163 - 13th Türksoy Opera Days in the TRNC at the Bellapais Abbey on June 11 and 12
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 13th Türksoy Opera Days again in 2010.
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. This year the event was on two evenings with two different programmes and it was again free admittance.
While we were having a light dinner at the Lahmacun place in Bellapais where you always get everything freshly done, we saw the concert goers rush by, so we hurried up to get good seats in the front rows for me to take photographs. I don’t like to take pictures while the artists are performing so you have to be close to get your chance.
The Abbey resounded with some of the 36 orchestra members rehearsing, and I went to meet and watch them, a violinist facing a wall or a trumpet player playing some tunes, and they went up and down the monastery’s arcades, concentrating, standing isolated from the others. Some sat on the many instrument cases piled up in the corner. It was an abstract impression. Musicians to touch, involved in last minutes’ preparations. Also Ali Hoca, the Turkish Cypriot, Chef of the Mersin Opera and Ballet Orchestra, walked up and down the galleries, all very mysterious in the half darkness of the place.
I could not see the opera singers rehearsing, they must have been in a room of their own. There were nine singers from nine different countries, namely Çinara Şirinova (soprano) from Azerbaycan, Cupar Gabdullina (soprano) from Kazakistan, Ibakeyev Baktibek (baritone) from Kirgistan, Funda Uyanik (soprano) from Turkey, Svetlana Arginbaeva (mezzo-soprano) from Baskurdistan, Galina Vlad (soprano) from Gagavuz Yeri, Artur Islamov (baritone) from Tataristan, Laden Ince (soprano) from TRNC, Zinaida Maynasheva (soprano) from Hakasya.
A most impressive programme on both evenings with arias from Verdi, Gounod, Bizet, Tchaikovsky, Mascagni, Puccini, Rossini, Ü. Hacibeyov, Bixio, Mozart and J. Strauss and when, at the end, the opera singers all stepped down from the stage and stood face in face to us, and joined voices and hands to sing for us two encores, it was this feeling of togetherness which we all had, and if they had asked us to join in, we would have done so.