Göbeklitepe-themed opera to be performed in Ankara
Turkey’s Göbeklitepe, the world’s earliest-known temple in the southeastern province of Şanlıurfa, is the subject of the new upcoming opera directed by Murat Karahan, the tenor of the Turkish State Opera and Ballet (DOB), and choreographed by Volkan Ersoy.
DOB has finalized preparations to present a great piece of art that reflects the mystery and value of that thousands of years of history.
Speaking to state-run Anadolu Agency, Karahan said that artists and technical team were working “very successfully” and that the stage that bears a “striking resemblance” to Göbeklitepe.
He said Göbeklitepe is a place that changed the history of the whole world, adding, “Göbeklitepe is a place that the whole world is interested in, and fortunately it is on our land. We, as the State Opera and Ballet, try to do our best to promote Göbeklitepe.”
Karahan stated that Can Atilla composed the work, adding that they will present a production in which the ballet will be on stage for half an hour, and the ballet and the opera are intertwined in this production.
The conductor of the orchestra is Tolga Taviş, he said.
“We are very excited and very hopeful about this work. All tickets to the world premiere that will take place on Feb. 19 at the Congresium are sold out. Ankara residents will fill the hall of the 3,000-people capacity. This is the success of Turkish opera and our institution. It will be a nice evening. We will have guests from many world operas. The ambassadors of 10 countries will also be with us. “
Karahan said that they thought of using three-dimensional mapping technology at first, but they were indecisive on whether to use mapping after seeing the final version of the realistic, gigantic and flashy décor. He said they were excited to present a successful visual to the audience.
Speaking about the hats, flowers, and necklaces to be used in the opera, he said that they were handcrafted by highly skilled women and were designed after great studies and researches.
Choreographer Volkan Ersoy also pointed out that Göbeklitepe’s mystery has increased the interest and expectation in the work.
“I preferred the style of contemporary and neo-classical dance expression rather than classical dance,” Ersoy said.
He said they will be performing to the music of Atilla with 30 ballet dancers along with Tan Sağtürk, one of the best-known Turkish ballet dancers.
Sağtürk said that he will perform the man of wisdom in Göbeklitepe in the opera, adding, “I performed the role of Hector last year in the ‘Troy’ opera. ‘Göbeklitepe’ is a wide-ranging project where both ballet and opera are intertwined. A crowded dance and choir group performs. I will be a soloist in the dance group. I will be the prophet and the person who knows Göbeklitepe.”
Göbeklitepe is an official UNESCO World Heritage Site and is recognized as the oldest temple in the world by many international organizations.
The site got extra attention after Turkey declared 2019 the year of Göbeklitepe.
Despite the rise in temperature, high numbers of visitors visit the historical temple, said Kamil Turkmen, chairman of Tourism Profession Committee in Şanlıurfa Chamber of Commerce and Industry.