A musical fancy tour around the world with famous soprano Demet George Mustafaoğlu and our pianist and beloved piano tutor Rauf Kasimov
By Heidi Trautmann
She came from the back through the centre aisle in a black long velvet coat wearing the mask of the Phantom of the Opera singing the famous lyrics and slowly approaching the stage where Rauf Kasimov let the tunes plummet down on us on the great Bösendorfer.
In sleep he sang to me in dreams he came
That voice which calls to me
and speaks my name
And do I dream again?
For now I find
The Phantom of the Opera
is there inside my mind
What a spectacular entrance Demetra made! She welcomed the audience, many children among them, all clad in fantastic costumes, and next to me sat a girl with a green face like a water corpse. OhOhOh.
They all had come to Demetra’s Halloween Party at the Bellapais Abbeye on Saturday October 27 – wizards and witches had to leave their hats by the entrance door - they had come to help her realize her wish to raise funds for the Nicosia Children’s Home. She had chosen famous songs from Broadway shows, operas and other popular songs that were known to Turkish and British alike. And there was an enormous treasure chest in front of the stage from which she took the appropriate costume… to be the Carmen by Bizet doing the Habanera using castagnettes, or for Pocahontas she wore feathers… and for the Doll Aria by Jacques Offenbach she selected someone from the audience to turn the key on her back when her motor stopped. Ah, there was a special performance by Hasan Karagözlü who owns the Chicago Hair Club, with a song from Alladin as the ghost from the wonder lamp; he emerged from the treasure chest in this case and sung with her the beautiful song. My respects, Hasan!
Demetra stayed on eye level with her audience, sat on the stairs, on a high stool or walked down the aisle to address the one or other with her song. And she talked to her audience, especially the children. A very intimate atmosphere she thus created.
At the last occasion I talked to her, she said to me, I am a simple girl from America, and thus she behaved, charming her audience with her natural way, casual and free, and the children came up to her, were helped up the stage and joined her in two songs doing some dance steps.
Demetra has two daughters and knows what children like and her stage experience gave her the assuredness of setting up this event with all its details with the help of friends and sponsors.
After the intermission she brought even more popular songs, and she invited people to sing along with her from Fiddler on the Roof, Lion King, and to some local songs in Greek and Turkish all joined in and clapped their hands. She finished her concert with Those were the Days and as Encore Somewhere over the Rainbow, bringing us to melting point.
She thanked Rauf Kasimov for accompanying her with such love and passion and disclosed that this very day was his birthday, so we all had another reason to sing. A family party, thank you Demetra, for having us.
After the party, the audience assembled in the back of Kybele garden to have the winners of the lottery announced which was done by lovely Hatice Kerimgil, the event committee head (not only for this event) and her helpers. Ayla, Rauf’s wife had taken over to be the eagle’s eye at the entrance and other friends have very charmingly sold the tickets for the raffle. There were some super prices to be won, dinners for two, hotel stays, free haircuts, some kilos of meat, and and …and some private donations by Demetra, some jewellery, CDs and perfume. A full success! Thanks to all, Demetra says, her heartfelt thanks to all, who have helped to make it a success.
Sponsors: Chicago Hair Club; Acapulco Hotel; Liman Hotel; Cyprus Today; Shooters, MoneyPenny, Magic Touch.
Published in Cyprus Observer on Nov 3, 2012