By Chris Elliott…….
Having had the opportunity recently to write about and promote the Rotary Club of St Hilarion, Kyrenia “Love Makes the World Go Around” Gala Dinner and Dance in the Vienna Ballroom of the Grand Pasha Hotel, Kyrenia on Saturday 2nd May 2015 featuring international Soprano and Grammy Nominee, Ms Demetra George – Mustafaoğlu accompanied by Maestro Rauf Kasimov click here, I decided to find out more of this fascinating lady who I had seen featured in the local press so many times in the past.
With great delight I received an invitation to visit Demetra George – Mustafaoğlu and her husband Mehmet for coffee and a chat about her amazing and very active life and this is what she told me.
“My first visit to Cyprus was when Mehmet and I came on our honeymoon and to meet his family but this visit was cut short by the problems in 1974 and we managed to leave on one of the last flights out of Nicosia airport.
Since then we have continued to try to help the Turkish Cypriot people through Mehmet’s work as an Honorary Representative or Fahri Konsolos to Los Angeles from the TRNC and of course through the many opportunities I have had to sing for the nation at various events around the world.
We started coming here to the TRNC part time nearly 4 years ago from our home in Los Angeles as I wanted to give help and support through my singing to worthy causes and support for the Turkish Cypriot people.. I have performed at the Bellapais Abbey 3 times – first as a part of Yilmaz Taners International Music Festival, representing North Cyprus as the Turksoy representative for Turksoy Opera Days and two years ago in “A Halloween. Happening – Music From Around the World” to raise funds for the Lefkosa Cocuk Yuvasi. 3 years ago I presented a concert at the Karmi church for its restoration fund with Rauf Kasimov and Vic Lundie on trumpet and on a second occasion last year when we were raising funds for the church restoration to buy a sound system for the church we had a full house with standing room and a standing ovation for this concert which highlighted 3 of my students.
Fikri Toros joined me there which was marvellous as it was also my birthday. In the last couple of years I sang for TRNC Day celebrations in Lefkosa at the AKM concert as the final performer of the evening.
I have graced the stages in Istanbul several times in concerts… at the Suleyman Demirel Cultural Center, Four Seasons Bosphorous where my Andrew Lloyd Webber concert raised 5m dollars for the Restoration of the Entrance to Topkapi and at the Pera Palas Hotel to raise funds for children’s arts education in Turkey. Two years ago in Istanbul at Surreya Opera House I performed with the Istanbul State Opera and. Ballet Symphony as I sang opera for the Turksoy Opera Days as the Cyprus representative to the joy of the crowd! For the past five years I have performed the US and Turkish anthems in Istanbul and Izmir and the Turkish anthem twice on Cikarma Plaji including once with a very surprised Ottoman orchestra from Ankara, the Mehteren. I have sung these anthems in every major US city for over 30 years including the Azerbaijan anthem and was invited to sing with their incredible 100 piece symphony orchestra as the first American ever a few years ago to a standing ovation!
For the future I have an audition with the. Istanbul Borusan Symphony Orchestra and a concert in Laguna, California with the Turkish Cypriot flautist Burak Besir, A further concert is under discussion with Turkish Cypriot Maestro Ali Hoca and the symphony orchestra and in Los Angeles and Las Vegas plus concerts with my singing partner from the Metropolitan Opera, Eduardo Villa. I have also been invited to perform at the G20 Conference in Istanbul 2015. This is a great honour for a former Miss Oklahoma.
Pictures shown below are when I have had a wonderful time singing and helping children.
I would like to take this opportunity to make an appeal to local readers to come and be with us at our event on Saturday 2nd May with these thoughts in mind:
- Come and see the beauty of the new Grand Pasha Ballroom
- Hear precious 8 year old Suna, prodigy of Maestro Kasimov play her award winning pieces
- Treat yourselves to the elegant gourmet cuisine of Grand Pasha.
- Shop till you drop at the Live and Silent Auctions with terrific prizes
- Dance to a magnificent live orchestra Karnival with a huge list of hits.
- Give the gift of love to the children who desperately need Engelsiz Yaşam Evi. Home for the Handicapped.
- Await the announcement of Mother of the Year!
- Better yet, bring a wife, mother, or sister to enjoy this Five Star Gala in honour of the upcoming Mother’s Day.”
So the ” Love Makes the World Go Around” Gala Dinner and Dance in the Vienna Ballroom of the Grand Pasha Hotel, Kyrenia on Saturday 2nd May 2015 is an event not to be missed and Margaret Sheard and I are looking forward to being there and playing our part in helping to raise funds for the “Engelsiz Yaşam Evi” (Home For The Handicapped) which is a project so dear to Demetra’s heart. Tickets are still available at Deniz Plaza, Lefkosa and Girne and also from Figen Rasmussen – tel: 0533 884 0313.