ISTANBUL / ANKARA

Music lovers had the chance to attend a weekend baroque concert held as part of 12th International Istanbul Opera Festival at the Garden of the Archeology Museum.

Along with the Istanbul State Opera and Ballet Orchestra conducted by Paolo Villa, featured soloists at the Sunday concert included Oleksandr Samoylenko, Otilia Ipek, Elif Tugba Tekisik, Kaan Buldular, Kevork Tavityan, Suat Arikan, and Hande Cangokce.

The evening in the Turkish metropolis featured works by Handel, Vivaldi, Jean-Philippe Rameau, Antonio Caldara, Jacques Lambert du Buisson, Giovanni Bononcini, and Francesco Cavalli.

The festival will resume on Thursday, Saturday, and Sunday with three performances of Mozart’s The Abduction from the Seraglio.

The opera, conducted by Caner Akin, remains faithful to the original version, but also refers to the current pandemic and another infamous outbreak, the 1918 Spanish Flu.

The staging of the opera, which includes Turks as main characters, stresses the importance of mercy rather than holding grudges.

In addition to bringing together both young and experienced performers, the piece features choreographer Tan Sagturk in the role of Selim Bassa, alternating with Selim Borak.

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