Ottoman-era opera on Ankara stage

Ottoman-era opera on Ankara stage

ANKARA - Anadolu Agency
Ottoman-era opera on Ankara stage

The Ankara State Opera and Ballet stages an Ottoman-era opera, which made its debut in 1846, Vincenzo Bellini’s ‘I Puritani’

The State Opera and Ballet (DOB) has brought the opera “I Puritani” (Love and Pride), which made its premiere in 1846 during the Ottoman era, to the stage once again.

Gürçil Çeliktaş, the producer of the opera, said that “I Puritani” made its world premiere in Paris and its Ottoman premiere in Istanbul. “The Republic-era premiere of the opera was held on Feb. 21 in Ankara this year,” he said.

Çeliktaş said that the opera’s libretto was written by Carlo Pepolli and it was originally a three-act opera. “We have removed some parts and made it more flowing. It was reduced to two acts,” he said.

He said that as well as love and pride, the opera features historical events, adding that the preparations took four months.

“I Puritani” boosted the fame of Vincenzo Bellini, one of the most important representatives of romantic Italian opera, especially in the Bel Canto style, Çelikaş said. “The opera tells the love story between Arturo Talbo, a supporter of the Stuart monarchy during the English civil war, and Elvira, the daughter of Puritan Governor Lord Gualtiero Valton,” he said.

He said the four main characters in the work, soprano Elvira, tenor Arturo, baritone Riccardo and bass Giorgio, were called the “Puritani Quartet” by the world’s opera companies.

Artists perform extemporarily

Çeliktaş said that because of its music, “I Puritani” was hard work.

“The opera is being staged by the DOB for the first time. Its Ottoman-era premiere was made in 1846 at the Istanbul Naum Theater by an Italian opera company. The music of the opera is in the Ben Canto style, which is entertaining but difficult. Bel canto means beautiful singing in a certain style. The soloist’s culture, personality, breath and virtuosity should be added to this style,” he said.

The opera will be performed by ADOB in March and April.