Saturday, September 20, 2014

What's new in 2014-2015 season at the Turkish Opera?

Dear Readers,

As summer comes to a close, we look forward to the new season in arts. Let’s look at the new opera season today. Unlike their counterparts in other countries, Turkish opera companies do not announce their plans ahead of time. Most commonly, the Turkish opera company program announcements arrive only two to four weeks in advance. As we tried to glean the new season plans of opera companies through a variety of sources and will report here, albeit the plans are not yet final.

First, a bit of news from the past summer: Ankara State Opera performed Mozart's "Abduction from the Seraglio" in Sicily's Taormina city Opera festival on 6th September to great acclaim.

Official web site is recently renewed for new season. But it is still not finalized since the most programs are not officially announced. From various sources, we have gathered the new opera program but it is still not final yet.

We have great opera works in Izmir opera house.
Season starts on 1st october with Verdi's "Aida" opera.
Then we shall have Puccini's "Madame Butterfly".
This year "Tosca" will be on stage.
Brahms’s "Requiem" will be performed in concert.
In the current repertoire, we have
Donizetti's "Don Pasquale" and "Regiment's Daughter",
Handel’s "Agrippina",
Bellini's "La Sonnambula" (Sleepwalking Girl).
We should see all of them multiple times to compare different casts.

The number of opera locations are now reached to 5(five) now. Alhambra, Sabanci cultural center, Ahmet Adnan Saygun cultural center, Karsiyaka, Bostanli. In addition, we have university auditoriums, and ancient theaters available venues for opera performances.

Ankara Opera house will open the new season with Bizet's "Carmen" on 1st October. In the repertoire, we shall have
Verdi's "Rigoletto", "Macbeth" and "Attila",
Strauss "Die Fledermause" (the bat)
Mozart's "Don Giovanni" and "Abduction from the Seraglio".

We have learnt that Wagner's "Das Rheingold" opera is in preparation in early 2015. Furthermore we shall have opera concerts in Bilkent, Odeon, Congressium and Presidential Symphony.

Istanbul Sureyya opera house will perform
Verdi "La Traviata"
Donizetti "L'Elixir d'amore"
Strauss "Ariadne on Naxos "
Offenbach "Tales of Hoffman"
Rossini "La Cenerentola" (Cinderella)
Bellini "La Sonnambula" (Sleepwalking Girl)

The biggest opera house in Istanbul, Ataturk cultural center in Taksim square is still closed for never ending renovation. Fulya and Bakirkoy new concert halls are suitable for opera performances, but they still do not have regular opera programs yet.

Istanbul Zorlu Center for the Performing Arts (Zorlu PSM) will host London Royal Opera House artists to perform Puccini's "La Boheme" on 18-20-22-24 January 2015. Tickets are available to buy from internet, and Prices are changing between 95-350 Turkish Lira. Zorlu PSM is an entirely commercial identity with 2500 audience capacity.

In Samsun, the recent opera performances are
Franz Lehar's "The Merry Widow",
Mozart "The Magic Flute"
In Repertoire, we shall have,
Puccini "Madame Butterfly" and "La Boheme".
Opera Season in Samsun will start on 24 September with Carl Orf's "Carmina Burana" concert on stage.

In Mersin, in the historical cultural center from late Ottoman, Levantine Period, we shall have,
Puccini "La Boheme" and "Madame Butterfly",
Bizet's "Carmen"

In Antalya, in the Modern Culture center, we shall have following operas in the repertoire.
Verdi "La Traviata,"
Puccini "Tosca"
Mozart "The Marriage of Figaro" and "Don Giovanni",
Ali Hoca "Tulip Craze",
Verdi "Macbeth,"
Handel "Hercules",
Rossini " A Turk in Italy "will be on stage.

If we shall be in a metropolitan city with an opera house for any reason such as business meeting, seminar, fair, conference, we have to check for an opera program at least 15-days or 1-month earlier to buy tickets at night for opera. We should not limit ourselves only for local operas, but we should check opera programs in Moscow, St.Petersburg, Paris, london, NewYork, Sydney, Berlin, Milan as well. On business trips to overseas, an opportunity to see an opera performance would be great personal gain.

YouTube releases past opera performances in full. Munich opera house broadcasts live opera performance almost every month. London Royal opera house, NewYork metropolitan opera house have similar internet broadcasts with some paid subscriptions.

You should not go to opera performances unprepared. You should listen to its music at home, in the car, at work, by playing cassettes, CD, iPod, mp3 player, radio, PC, whatever you have. You can open up youtube on you PC, nonstop multiple times for at least 2-3 days prior to the live performance you will watch on stage. Each note of music, each melody should be in your mind. It is not necessary to take conservatory training in order to enjoy opera music.

Opera performances are to get critics, it is not important whether it is good or bad. If there is no critics, it is not good at all. On the other hand, we critics are not supposed to love every performance.

We should buy program booklet. One for each audience is to be distributed. Do not try to read the booklet prior to opera performance. You should read the topic much earlier. Do not try to read the digital translations. Enjoy the live music.

After the opera performance, spend half an hour in nearby coffee shop, drink black coffee with no sugar to keep yourself awake while driving. In the meantime, crowd is dispersed, it becomes easier to drive or find a taxi to return home. We wish all the best for all Opera lovers.

Prinkipo, 25-Sep, 2014

Haluk Direskeneli, is a graduate of METU Mechanical Engineering department (1973). He worked in public, private enterprises, USA Turkish JV companies (B&W, CSWI, AEP), in fabrication, basic and detail design, marketing, sales and project management of thermal power plants. He is currently working as freelance consultant/ energy analyst with thermal power plants basic/ detail design software expertise for private engineering companies, investors, universities and research institutions. He is a member of ODTÜ Alumni and Chamber of Turkish Mechanical Engineers Energy Working Group.


Blogger Karen said...

That is an impressive amount of opera being performed nationwide!

10:21 PM  

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