The Ankara State Opera and Ballet will host a world premiere at the Ankara Opera Theater on March 16. The ballet, ‘Sevginin Bedeli’ (Love’s Worth) was written by Muammer Sun.
Written by Turkish producer Muammer Sun and focusing on the love story of a man who is in love with one of the four wives of the Ottoman Empire, “Sevginin Bedeli” (Love’s Worth) will have its world premiere at the Ankara Opera Theater on March 16.
Ankara State Opera and Ballet General Manager Rengim Gökmen held a press conference for the premiere and said Turkey had been revealing new opera and ballet works for decades.
“The State Opera and Ballet aims to carry Turkish composers and choreographers’ works to the whole world and to different parts of Turkey. This is our main objective,” Gökmen said, speaking at a press conference that was held after the orchestra’s rehearsal.
The results of such efforts have been emerging over the last few years, he said, adding that in 2012 the State Opera and Ballet’s domestic tours had increased 400 percent.
“This means that we are closing in on our targets and that we can carry our targets even further,” he said.
According to Gökmen, the State Opera and Ballet should aim still higher to reach a wider audience.
The choreography of the Love’s Worth is directed by Uğur Seyrel and the stage design is the work of Savaş Camgöz. The costumes are designed by Gülay Korkut.
“This week we will witness a very important premiere of a very important work. This is a very important moment for us,” Gökmen said.
The opera’s composer, Sun, wrote it many years ago, having started it in 1973 and completing it in 1986. It has since been waiting in the drawers to be discovered.
The opera has undergone a number of changes for the premiere, on the request of choreographer Seyrek. Sun said he was very happy to work with such people at the age of 81. “Seyrek requested some changes and I accepted the changes,” he said.
Gökmen added that Turkish opera and ballet artists had gained global success over the last few years. “We think we can use the international platform that all the Turkish artists have created abroad,” he said.
However, most of the opera and ballet works that have been written have still not been seen and can be carried to world scene, said Gökmen, adding that the State Opera and Ballet was working to bring such works to world stages.
“We are working to stage a number of Turkish composers’ works on the world stage. Love’s Worth might be such a work,” he said. “Our job is to present our choreographers and composers to the world art scenes.”
Gökmen also took the opportunity to thank Muammer Sun, who he stressed had contributed to the classical and operatic musical landscape for many years.
Over the course of his life, Sun has taught at the Ankara, İzmir, and Istanbul State Conservatories, and at the Music Department of Gazi University’s Institute of Education. He retired from his professorship at Hacettepe University and the Ankara State Conservatory Composition Department in October 1997. He was then awarded the title “Devlet Sanatçısı” (literally “State Artist” or “National Artist”) by the Turkish Ministry of Culture in 1998.
About the play
Sun’s work is a love story, which takes place in the Ottoman palace. It follows a young man who is wandering in the palace garden when he sees a woman – one of the sultan’s wives – who he falls in love with. Guardians then arrive to arrest him and throw him into jail.
As time passes, it becomes evident to all that the man and the woman have fallen in love with each other, and the Ottoman sultan wants to learn which of his wives has fallen in love. The man fears that the sultan will harm the one he loves, so after the sultan has decided to confront the man and his wives, the man has blinds himself in prison so that the sultan does not become aware of their love.
After this, the guardians leave the man in the garden, the young lovers find each other, and then escape from the palace risking their lives.