The curtain rises: Turkey’s opera and ballet season

The State Opera and Ballet (DOB) will open its new season with a program announced at a press conference by DOB general director Rengim Gökmen

This season both DOB an ADOB will host 50 plays with 25 of them being original Turkish works.

This season both DOB an ADOB will host 50 plays with 25 of them being original Turkish works.

The State Opera and Ballet (DOB) will open its new season with opening concerts jam packed with arias, folk songs and Turkish compositions at Ankara’s AnkaraChamber of Commerce on Sept. 28 and Hagia Irene on Sept. 29, DOB general director Rengim Gökmen said.

Gökmen announced the upcoming season’s program at a press conference with Ankara Sate Opera and Ballet (ADOB) director Aykut Çınar.

This season both DOB an ADOB will host 50 plays with 25 of them being original Turkish works. “With the new works that are going to be staged this season Turkish opera and ballet will be presented to the international community. We give great importance to Turkish composers in order to develop our opera culture and also spread Turkish culture in the abroad,” Gökmen said.

Making their debut this season are Okan Demiriş’s opera “Karyağdı Hatun” and Muammer Sun’s “Sevginin Bedeli” ballet along with “The Magnificent Süleyman,” featuring music by Tevfik Akbaşlı and choreography by Mehmet Balkan. The opera “Lale Çılgınlığı,” composed by Ali Hoca with libretto produced by Şefik Kahramankaptan, will also make its world premier. Modern Dance Team will stage the ballet “Arda Boyları” with choreography by Özgür Adam İnanç while the State Opera and Ballet will bring the ballet “Afife” to the stage with choreography by Beyhan Murphy.

Acknowledged opera favorites from Mozart, Bellini and Horozic will also be staged by DOB. “The Ankara Opera and Ballet will stage ‘The pharmacist,’ while Istanbul State Opera and Ballet will stage Mozart’s ‘Opera Manager’ and Salieri’s ‘First Music, Than Words,’ opera.”

DOB’s performance system

Bosnian composer Horozic’s “Killing Love” and Tchaikovsky’s “The Swan Lake” will be performed by DOB while the İzmir State and Opera will bring Bellini’s “La Sonnambula” and “Sylvia” to the stage. Mersin State Opera and Ballet will raise the curtain on the famous opera “Carmen” as well as Ahmet Adnan Saygun’s first Turkish opera “Özsoy.”


Antalya State Opera and Ballet will stage Handel’s “Hercules” opera, Samsun State Opera and Ballet will stage Puccini’s “Madam Butterfly” and the ballet “Harem.”

The word privatization is not suitable for art institutions, Gökmen said. “Art institutions cannot be privatized. There are many differences between stage arts and theaters. We also work with the manager and suggest changes that should be made, but in DOB artists live with social insurance and with established personals of the state. This is a must for them to work dynamically,” Gökmen said. 
Gökmen also added that every art institution needs a change. “There many artists working as guest artists, who still do not know what will happen to them tomorrow because they cannot get into the established staff system.” A system that leads people to experiment in another art sector must be created Gökmen said. “Ertuğrul Günay, the culture minister has directed people to start work on this issue,” he said.

This year DOB will open its new season with popular arias and Turkish compositions along with performances of popular ballets and dances at the opening concerts, Gökmen said.

İzmir State Opera and Ballet will open the season with the 30th anniversary concert. “The İzmir opening will be held at the Elhamra stage on Oct. 1. Mersin Opera and Ballet will stage Carl Orff’s famous composition ‘Carmina Burana,’” Gökmen said. In Mersin the DOB opening event will be held at the Mersin Marina Amphitheater. The Antalya State Opera and Ballet will also open the season with “Carmina Burana” at the İşcan Culture Center. Samsun State Opera and Ballet on the other hand will open the season with Puccini’s “Madam Butterfly” opera at the Ataturk Culture Center.

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