both national and international tourists.

“We can only use Aspendos’ lower part. The other parts have not been restored yet,” said Yılmaz.

Noting that the restorations are still going on, Yılmaz said they hosted 2,500 people. A total of 6,000 or 7,000 may watch the shows after the restorations, he added. However, currently only acoustic works are staged because others may damage the architecture.