The opera and ballet festival season has started in Turkey, marking three prominent sets of concerts and shows that are expected to earn high admiration and sell out performances. Arts have been a focal feature of Turkish society since the formation of its republic in 1923, yet thanks to the country’s emergence onto the world stage as a leader of excellence in many art forms, increasingly international attention is being lavished on concerts, festivals, teachers and students.
Respected performers are the State Opera and Ballet companies from Mersin, Istanbul and Samsun, three areas of Turkey known for their love of arts and culture. Appearances from like-minded institutes around the world will also take place, and between concerts, schools across Turkey are holding open days to promote opera and ballet to novice and interested parties who want to know more.
The festival season started on June the 13th at the Istanbul Archaeology Museum Gardens with a concert by the Istanbul State Opera and Ballet company. Now in its 8th year, directors of the 10-day festival are reporting sell out performances and increased interest in the specialised art form. Organisers feared rainfall would put off the audience, but they turned out in droves to listen to the apt “Abduction from the Seraglio” by Mozart.
The renowned and worldly successful, masterpiece was first shown to the public in 1782. Focusing on the story of Konstanze, a German lady imprisoned in the palace of the Ottoman Pasha Selim, Mozart made incredible use of Turkish music sounds with instruments such as the piccolo flutes depicting a slight trace of Janissaries music, that was the dominant niche of the old Ottoman guards.
Directors said the setting was the perfect place to perform, what is, many opera lovers favourite piece. Including a performance of Macbeth, a total of six concerts will eventually bring the festival to a close in what the directors are hoping, is a proven increase in Turkish people’s interest in opera.
Art lovers are also looking forward to the 15th Bodrum Ballet Festival, that will run from the 24th of July to the 12th of August. The scenic setting of Bodrum Castle is known to promote a surreal atmosphere perfectly adding to the vibes and intensity of performances. International performers taking part stem from Russia, Spain and Kazakhstan. Tickets prices range from 40 to 100 Turkish lira and are on sale now (https://www.bodrumballetfestival.gov.tr/en/ )
Otherwise, fans can still buy tickets for the 24th International Aspendos and Ballet Festival. Held from August the 24th to September the 4th, the 11-day event will also feature the Moscow State Ballet for the closing performance. Prominent Turkish names taking place include Murat Guney, Engin Suna and Arzu Aydogdumu.( https://www.aspendosfestival.gov.tr/en/ )