Festivals to reunite with public in summer
The State Opera and Ballet is preparing to present the International Istanbul Opera Festival, the International Aspendos Opera and Ballet Festival, the International Ephesus Opera and Ballet Festival and the International Bodrum Ballet Festival to art lovers this summer by taking the COVID-19 measures strictly.
Speaking to the state-run Anadolu Agency, Murat Karahan, the general director of the State Opera and Ballet, provided information about the recent works and the preparations for the opera and ballet festivals.
Karahan said that the COVID-19 negatively affected art worldwide, where many important opera and ballet houses had to stop their performances.
Reminding that though they held the Ephesus, Aspendos and Istanbul opera festivals last year despite the pandemic with the reduced number of groups, Karahan stated that they could not present the Bodrum Ballet Festival because “the ballet was not suitable for representation under pandemic conditions.”
Karahan said that despite opening the 2020-2021 season, although not with great works, they had to interrupt the performances due to the measures.
“With the projects that we made in partnership with [Turkish state-run television channel] TRT 2 in this period, the State Opera and Ballet presented two or three concerts that were prepared in each province and shot by TRT,” he added.
Bodrum Ballet Festival will be held this year
“With the start of the normalization process and the acceleration of vaccinations, we want to give art lovers a summer full of art this year. We will hold our four classical festivals: the International Istanbul Opera Festival, the International Aspendos Opera and Ballet Festival, the International Ephesus Opera and Ballet Festival and the International Bodrum Ballet Festival,” Karahan said.
Noting that they will start the festivals with the Istanbul Opera Festival in July, Karahan said that they would perform as the State Opera and Ballet in July and August at the Bodrum Kaleiçi events, being organized by the Culture and Tourism Ministry for the last few years.
Noting that they could not hold the Bodrum Ballet Festival last year upon the demands of the ballet’s chief choreographers, Karahan said: “We will organize the Bodrum Ballet Festival from the beginning of July to the middle of August. The Ephesus Opera and Ballet Festival will take place from the end of August to the beginning of September. And sometime in September, the Aspendos Opera and Ballet Festival will take place. We have prepared full programs. We are very cautious about the pandemic. Last year, we organized the festivals by taking all the precautions for the artists and the audience. This year, the same measures will continue more strictly.”
Karahan noted that they would announce the festival dates and works and performances in the coming days and put the tickets on sale.
Karahan stated that they have prepared plans A, B and C with six provincial directors since the beginning of the pandemic and that the alternatives were ready in these provinces to open the season in September.
“Whatever the conditions of the pandemic are, the slightly reduced or thoroughly reduced options are ready. According to the course of the pandemic, we will put one of our three plans into effect, and we will open the new art season in September. We hope that maybe we can open our stages with grand operas very soon.”
He also said that they would add more than 70 artists to the State Opera and Ballet.