November 30, 2023

By the Cyprusscene roving reporter…….

On July 8th the phone rang from Kaş, Turkey. Didem Çapa head of Yaratıcı Çocuklar Derneğı had successfully received an invite for ATEŞ and DIVA to perform in the 1BC Antiphellos Antique Theater for another performance of Music on Fire.

Once again Istanbul countertenor Nuri Harun Ates and Demetra George Mustafaoglu Grammy List Nominee from Oklahoma would appear together, once again accompanied by the amazing Bariş Büyükyıldırım.

Demetra was packing to leave for America the following week so she grabbed another suitcase and began throwing in costumes and gowns, dropped a program idea to Ates then called Ece Sualp,  friend and mother of protege Peri Sualp to request her participation for a chance of a lifetime concert. Peri was finishing her last day of Space Camp Turkey in Izmir and her mom said they could absolutely make it for a July 12th concert driving from Izmir to Antalya then Kaş.

Another call to clear with Barış Büyükyıldırım who played the prior shows at the Bellapais Abbey last year in Northern Cyprus and at Pera Palas in Istanbul, all to raves and standing ovations! It was tight but everyone managed to get themselves to Kaş by the skin of their teeth.

Harun Ateş drove 9 hours with the electric piano to bring the show its instrument and arrived the day before the performance and the pianist of the day. Sound and lighting equipment had to come 4 hours away from Antalya to the theater in trucks which luckily gave the ladies a place to make costume changes!

The temperature during the day was around 40 and great humidity. So when the equipment arrived at 6 pm for hook up and sound checks, it was stifling. The team saw the layout of the land, found only hand mics for the show and a centre spotlight they couldn’t walk far from. Grateful the piano and Maestro had arrived, a quick sound check was done and everyone headed back to relax till showtime at 9 pm.

Upon arrival all the Artists could see were hordes of people walking to the amphitheater, police cars for security of government officials and selfie sticks popping up everywhere!

The show began late as the mayor was detained in the show traffic but at 9:30 Demetra burst on the scene with Tonight from West Side Story and Merce Dilette aria from Verdi’s I Vespri Siciliani to the roar of about 800 guests and a great beginning to the evening. Music had not bounced off these ancient stones for many years!

Then in his grand fashion Nuri Harun Ates appeared and wowed the audience with his unique instrument singing Handel’s Stille Amare and Una furtiva Lagrima from Donizetti’s Elixir of Love.

Next to huge delight of the international audience, Demetra delivered Music of the Night and a Phantom appeared, the spirit of Cats with Memory and a scolding for a chatterbox in the stands.

Demetra had placed her protégée Peri Sualp among guests and pulled her from the crowd to sing as punishment for talking through the show very much to the audience’s delight, surprise and joy. Castle on a Cloud was her choice from Les Miserables and brought gasps from the stands as she opened her mouth and a little star was born!

Harun walked out to share beautiful baroque style singing with Pieta Signore by Stradella then the mezzo aria The Habanera from Bizet’s Carmen. Everyone absolutely adored this.

Strolling out in period costume from the days of Titanic came Demetra, umbrella, hat and gown with My Heart Will Go On and Summertime dedicated specially to her husband Mehmet who was filming in the front row.

Shimmering, slithering and swimming to the stage came Peri Sualp once again to offer Part of Your World to the joy and thrill of the many children in the audience! Her mermaid costume was adorable and she truly looked the part.

Ateş returned to offer another very authentic Baroque piece Empio DiroTu Sei, by Handel which wowed the listeners then into his fun and flashy Dun Dun (Bang Bang) by Nico Vega to their joy.

Then the diva appeared with her back turned in a Romanesque turquoise blue gown and swirled around singing “I had to let it happen, I had to change…” and the audience gasped in delight and recognition of Don’t Cry for Me Argentina, sang along then gave thunderous applause at its ending high notes!

Following, a precious petite Peri sailed onto the pebble stage and poured her heart out acting and dancing to South Pacific’s Honey Bun by Rodgers & Hammerstein and the audience roared in approval!

Harun explained the piece Spagnola by Di Chiara then invited the audience to clap along in fun!

As the show rolled to its conclusion, Demetra offered up the gorgeous song Exodus by Gold/Boone and inserted the heart wrenching Memleketim in between to audience delight and full participation and glee! As she took her bows, she asked the audience in Turkish and English if they wanted an encore and received a resounding Evet/Yes! So once again Peri appeared!

The junior diva seemed to be searching for her missing dolls then vanished a moment, retrieving them in the form of the two artists but this time each wearing crowns like ballerinas do. An unrehearsed Doll aria from the Tales of Hoffman began and the countertenor and soprano shared Olympia’s comic doll winding aria, replete with key and ratchet sounds repairing the failing doll to sing on and on. The audience howled their approval and at the end jumped to their feet in thanks for a night of great artistry so long missing from Antiphellos amphitheater. The local mayor made lovely award presentations to the artists and Coordinator/Presenter Didem Çapa. Then the crowd rushed to the artists for congratulations, thanks and an hour of photo shoots.

Antalya Municipality representative , Nuri Harun Ates, Didem Çapa , Mayor of Kas, Peri Sualp and Demetra George Mustafaoglu

The Çapa family of Istanbul and Kas were the sponsors of this amazing experience and hosted an after concert celebration for artists, special guests and the production crew from Antalya.

This smashing show has been invited to tour once again, so stay tuned for future locations and dates! Surprises galore.




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