by Heidi Trautmann
The TRNC Ministry of Tourism, Environment and Culture and the General Directorate of Joint Administration of Turkic Culture and Arts (Türksoy) have invited to enjoy the 14th Türksoy Opera Days again in 2011.
The General Directorate of Joint Administration of Turkic Culture and Arts (Türksoy) is an international foundation which was established in 1993 in Almaty among the ministers of culture of the Turkish speaking countries Azerbaijan, Kazakhstan, Kyrgyzstan, Uzbekistan, Turkmenistan and the Republic of Turkes. The countries which participated later on as observing members are the Turkish Republic of Northern Cyprus, Bashkortostan, Tatarstan, Khakasia, Tuva, Altai Republic, Sakha(Yakutia) Republic and Gagauzia. The official language is Turkish and its headquarters are in Ankara. The main goal of Türksoy is to establish relationship among the Turkish speaking countries based on friendship to research and promote the Turkish culture preserving it for the next generation.
As soon as the Opera Days are announced I mark the date in my calendar and nothing must come in the way to prevent us from attending this special event. The event was on two evenings with two different programmes and it was again free admittance.
...I said so last year when the Opera Days were celebrated at the Bellapais Abbey and I say so again for this year’s event because it is literally the only occasion we get such an offer to take part in a festive event like this and in listening to most beautiful voices and worldwide known arias.
When we arrived in the wide courtyard of the Castle the 50 members of the Mersin Opera and Ballet Orchestra were tuning their instruments and in the far corners of the ground we heard some female opera singers practicing which made the whole scene unreal, weird, touching, as if you were in the depths of an opera house on the lookout for the Phantom. With Nurzhan Baibusinov, the conductor, born in 1978 in Kazakhstan we had a very young boyish looking man but a highly appreciated artist. Konzertmeister was Marina Kvlividze
There were ten singers from ten different countries, namely Ilahe Efendiyeva (soprano) from Azerbaycan, Dina Dyutmagambetova (soprano) from Kazakistan, Elnura Samarbekova (lyric soprano) from Kirgistan, Levent Gündüz (tenor) from Turkey, Artur Kaipkulov (bass) from Baskurdistan, Galina Vlad (soprano) from Gagavuz Yeri (she was here last year too), Gulnora Rahimova (soprano) from Tataristan, Beste Berk (mezzo soprano) from TRNC, Emine Djevdetova (soprano) from Kirim and Mariya Yangulova (lyric coloratura soprano) from Hakasya.
A most impressive programme on both evenings with arias from Verdi, Bizet, Puccini, Rossini, Mozart and A.Lara and some traditional folk tunes. As a finale the opera singers stepped forward to sing altogether an aria from La Traviata with the beautiful tenor from Turkey Levent Gündüz leading.
Most rewarding this evening which had brought smiles into all our faces and some known tunes on our lips. However, I would love to see these wonderful artists better received. The castle is a fine place, but the chairs could have been positioned better, the announcements could have been distributed earlier to fill the place with a thousand people and not just perhaps 150.