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Opera culture becoming more popular in Turkey

17th August 2013

It seems the arts are taking an upward curve in Turkey amid growing interest in both opera and cultural events. 

This is in spite of Turkish operatic history spanning less than 60 years! At the moment, the General Directorate of State Opera and Ballet comprises of several global artists, whilst numerous orchestras have been set up. 

At present, there are a wide variety of orchestras and groups springing up delivering an exciting array of concerts and show stopping performances. 

This includes the Ankara State Opera and Ballet, Antalya State Symphony Orchestra, Ankara Bilkent Symphony Orchestra, Borusan Istanbul Philharmonic Orchestra not to mention the Izmir State Opera and Ballet and many more.

In addition, many national works are being frequented by many expats and tourists with many dominating the 2012-13 opera season.

The extensive repertoire had a real national focus and symbolism attracting major interest from spectators. Meanwhile, Turkish composers were high on the list which is set to continue when the next opera and ballet programme is released. 

The figures support this growing phenomenon with almost an 8% increase in audience figures according to The State Opera and Ballet (DOB).

The interest around Turkish works has been rising over the last few years with more and more home grown works being performed to packed out crowds. 

With many shows sold out weeks in advance, Turkey is really seeing a unique opera and ballet revolution of its own.

Turkish compositions such as “Sevginin Gücü,” “Lale Çılgınlığı,” and “Karyağdı Hatun” made their debuts, whilst the iconic ballet “Afife” made its long awaited return after a 15 year absence. 

In turn, this has encouraged many Turkish composers and writers to create a wealth of inspirational and moving works that has captured the hearts of many individuals.

Yet it’s not just national performances stealing the limelight. Popular plays and operas featuring “Tosca,” “Rigoletto”, “La Sonnambula” “Don Quixote” and “La Traviata” all received the highest acclaim from audiences in Izmir, Samsun and Antalya

Many people are coming to Istanbul in particular just for opera and ballet alone, signifying a real growing interest in the arts here, whilst boosting Turkish tourism.

The success of the recent Istanbul Opera Festival has also added to the Turkish operatic landscape. This is coupled with the newly founded Turkey Symphony Orchestra which has introduced several objectives to promote Turkish culture via the art of music. 

It has concentrated on bringing together the traditional elements of Turkish music alongside a plethora of events to promote both traditional and classical music. 

This inspirational organisation embodies the true diversity and richness of Turkey’s growing opera and musical reputation.

With smaller events held around the county, there are plenty of upcoming projects from the Anatolia One Voice Music to Envoy of Favor, with its application toward intercultural tolerance and mutual respect.

But that’s not it just yet, as the Turkey Symphony Orchestra is creating a chorus made up of 81 people representing all 81 Turkish provinces, with the aim of augmenting Turkey and its modern identity.

Turkey is already on the map this year thanks to events such as the FIFA under 20 World Cup. With the upcoming Women’s Tennis Tour (WTA) Championship in Istanbul, Turkey is currently serving up a feast of exciting events for the world to view.

See Events in Turkey 

Written by Simon Lazarus

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