Almost two decades after the first edition of the global bestselling fantasy series by J. K. Rowling, young wizard Harry Potter will be taking an opera stage in western Turkey.
This weekend will see Harry's first time singing in an opera as the Mozart Academy – founded by Turkish opera singer Ilhan Cipir in the western province of İzmir – charms young fans. This opera adaptation of Warner Bros' highest-grossing film series came after its British author gave the green light to Mozart Academy providing that the show's earnings be allocated towards child welfare.
Organizers say children affected by Turkey's Soma mining disaster in 2014 will benefit from the opera's box office takings.
In September 2014, the academy started auditions to select talented, eager students to play characters from the halls of Hogwarts School of Witchcraft and Wizardry.
The lucky candidates were then taught choral singing, theater skills and dancing. Eighty students passed the auditions to act as young wizards alongside famous Turkish opera singers, such as tenor Tansel Akzeybek from Komische Oper Berlin, who will play Harry Potter, Teyfik Rodos, who will portray Professor Dumbledore, and baritone Serkan Kocadere as the villainous Lord Voldemort.
The 75-minute one-act opera will chronicle Harry's adventures from the first and the last books in the series, namely "Harry Potter and the Sorcerer's Stone" and "Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows."
A symphony orchestra will accompany the singers, whose starting point is the movies' soundtracks.
İlhan Cinpir, who is also the opera's general art director, told Anadolu Agency "Harry Potter" had never been adapted like this before, even though it is well-suited for the opera stage. Cinpir said they will stage six opera performances, two each on Friday and Saturday at Izmir's Dokuz Eylül University Sabancı Culture Center, adding that they are planning to hold the other two performances abroad if they receive enough demand.
"The income from the performances in İzmir will be given to İzmir's Elmadere Village, which suffered a high death toll in last year's Soma mine disaster in the neighboring Manisa province," he said.
Cinpir added that part of the earnings will also be given to the İzmir-based Library for the Visually Handicapped in Turkey to help visually impaired children read.
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