Ateş and Diva : “Music on Fire” at Bellapais Abbey

By Margaret Sheard …..

Music on Fire – Ateş & Diva – celebrating with children

for Children with Leukemia and the fight against Cancer

I had intended writing an article about the wonderful concert at Bellapais Abbey which was in aid of Kemal Saraçoğlu Foundation for Children with Leukemia and Cancer War, however, when reading Heidi Trautmann’s review, I decided it says it all and so will just give a brief review of my impressions and reproduce Heidi’s article below.

Demetra sang some of my favourite songs – Memory from Cats being one of them and Summertime which is one also liked by Heidi.

Demetra George Mustafaoğlu and Nuri Harun Ateş, together with Demetra’s protégée Peri Sualp gave outstanding performances, the costumes and props were wonderful and brought a touch of magic to Bellapais Abbey.   The artists were accompanied by Önder Cebeci on piano and Muhareem Cemoğlu violincello, and dancing by Evgenia Zhilskaya, with a surprise cameo appearance by Can Gazi of Bayrak Radio and Television.   Demetra told me that she had brought the costumes and props from the USA to make it special, and it certainly was.

This was the fourth of the Ateş & Diva – Music on Fire concerts, the first being at the Abbey in 2016, the second at Pera Palas in Istanbul and the third in Kas, Turkey.  Demetra was the producer of the show, with assistance from Hatice Salih Kerimgil and Ece Sualp.

Review by Heidi Trautmann …..


Demetra George Mustafaoğlu said after the concert in Bellapais “I will always sing for children, for all children in need, I give my voice for them”.   Yes, she does, and she has done this over the last few years because she knows what they suffer.

Thank you Demetra on behalf of all of us for this lovely concert although you were not feeling well but you refused to leave the children and their concert alone, a concert which had taken some weeks to prepare.

Before the concert the children, clad in costumes mostly witches, wild pirates and skeletons, had their own party in the Abbey and joyous noise welcomed us when we arrived for the concert. Many of them stayed on with their parents for the concert.

The concert ‘ATEŞ and DIVA with Peri Sualp’ is the third in a row. Nuri Harun Ateş, Countertenor, is from Izmir and he had always wanted to sing in the Abbey of Bellapais. They have become friends and have been touring with this programme. Peri Sualp, at 11 years of age, is already a professional, she moves completely at ease and has the perfect voice for musicals. She has been working with her great friend Demetra for some years.

We did not see much of the other two musicians, Önder Cebeci on piano and Muhareem Cemoğlu, violincello, as they were hidden behind the musical settings but we heard them in complete harmony with the voices. A silent acting addition was given by the charming dancer Evgenia Zhilskaya who accentuated the melodies sung with dance acting, very comical at times.

The musical programme was a very good mixture of baroque music, opera, musical, film and Walt Disney films. We heard the countertenor Ateş sing Stile Amara from Tolomeo and Una Furtiva lagrima by Donizetti; Pieta Signore;  Habanera from Carmen. It is exciting to hear a male voice come close to soprano, what a treat, and when he sang a song from Aladdin, we had Can Gazi from Bayrak Radio and Television (BRT) step in as the genie; what a nice surprise.

Our beloved Demetra came in from the rear of the refectory in a cloud of mist with ‘Music of the Night’ from Phantom of the Opera; Memory from Cats was so sweetly accompanied by the dancer; My Heart Will Go On from Titanic and Summertime; I loved that song because Demetra has this very special Southern drawling voice.

Sweet 11, but so sure of herself, was Peri who I had heard before at the Rita Severis Concert perhaps two years ago. She brought melodies from Cinderella, The Candy Man, The Little Mermaid and Pocahontas.

The concert ended with Demetra singing a theme from Exodus/Memleketim which was so well received from the audience.

The six artists of the evening were thanked by the association for Children with Leukemia and Cancer for their contribution to make life easier for them.  Hatice Kerimgil spoke through the evening in Turkish and English. What a wonderful evening.  Children and parents had a fantastic party, some of the kids had fallen asleep during the concert but when they went home it was with shining eyes.

I want to mention the costumes, they were perfect, it made the image of fantasy, music world and its emotions complete.

Editor’s Note:

There were many lovely photographs taken that night so we are including below a slideshow to show more of this wonderful concert.

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