Murat IV opera to open in Ankara after eight years
The opera tells the tale of 17th century Ottoman Sultan Murat IV, whose life has also been the subject of movies, TV series and theater plays. It will premiere on Nov. 29 under the direction of İzmir State Opera and Ballet Art Director and Deputy Director Haldun Özörten.
Speaking to state-run Anadolu Agency, Özörten said Murat IV was composed by orchestra conductor Okan Demiriş, with its libretto written by Turan Oflazoğlu.
He said the opera would greet art lovers in Ankara after an eight-year hiatus. “Murat IV is one of the cornerstones of Turkish opera history. It has presented Turkey to the international stage. Its music is universal and reflects us,” he added.
Özörten said recreating the historical epoch of Murat IV was one of the most difficult parts of making the opera. He said they attached great importance to the acting. “Our actors made great efforts to rehearse the piece over a one-month period. We are getting ready to appear before the Ankara audience with magnificent décor and costumes,” he said. Özörten said nearly 300 people have contributed to the production, including the stage, orchestra and technical teams.
Özörten said their interpretation of the opera aspired to reflect the inner life of Murat IV, who became a sultan at the age of 11, lived until the age of 29 and remained under the pressure of his mother Kösem Sultan throughout his life.
He also noted that the image of Ottoman sultans living with hundreds of woman in their seraglio did not faithfully represent their complicated inner lives.
“We see them as happy, successful people living in splendid palaces, but on the inside, they were just like us. We want to examine the pressure from his mother and his fear of death. Why did the sultan become so ill-tempered? Why did he kill a nine-year-old child just because he did not have a lantern on the street during a curfew? What was happening in his inner-life?” he said.
Özörten said the opera, which was previously staged in İzmir, would come to Ankara in a brand new production.
“Opera is normally very expensive. Tickets cost 100 or 200 euros in Europe. But here tickets cost between 30-40 Turkish Liras. Even people who don’t like opera should come and see what we are doing. I believe we can touch their hearts,” he said.