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 PRESS RELEASE
 
  12th Aspendos International Opera and Ballet Festival
 

ANKARA , TURKEY , June 8, 2005 - Mounted annually in one of the world’s most spectacular locations, the ancient Roman Aspendos Theater in Belkis on Turkey ’s Mediterranean coast, the 12th Aspendos International Opera and Ballet Festival will take place June 11 to July 19, 2005.  Twelve performances, including that by three special foreign guest groups – the Rome Opera and Ballet, Germany’s Nations Philharmonic Orchestra led by conductor Justus Frantz and the world renown Kirov Orchestra of St. Petersburg’s Marinsky Theater with conductor Valery Gergiev – will grace the stage of the 2000 year old theater, one of the best preserved Roman buildings in the world, which, to this day, boasts extraordinary acoustics.  The use of the antique theater for modern performances is part of the Turkish Ministry of Culture and Tourism’s initiative encouraging the utilization of such historic sites as a means of showcasing the country’s ancient treasures and promoting cultural tourism. 

Since its inception in 1994, the Aspendos International Opera and Ballet Festival has steadily grown in stature and popularity.  In 2003, the event was admitted to the prestigious European Festival association and it now attracts tens of thousands spectators annually, some 70 percent of whom are tourists visiting the area known as the “Turkish Riviera.”

This year’s program will open with Stravinksy’s “Petrushka” and “Fire Bird” as interpreted by the Rome Opera and Ballet.  The performance will be the troupe’s first in Turkey and will be accompanied by the Bilkent Symphony Orchestra.  Other ballet performances will be by Istanbul State Opera and Ballet production of “Romeo and Juliet” and by the Directorate General of the State Opera and Ballet with “Don Quixote.”

The festival’s concert series will commence on June 28 with a 200-person orchestra and chorus staging of “Nazim Hikmet Oratorio” by the Bilkent Symphony Orchestra and Polyphonic State Chorus; the epic piece salutes the life and poetry of Nazim Hikmet, the most famous bard of the Turkish Republic .  The second concert, on July 12, will be that of the Nations Philharmonic Orchestra, which as a symbol of unity and peace, will perform the official music of the European Union, Beethoven’s “Ninth Symphony.”  Conductor Justus Frantz will also lead the accompaniment of the Chorus of The Directorate of the Turkish Sate Opera and Ballet.  And the concert series will conclude on July 18 performance of “Eugene Onegin” by the Kirov Orchestra under the direction of Valery Gergiev.

Opera at the 2005 edition of the Aspendos International Opera and Ballet Festival will be represented by Wagner’s The “Flying Dutchman,” the iconic “Aida” by Verdi, which traditionally always has a place on the festival’s roster and by  Bizet’s “Carmen.”   The Wagner work will lead the series on June 15 as performed by the Izmir State Opera and Ballet, while Aida will take center stage on June 22 and 24 with the Directorate General of the Stare Opera and Ballet.  The Istanbul State Opera and Ballet’s “Carmen” will be the last opera performance on July 5.

In addition,  there will be a music and dance production of Guldestan / Rosegarden by the Directorate General of State Opera and Ballet and the 12th annual festival will conclude with the a gala concert by the Kirov Orchestra with Valery Gergiev.

For more information about the 12th Aspendos International Opera and Ballet Festival, please visit www.antalyafestivals.org.  For additional information about and history of the Aspendos Theater, visit www.whitman.edu/theatre/theatretour/aspendos/introduction/aspendos.intro2.htm

Turkey , the site of two wonders of the ancient world, is a present-day marvel – the cradle of civilization, the very center of world history and a modern Westward-looking republic.   It is a country of fascinating contrasts, where antiquity is juxtaposed with the contemporary, the familiar with the exotic; where sun-swept beaches beckon less than an hour away from snow-capped mountains, and everywhere visitors are treated to the extraordinary warmth of the Turkish people.


For information about travel to Turkey, call 1-877-FOR-TURKEY 
or contact the Turkish Culture and Tourism Offices in New York at 212-687-2194 
or in Washington D.C. at 202-612-6800 or in Los Angeles at 323-937-8066
and visit www.tourismturkey.org 
or www.kulturturizm.gov.tr

 

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