times I had the pleasure to put down my thoughts on events organized by Demetra
George Mustafaoğlu and there is especially one thing all of them have in
common: they are heart-warming, they are human and wanting to entertain; the
guest is not made to realize the hard work that is behind such an organization,
it is a family feeling you get; the co-operation between the artists on stage,
a certain kind of easy going, sharing fun and love for music and for the
project as such. The project is to show that doing art is also to help others,
using one’s talent to support those who cannot help themselves yet, and that is
our youth wherever they come from. SOS is one of the most successful family
surrogates worldwide and society is obliged to support this institution.
one of the sheets of information attached you can read the support given by local
business and private persons.
programme of the evening was a harmonious combination of opera arias, musicals
and pop, even the very touching Schubert’s Ave Maria sung by Katie Economidou
so sweetly, accompanied by Fikri Toros, right after Pocahontas Colours of the
Wind sung by 11 year old Kayra Hacer Güryel, felt just right. I want to add
here that my father sang Ave Maria for us on Christmas Eve and it brought back
to me sentimental moments.
Demetra George Mustafaoğlu had welcomed us from high above with her beautiful soprano, where once a high
priest stood centuries ago with ‘Tonight’ from Westside Story – how fitting –
Dervise Çerkez-Güryel, among others the Vice-President of SOS Children’s
Village, astonished us with her beautiful voice ‘You raise me up’, Yes she did…
and she opened the evening with ….the importance of the protection and support
of our youth. My family has for years been involved in the SOS institution so I
do know a lot about it and I also did an interview with the place in Nicosia about
ten years ago which is included in Volume I of my book ‘Art and Creativity in
North Cyprus’ because I found that this institution was very much involved with
youth is our future and they learn from us, so we were all very happy to see
and hear Peri Sualp (12 years) and Kayra (11 years) as above mentioned. Very
talented and engaged children and one feels the very caring hand of Demetra,
their teacher, it is the self-confidence they show when stepping on stage, as
if she had told them: ‘Look, don’t be afraid of the audience, they are all
family, just be yourself’ and you could
Demetra had told me that it was with four weeks of rehearsals at her own house, in so many hours, that she could build up this self confidence and joy. For her own contributions, Demetra chose beautiful arias and songs from opera and musicals which shows the broad spectrum of her highly professional soprano voice. I am not a musician but I know that on this high level of professionalism you have to keep up a tight programme of discipline and practice. Do read her curriculum vitae attached here. Especially touching and welcome in the audience - how could it be elsewise - My Homeland sung in Turkish.
Again, there was this very Cypriot moment when the audience was joining in with Katie,
and later Peri, in the old songs
everybody grew up with and – as I sat behind HE Mustafa Akinçı and his wife
Meral – I heard him humming and singing along; he just loved it. Cypriots are
very emotional and I feel so very comfortable with it.
‘voiceless’ artists of this lovely event were Yuliya Starastsenkava on the
piano together with Muharrem Cemoğlu, strings. They were, during the evening, often
invited by Demetra to participate in the entertainment part of the event. Fikri
Toros, accompanist on the piano for ‘our Katie Economidou’, soprano, would, I am sure, do much more music, if time
would allow him.
to make things work, to organize all the other things around the musical
charity event, are, I would call them the technicians, the
down-to-earth-people, that is Ece Sualp as Production Assistant, Nevge Ertanin
as Stage Manager and for Public Relations the ever active Hatice Kerimgil.
loved the evening, I heard it mentioned out of many corners as I walked through
the archways of the Abbey during the intermission, it had brought them
back to the title…”Concerts without Borders….”
it implies that there will be a continuation, am I right? We sincerely hope so.