Sunday, December 04, 2016

Premier; "La Bohéme", by Giacomo Puccini

Premier; "La Bohéme", by Giacomo Puccini, at Ankara Opera House

We have had the opportunity to watch the staging of the most beautiful opera in recent years. All my favorite voices were together at the Ankara Opera house last night premier. Saturday (December 3, 2016) night was Premier (first staging). The unique tenor Rodolfo (Murat Karahan), beautiful soprano Mimi (Esin Talinli), Marcello (Eralp Kıyıcı) and wonderful soprano Musetta (Zerrin Karslı).
Your writer is hard to please. But he liked the performance this time.
The performance is stage-directed by one of today’s most exciting young directors, the Swiss–Turkish musical director Aylin Bozok has created a wonderful job on the stage. As others have often done, she have not escaped with ridiculous erotic variations, fancy decorations, and expensive costumes.
Living in England, the Swiss Turkish director Aylin Bozok has staged an incredibly beautiful, plain, simple easily viewed performance. In the opera, she skipped details. There is no apparent key scene in the first play, no soldiers in the second play. You can hear the voice of the chorus, but they are at backstage. The children's choir is even more prominent. At the final stage, the sword game is made with simple imagination. There is almost no drink, no glasses, all hidden. No Café. Decor is made simple. Costume design is simple, particularly whitened downward, which led us to dreams. Maestro Alessandro Cedrone gave us an unforgettable night.
The second act was devoted to the Marcello-Musetta duo. They presented a separate love story. The children's choir at the end of the second screen was made up of children between the ages of 8 and 12, they were cute, talented, full of excitement and wonderful. Children must sing children choir in the opera. Their moms and dads filled the audience especially the balcony. They proudly watched their children. Parter was completely full.
In "La Bohéme" Opera, I love the characters Mimi (Esin Talınlı) and Musetta (Zerrin Karslı). In the evening premier, two super sopranos shared the roles. The poet Rodolfo (Murat Karahan), the painter Marcello (Eralp Kıyıcı), the philosopher Colline (Özgür Savaş Gençtürk), performed beautiful well balanced well-experienced voices filling the scene.
Schaunard (Emre Uluocak), Benoit (Levent Akev), Alcindoro (Yigitcan Tatlıoğlu) and Parpignol (Burak Pektaş) have supported the short roles. Parpignol has adorned the character scene, he made simple emotional pleasure in the silent role in the environment with the simple toy vendor character.
The orchestra was magnificent, the voices were almost perfect. Our Maestro "Alessandro Cedrone" was well-controlled, balanced, great, experienced, and soloists were good, emotional, powerful.
We audiences, had training as if they said "Opera is staged like this, it is played like this, it is performed like this".
On December 7-14-19-26, "LaBoheme" will be played again. I do not know if you can find tickets. I have already purchased tickets from the internet. This work will be played multiple times for sure, talked a lot. Absolutely it will be invited to international festivals. Staging will be licensed for sure.
What's the synopsis of "LaBoheme" opera? Let's summarize it in a few-lines. During 19th century Paris, a beautiful young girl and a poor poet fall in love in Bohemian environment. That's all. The girl eventually can not get proper treatment from her long term tuberculosis, in the end she dies. The poet continues to live in pain. It is a true story, written first as a novel, then played in the theater, and lastly applied to the opera. LaBoheme is one of the world's most popular operas.
Ankara opera season starts with continued program from previous year:
Giuseppe Verdi’s "La Traviata"
Giacomo Puccini's "La Boheme",
Georges Bizet's "Carmen" and "Signor Bruschino",
Johann Strauss’ “Gipsy Baron (Der Zigeunerbaron)" and "the Bat (Die Fledermaus)".

The new works this in Ankara are:
Jacques Offenbach’ Parisian Life", and "Tales of Hoffmann (les Contes d'Hoffmann)"
Ballets, "Hamlet" and" Yevgeny Onegin" will continue.

Turkey has reputable music conservatories. The opera experience in Turkey spans over a century. Turkish opera singers are great, they take world stages, world class. Opera and Ballet gives us a great daily escape from our daily travails, take a break. Go to the nearest opera house, choose the refuge and recharge your batteries.


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.

This article is written for the "EurasiaReview" news web site.
Ankara, 04 December 2016


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