Wednesday, March 26, 2014

"Attila", in Ankara Opera House,

Opera composed by Giuseppe Verdi
A personal Opinion

Dear Readers,

Attila opera premiere was on Ankara State Opera on the evening of 22-February 2014. Opera music was written by Italian composer Giuseppe Verdi. It ıs so surprising that Attila was not played earlier in Ankara, such a wonderful music, what a pity. We got our tickets for the premiere night 15-days before through internet at 09:30 hours. Within 5-minutes, all tickets were sold. I made a few second hesitation for selection, so I got from the last row.

On Premiere night, we were in the opera house quite early. That night was sponsored by the Italian institute and Italian Embassy in Ankara, so all their staff were in the Ankara opera house even earlier than us in full squad. You could see opera singers in the foyer, even they sit next to you. If they would be in the cast but not on stage on the same night. They would ding the same song with the player on the stage as if an supernatural fantastic echo would come to your ears.

Prior to attending the performance on stage, I completed my homework for Attila. I listed to its music twice at home from its CD. I could follow the music. In the opera foyer, we met with our opera lover colleagues, for a quick chat and exchange for information on similar events.

We purchased the opera catalog, made sure that we all know details. Catalogs were reviewed, then will be filed in our library for the collection of memorabilia.

Author tells about the history of invading forces of Attila the Hun (reign AD434-453) in Italy. Attila has military forces hard to beat that time. Only Roman women have resistance power to stop this military force, killed him. In the end, Attila is killed by Odabella, beautiful Roman woman with her sword, and Roma is liberated. Libretto was written by Solera Temistocle. His Story is fictitiously changed since from Roman written sources, in reality we know that Attila the Hun died from heavy nose bleed due to hypertension.

Opera was staged in Venice in 1846 for the first time, and our performance is the first time in Turkey after so many years. "Is timing meaningful?" Here we are not talking about democracy, but we know that Roman civilization had great legal and social infrastructure and written documentation on all activities. If these events were not written in detail by Romans, we would never know the invading forces of Attila the Hun.

Opera music began with a spectacular overture. Orchestra took the lead, with conductor Lorenzo Castriota who had created extraordinary performance. We had Alessandro Cedrone as the conductor in the second and third nights.

We had Andrejs Zagars the world famous Lethonian opera director and his assistant director Gediminas Seduikis both know their job very well.

It was the Premiere night, and stage excitement were apparent and high to easily recognize in the opera singers. Some sounds were broken, so easy to understand even for not so educated ears like your writer. Anyhow all will be in order in 2-3 more performance. Verdi's masterpiece was composed almost 150 years ago, but it was the first time on Ankara opera house.

In Ankara opera house, singers should perform singing at curtain line, if they become a bit inside, then their voices can not reach to the audience. If they are 5-meter inside, they are completely unheard. That is the secret of the hall.

On Premiere night, bass Tuncay Kurtoglu was fantastic in his lead Attila character. It was the first time for a bass voice to have lead role. His theatrical as well as singing performance was exceptional. He repeated his superiority in the second and third nights.

Tenor Ünüşan Kuloğlu in the role of Roman warrior Foresto was very good in all three nights. Soprano Feryal Türkoğlu on Premiere night, and Soprano Reyhan Görbil on second and third nights, were good as beautiful Roman woman Odabella in singing and killing Attilla the Hun in the last act. Roman Ezio character was played by baritone Serkan Kocadere, and Cem Beran Sertkaya. They were also very good in singing and in their theatrical acting.

We watched all three performances. Verdi's masterpiece Attila Opera is fantastic, melodies are extraordinary. Opera is originally composed in 3-acts but played in 2-acts in Ankara which is a good decision.

We should see Attila opera in Aspendos and in Istanbul opera festival later this summer. Do not miss this extraordinary opera performance. This is the first time in Ankara since composed in 1846 by Giuseppe Verdi.

Ankara, March-29, 2014

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