Ballerinas and singers sport flawless makeup and costumes onstage
Antalya State Opera and Ballet (DOB) artists, working for the show for months, become completely different after wearing costumes and makeup. They get their makeup done hours before the start of a show. (AA Photo)
Antalya State Opera and Ballet (DOB) artists undergo huge, and dramatic, transformations for every show, sometimes having to apply six hours of makeup for a two-hour show. Their makeup and costumes enthrall the audiences often, as the artists frequently perform characters from different eras, from the 1500’s to the present day.
The artists, working for the show for months, become completely different after wearing the costumes and makeup. They get their makeup done hours before the start of a show.
The artists joke that they find it difficult to recognize their colleagues, with whom they have been preparing for months, especially after their transformative makeups.
Sema Çavuşoğlu Suna, one of the artists in the Mediterranean province of Antalya who gives life to the two-act “The Barber of Sevilla” by Gioacchino Rossini, which is one of the important works of the Italian comic opera, told the state-run Anadolu Agency that they were working for months before putting each work on stage.
Speaking about the importance of makeup in the show, Suna said, “Sometimes very interesting makeup is done. Once I had makeup done to look like a bird, then I was very surprised when I saw myself. We were like creatures in the character of the nymph; my ears were pointed. I was afraid of myself when I saw it in the mirror after the makeup.”
Tenor Devrim Demirel stated that they time-traveled thanks to the costumes and makeup and took on different character from different centuries.
Emphasizing that they make long preparations day and night, Demirel said, “After the makeup, I am now the character I will act as. I act with her thoughts and feelings.”
Gülçin Gültekin, who plays the role of “Berta” in “The Barber of Sevilla” and often sports heart-shaped lips, said that they sometimes portray very different characters, making them either wear wigs or makeup difficult to apply.
Stating that her husband is an opera artist, Gültekin said, “I went to the backstage to wish my wife good luck in his role ‘Murad VI.’ A sound came from the corridor as I knocked the door. I turned around and he wasn’t someone I knew. I soon realized that he was my husband. All friends laughed. We really change a lot after makeup. Sometimes I look in the mirror and say, ‘Is this me?’”
Baturalp Bilgili, who plays “Fiorello” and “Officer” in the same work, stated that his makeup changed three or four times during the show, and said, “I stay on stage for 45 minutes for this work, but my makeup lasts for one-and-a-half hours. Wearing makeup gives an artist a completely different sense of independence.”
Tülay Polatay, a make-up artist who draws a new character for every artist, said that she has been doing this job for 10 years and that she is happy to deal with paints and change people’s faces from character to character.
Polatay, who explained that every make-up is done carefully, said, “The more realistic the makeup is, the better the artist can take on his or her new character. Some makeup can last for 10 minutes, while others can last for hours. When the work is staged, we sometimes change the makeup of some actors four times. We remove it in three minutes and turn it into a completely different role. We sometimes make six hours of makeup for a two-hour show. We start preparations for plastic makeup 15 days in advance, we work on the face of the person, cast and dry.”