A Night at the Opera
with GAU and TŰRKSOY
By Margaret Sheard
We were invited to attend the 20th Anniversary of the Foundation of the International Organisation of Turkish Culture, and the 16th TŰRKSOY Opera Evening which was held at the Spectrum Congress Hall of Girne American University on Thursday 13th June. This was the second time the Opera Evening has been held in the TRNC and it is hoped that it will become an annual event for the future. This is good news as I do like classical music and opera and there are not many opportunities to see this type of performance in North Cyprus.
The artists performing were a pianist from Turkey and the rest of the performers were tenors, baritones, sopranos and mezzo sopranos who were from Azerbaijan, Kazakhstan, Kyrgyzstan, Turkey, The Russian Federation and the TRNC, the pianists who accompanied the artists were from Turkey and Kazakhstan.
This year was a special one as, upon a decision of the Permanent Council of Ministers of Culture of Turkish Speaking Countries, the International Organisation of Turkish Culture (TURKSOY) declared the year 2013 to be the Year of Mukan Tölebayev to commemorate the 100th anniversary of this great composer of the Turkish World.
The event started with a welcome and introduction by Simgi Ozekler, followed by an address to the audience by Prof. Dr. Yıldırım Öner, Rector of GAU and Dűsen Kaseinov, the General Secretary of TURKSOY.
On arrival we had been greeted by Serhat Akpinar, the Chancellor of GAU, who was pleased to see us there and he told us we were going to be treated to a wonderful evening of music. We were not disappointed, all of the artists were excellent, some of the arias were ones I was familiar with and some I had not heard before but this did not spoil the enjoyment of listening to the beautiful voices of the performers. The finale was excellent with all of the artists coming onto the stage and performing O Sole Mio, which I would think everyone was familiar with and it was a wonderful ending to what had been a brilliant concert and well deserved the standing ovation it received.
There then followed a presentation by Dűsen Kaseinov to Serhat Akpinar and each of the performers were presented with a plaque and a bouquet to mark the occasion.
We left the theatre and went to the lobby area where there were tables set out with a lovely selection of canapés and cocktails were being served to the guests who were all mingling together and no doubt discussing the wonderful concert they had just seen. We saw a lot of familiar faces from the University as well as guests who had been invited so it was nice to say hello and have a few words with them.
Gradually the crowd in the lobby diminished as people made their way home after what was a very enjoyable Night at the Opera.
Enjoy some highlights from the concert by looking at the following video which has been prepared by Chris Elliott.