We commemorate ‘La Diva Turca’ Leyla Gencer, on the 10th anniversary of her death. Gencer, besides her outstanding contributions to the opera world, has devoted herself to İKSV since its establishment, serving as the president of İKSV Board of Trustees until her passing in 2008. The 9th Leyla Gencer Voice Competition, organised by İKSV, Borusan Sanat and Accademia Teatro alla Scala, will have its final series in Istanbul on 23–28 September 2018. Besides this triennial event, an exhibition entitled “Leyla Gencer: Primadonna and Solitude”, curated by Yekta Kara, will open to the public on 11 September, and a special documentary scripted by Zeynep Oral and directed by Selçuk Metin, will be released at the end of the year.
“Leyla Gencer: Primadonna and Solitude”
11 September – 10 October, Borusan Music House
The exhibition is curated by Yekta Kara, who has served consecutively as a soloist, intendant, artistic director, and director-in-chief in the Istanbul State Opera and Ballet for 35 years and currently a professor in the Mimar Sinan Fine Arts University State Conservatory Opera Department. She also has had the opportunity to work with Leyla Gencer in person. In this exhibition, she highlights Leyla Gencer’s dedication to her art throughout her stellar career spanning the world’s leading opera houses and her 25 years as the glorious primadonna of Teatro alla Scala. The Leyla Gencer: Primadonna and Solitudeexhibition, organized in collaboration with Borusan Sanat, will be at Borusan Music House between 11 September and 10 October.
Leyla Gencer: Primadonna and Solitude exhibition can be visited every day except Sundays, between 10.00–18.00. Admission is free.
New stars of the opera world rise from Istanbul: 9th Leyla Gencer Voice Competition final series will be held on 23–28 September in Istanbul
The 9th Leyla Gencer Voice Competition, organised by the Istanbul Foundation for Culture and Arts (İKSV), Borusan Sanat, and Accademia Teatro alla Scala, will have its final series on 23–28 September in İstanbul, where 44 singers from 15 countries spanning the Far East and the USA, including 14 from Turkey, will compete for prizes and special awards
Following the non-public quarterfinals on the 24–25 September, the competition will open its doors to audience with the semi-final on Tuesday, 26 September at the Süreyya Opera House. The grand final of the competition will be at the Lütfi Kırdar Convention and Exhibition Centre on Friday, 28 September. The Borusan Istanbul Philharmonic Orchestra, under the baton of the Italian conductor Pietro Mianiti, will accompany the finalists. In this night, while the jury determines the winners of the three prizes, the audience will choose the winner of the Leyla Gencer Audience Award.
Tickets for the semi-final and the final gala will be on sale from Tuesday, 14 September and can be purchased through Biletix retail outlets and İKSV’s Main Box Office.
Excitements build as the final turn approaches in the competition
The grand final of the competition will be at the Lütfi Kırdar Convention and Exhibition Centre on Friday, 28 September at 20.00 in the company the Borusan Istanbul Philharmonic Orchestra, under the baton of the Italian conductor Pietro Mianiti.
The Leyla Gencer Voice Competition grants €12.500 for the first prize, €7.500 for the second, and €3.500 for the third. The competition also offers some estimable special awards: Leyla Gencer Audience Award, Accademia Teatro della Scala Special Award, Borusan Istanbul Philharmonic Orchestra Special Award, Deutsche Oper Berlin Special Award, and the Royal Opera House Jette Parker Young Artists Programme Special Award.
The jury, presided by Renato Bruson, comprises Sascha Goetzel (Artistic Director and Principal Conductor of the Borusan Istanbul Philharmonic Orchestra), David Gowland (Artistic Director of the Royal Opera House Jette Parker Young Artists Programme), Toni Gradsack (Teatro alla Scala Casting Director), Yekta Kara (Opera Director, Professor in the Mimar Sinan Fine Arts University State Conservatoire Opera Department), Christoph Seuferle (Deutsche Oper Berlin Operndirektor), and Alberto Triola (Festival della Valle d’Itria Artistic Director).
The internationally acclaimed competition is organised by the Istanbul Foundation for Culture and Arts (İKSV), Borusan Sanat, and Accademia Teatro alla Scala, with the kind collaboration of the Süreyya Opera House, and Istituto Italiano di Cultura.
A special documentary for Leyla Gencer
The sole safeguard to the Leyla Gencer archives, the Istanbul Foundation for Culture and Arts (İKSV), is producing a Leyla Gencer documentary with a view to giving more insight to the life and art of the great diva on the 10th anniversary of her death. The documentary, benefiting from the archives in the İKSV as well as from interviews with people who knew her in person, has Zeynep Oral as the scriptwriter, and it is directed by Selçuk Metin.
Shot in Milan and Istanbul and planned to be shown in December, the documentary includes exclusive interviews with public figures who found an opportunity to work with Leyla Gencer. The names to be involved in the documentary include musicologist and critic Lorenzo Arruga, author Franca Cella, founder of Accademia Teatro alla Scala Carlo Fontana, general manager of Teatro di San Carlo Rossana Purcha, director Ferzan Özpetek, the art director of Sferisto Opera and decorator who worked with Leyla Gencer in her operas for many years Pier Luigi Pizzi, president of this year’s competition jury Renato Bruson, participants of Leyla Gencer Voice Competitions Simge Büyükedes and Asude Karayavuz, winner of the 2006 Leyla Gencer Voice Competition, soprano Nino Machaidze, General Director of Borusan Sanat Ahmet Erenli, General Director of İKSV Görgün Taner, curator of Leyla Gencer: Primadonna and Solitude exhibition Yekta Kara, and Manager of Music Department of Accademia Teatro alla Scala Daniele Borniquez.