Organized by the State Opera and Ballet and providing important contribution to cultural tourism, the International Aspendos Opera and Ballet Festival takes place Sept. 4-18 as the best of opera and ballet will be presented in the historical atmosphere of the Aspendos Antique Theater.
An annual event since 1994, known for its artistic quality, rich repertoire and national and international artistic successes, the International Aspendos Opera and Ballet Festival is sponsored by ATV and Sabah.
The festival starts with Giacomo Puccini's most popular opera "Turandot" in the 2000-year-old ancient Aspendos Theater. The work will be performed by the Ankara State Opera and Ballet on Sept. 4.
The work, which Puccini couldn't complete as he passed away, tells the story of the marriage of Chinese Princess Turandot in Beijing, combining comedy and drama.
Directed by Vincenzo Grisostomi Travaglini, "Turandot" will star world-renowned tenor Murat Karahan, the general manager and general art director of the State Opera and Ballet, as Prince Calaf and feature vocalists, orchestra and chorus of the Ankara State Opera and Ballet conducted by Alberto Veronesi.
Princess Turandot asks her suitors three questions that cannot be answered; thus, the suitors are executed one by one. Palace officials and Turandot's father want to put an end to this.
The festival continues with the "Zorba the Greek" ballet, one of the world's most popular ballet works and performed in more than 35 countries, by the Ankara State Opera and Ballet and Orchestra. Nikos Kazancakis's world-famous masterpiece "Zorba the Greek" will be performed with the music of Mikis Theodorakis and text and choreography of Lorca Massine. The conductor will be Bujor Hoinic.
The star of the 25th International Aspendos Opera and Ballet will be the Bolshoi Ballet.
The Russian Federation's Bolshoi State Academic Theater's world-renowned artists, orchestra and chorus will perform the Bolshoi Ball Gala Night on Sept. 13.
The 25th International Aspendos Opera and Ballet Festival closes with Giuseppe Verdi's magnificent opera "Aida" on Sept. 18 by the Antalya State Opera and Ballet and Ankara State Opera and Ballet Orchestra. Set in ancient Egypt, it tells the story of the impossible love between the Roman commander Radames and captive Ethiopian Princess Aida. Its directed by Kuzman Popov, and the conductor will be Alexandru Samoila.
History of the festival
Turkey's first opera and ballet festival organized by the Ministry of Culture, State Opera and Ballet General Directorate, the Aspendos International Opera and Ballet Festival has been held in the Aspendos Ancient Theater in Antalya since 1994.
The Aspendos International Opera and Ballet Festival is one of the favorite festivals in Turkey with 60,000 local and foreign viewers every year. It has contributed a great deal to art tourism in the country. One of the important art events organized by the State Opera and Ballet, Aspendos Opera and Ballet Festival became international after the first five years and turned into a festival attracting important orchestras and groups around the world due to its artistic quality increasing every year.
It has been accepted by the European Festivals Association (EFA) and has taken its place among other esteemed festivals in the world. The International Aspendos Opera and Ballet Festival is the first and only festival to receive the Quality Management Certificate award.