Turkey’s opera, ballet scene reaches record number of audiences
Speaking to state-run Anadolu Agency, DOB general director and tenor Murat Karahan said that they had opened the season with the International Opera Festival and organized the International Bodrum Ballet Festival, International Ephesus Opera Festival and lastly the International Aspendos Opera and Ballet Festival.
Karahan said that the 26th Aspendos Opera and Ballet Festival, which was held in the southern province of Antalya between Sept. 1 and 18, drew great interest, and that Aspendos and the EXPO field hosted over 1,000 artists including orchestras, soloists, choirs and dancers.
Stating that the Aspendos Festival was one of the oldest festivals in the world, Karahan said that the event was recognized in the world.
Karahan pointed out that interest in the festival started to increase in the last two years, adding, “There has been a slowdown in the past few years, but there is now an upward trend. We also expect support from hotel operators from tourism companies. This year we have coordinated to a certain extent, but we need to make this work much more seriously, professionally and effectively.”
Karahan said that the festivals were over for the summer period and that the normal season would start at the end of this month, adding that DOB was working for 12 months.
Karahan emphasized that Turkish people had a high interest in opera and ballet and participated in events in different countries.
“The world’s youngest opera and ballet audiences are in Europe and in Turkey. When you look at the world, the average age of the audience is over 50-60. In Turkey, the average is 40, or even younger. It is very important to have a young audience for the future of art,” he said.
[HH] Nearly 17 percent increase
Karahan said it was overall a good season.
“We had a great season, the records came one after the other. We have reached audience and revenue figures that have never been reached. We are so proud. We have reached more audiences than in previous years. With the festivals organized in Antalya, Istanbul, Bodrum and İzmir, we reached approximately 30,000 viewers. This is a record number for us. This also affected our revenues positively. The summer was a successful season. We saw an increase of 17 percent in audience numbers and revenue compared to last year. We have an upward trend and it will continue in the coming season.”