Gırl Is Abducted From Palace!

The Internatıonal Istanbul Opera Festıval Comes To Us Wıth A Gala Concert And Fıve Opera Productıons From July 7 To 19.

Organized for the third time by the State Opera and Ballet, the International Istanbul Opera Festival comes to us this year with a gala concert and five opera productions from July 7 to 19. ‘Opera for All Ages’ is the slogan of this year’s festival, mounted under the artistic direction of the State Opera and Ballet’s Chief Director, Yekta Kara. The aim, to take opera outside the confines of enclosed spaces and bring it into the city.Venues for the encounter include Topkapı Palace, Aya İrini, Süreyya Opera, Golden Horn Congress Center and Bahçeşehir Art and Culture Center.

Two Mozart operas are featured in the festival. One, The Abduction from the Seraglio, the other Don Giovanni. Mozart’s Abduction from the Seraglio has come to symbolize the International Istanbul Opera Festival. Produced by the Samsun State Opera and Ballet in three performances the first year, five the second and three again this year, this opera in three acts calls for a large cast. So cast large that the work cannot be performed just anywhere any time of year. And even if it could, watching it at Topkapı Palace, where the story actually takes place, is something special. Set by Mozart in the golden age of the Ottoman Empire, the story is meaningful as an expression of tolerance in Ottoman culture. For those who missed it before and don’t want to put it off to next year, time and dates are: 9 p.m. on July 9, 10 and 11.

The Don Giovanni production, staged by the Ankara State Opera and Ballet under the direction of Yekta Kara, is on July 7 at the Golden Horn Congress Center. Another eagerly awaited production is Okan Demiriş’s opera, Murat IV. This opera, which tells the tragic story of Sultan Murat IV, one of the most intrepid and powerful yet equally well-educated and refined of the Ottoman potentates, is an Izmir State Opera and Ballet production. Plus there is another Ottoman sultan’s story in the festival: Bayezid. This opera, based on Antonio Vivaldi’s portrayal of the battle between Tamerlane and the Ottoman sultan Bayezid the Thunderbolt, is coming to the Süreyya Opera House. And last but not least, composer Selman Ada’s adaptation for opera of Halit Ziya Uşaklıgil’s famous novel, Forbidden Love… Opera is for people of all ages. There’s bound to be one for you.

José Cura is one of the festival’s surprises. The renowned tenor will give the gala concert together with Ankara State Opera and Ballet’s soprano soloist, Feryal Türkoğlu, accompanied by the Istanbul State Opera and Ballet Orchestra. Mario De Rose is the conductor for the concert, at Aya İrini.