April 1, 2023

By Chris Elliott….

For once it was a cool evening with a slight breeze on Sunday night 12th September when I headed off to meet my dear friend Dr. Demetra George Mustafaoglu at her Villa Diva House in Catalkoy  .

Many readers will have heard of Demetra who is former Miss Oklahoma to Miss America and Classical Singer at Grammy List Nominee and recipient of US STATE DPT. Cultural Diplomacy Award as well as TOA Magazine Cultural Award Outstanding Artist 2019 plus Palm Beach Opera resident soprano under Maestro Anton Guadagno.

So when I arrived I sat and drank my coffee and munched my cream cakes as I watched Maestro Rauf Kasimov and Demetra’s husband Mehmet set up the piano. By the way, Mehmet is the Honorary Representative from Northern. Cyprus to LA and the first Turkish American to be awarded the Ellis Island Medal of Honor for his business and charitable contributions to his culture and the US. He and Demetra continue that work here in the TRNC where they host and produce many fundraisers through concerts and exciting events.

Maestro Kasimov and Demetra share not only their great love of music and their Scorpio signs, but both are cancer survivors and have supported one another tremendously since their ordeals, never missing a beat so to speak as their concerts and fundraising efforts continued uninterrupted.

Dr. Rauf Kasimov comes from Baku, Azerbaijan and has lived in the TRNC for many years and is a concert pianist, and a composer of great talent

He was awarded a Master’s Degree with Distinction from the Baku State Conservatoire as concert pianist and he received his PHD from the same conservatoire in 1980.  Rauf Kasimov was appointed as a piano instructor at the Baku State Conservatoire between the years of 1980-1991. Rauf has a passion for teaching younger people to play the piano and I understand he is trying to organize a concert soon showcasing his students’ work.

Last to arrive was our good friend Engin Dervis the film director and presenter from BRTK together with his film crew as they were going to record a small video of 4 arias by Demetra and Rauf for a world wide audience which Covid-19 could not hamper.

So on with the show and two recordings were made in the imposing entrance to Villa Diva with its Lions and then going inside for a further recording which was made featuring a spectacular staircase and then finally the last tender aria was recorded in the large lounge area.

BRTK has plans to publish this mini concert through Engin Dervis’s VOX Pop program which will be transmitted on BRT 1 HD this Friday 17th September  at 11.30PM local time or 9.30PM UK time so do tune in and watch this fascinating show with its wonderful arias which are:

  • 1-O mio babbino caro from Gianni Schicchi
  • -Chi I’ll bel sogno from La Rondine
  • 3-Quando m’en vo-La Boheme
  • 4-Vissi d’arte from Tosca

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