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mnacenani

Don Quixote by Istanbul State Ballet Premiere Sat 24 Feb

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You might be surprised to learn that Istanbul has not had a "fit and proper" opera house for 10+ years now. The "Ataturk Cultural Centre" or AKM as known to Istanbul dwellers (at Taksim Square at a central location on the European side of Istanbul) was built in the 1960s and decommissioned 10+ years ago when the government decided to knock it down and build a new opera house in time for Istanbul's turn as Cultural Capital of Europe in 2010. Certain leftist NGOs took the project to court and the project was suspended and has been in limbo ever since. Opera and ballet performances are held in a "tiny" theater converted from an old cinema at Kadikoy on the Asian side of Istanbul, a hassle to get to and from for anyone living on the other side. Last season Istanbul State Ballet staged Sleeping Beauty here to my wonder and amazement. As we were discussing on another thread last week 2018 has become the Don Quixote Year and Istanbul has followed suit. OK it's not the Bolshoy, the ballet has been slightly abridged compared with the Petipa/Gorsky/Fadeyechev version currently staged there, but it was quite enjoyable ballet as you can judge by the audience reaction in the video below. The scenery was definitely better than what Rome staged and I reported on last week, the costumes not bad, the quality of the dancing in general I found on par with say Berlin. We had 4 matadors instead of the 8 or 12 at the Bolshoy but even if Istanbul had the numbers it would have been quite impossible to put on more dancers on this tiny stage. Re orchestra :  have to admit our ballet orchestra usually starts slightly out of tune in the strings but shapes up soon after. Tonight the orchestra was excellent, in tune and tempo in all sections from start to finish. I was awaiting with some trepidation whether the memorable "March" starting the Wedding Scene would be on and it was - nothing like this to get the audience perked up. Sadly this wonderful march is cut out at some ballet companies, notably at the Bolshoy - what an idiotic decision by whoever decided to cut it ! So under the circumstances quite acceptable and enjoyable ballet. Tickets for ballet at this small theatre sell out literally within 10 minutes after online sale opens one month before performance date, faster than at the Bolshoy !  :D:D   PS :  all talent is local, no imports !

https://flic.kr/p/Gyxb6f

 

Edited by mnacenani
Added comments re orchestra and musical content

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Love the Gamache interrupting the curtain calls for the leads! 

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Don Q continues its run with tix selling out within 10 mins of online sales opening. Best seat price 12.50 US Dollars ...... how about that for state subsidy ?? Some pix from this production :

DONQ_Sureyya_MAR2018_CDONQ_Sureyya_MAR2018_EDONQ_Sureyya_MAR2018_A

 

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FLEURDELIS where are you ?? Our primas can hold their own against Yana Salenko when it comes to 190-degree splits - see for yourself :

DONQ_Sureyya_MAR2018_DDONQ_Sureyya_MAR2018_B

 

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A very handsome production.   

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