Heart of opera and ballet set to beat in Aspendos

Heart of opera and ballet set to beat in Aspendos

Heart of opera and ballet set to beat in Aspendos

DHA Photo

The 2,000-year-old Aspendos Theater in the southern Turkish province of Antalya is ready to stage this year’s opera and ballet festival with a program that includes the Korean National Opera, as well as artists from Bulgaria and the Turkic world.

Heart of opera and ballet set to beat in Aspendos

AA Photo

“Reaching out to foreign tourists in Antalya is very important but it would be wrong that the festival is staged only for them. Participation of Turkish tourists and locals is also important for us,” Yener Turan, president of the 22nd International Aspendos Opera and Ballet Festival, told the Anadolu Agency.

In this year’s festival, three concerts, two ballets and two operas are scheduled to be staged between Sept. 5 and Sept. 24. The festival will open with gala concert by the Mersin İzmir State Opera and Ballet on Sept. 5, featuring masterpieces of Giuseppe Verdi, Giacomo Puccini, Piyotr Ilyich Tchaikovsky, Georgez Bizet, Charles Gounod and Selman Ada. The Korean National Opera’s “Soulmate” will be staged on Sept.  20.

Beside foreign groups and soloists, opera and ballet artists from the Turkish cities of İzmir, Ankara, Mersin and Antalya will join the event this year. 

Turan highlighted the historic atmosphere of the Aspendos Theater while explaining why the festival is a special occasion.

After stressing that Istanbul has an international opera festival, Bodrum has an international ballet festival, Antalya has an international opera and ballet festival and Eskişehir organizes opera and ballet days, Turan said the new priority of the State Opera and Ballet General Directorate is to expand the events to Turkey’s east. 

“To do this, we have started the opera and ballet days in Mardin. It attached public attention at a scale that we didn’t expect. Now we are planning to stage festivals in Diyarbakır, Van and Trabzon, too. We have already started preparations,” he said.

The festival has been organized with the collaboration of the Culture and Tourism Ministry and the State Opera and Ballet General Directorate since 1994. It gained international status in 1998, being one of the most important organizations in the international art scene. So far, the festival has brought together many Turkish and foreign artists and groups in the extraordinary acoustics of the Aspendos Theater.