As Istanbul impatiently waits for the opening of a groundbreaking new opera house, a Turkish opera virtuoso is busy composing a momentous work to mark the occasion.

Hasan Ucarsu, a composer and musicologist, was selected last October by President Recep Tayyip Erdogan to compose an opera about the famed Ottoman architect Mimar Sinan, whose ingenious works dot the territory of the former Empire, particularly in Istanbul.

“I am proud to have been chosen for this task,” Ucarsu, who is also a professor of music composition, said in an exclusive interview with Anadolu Agency.

Formerly known as Ataturk

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