Censorship allegations concerning Turkey’s state-run art institutions have taken a new turn with the İzmir State Opera and Ballet’s removal of “Carmina Burana” from its repertoire at the last minute, two days before the world-famous cantata was set to be performed at the Ahmed Adnan Saygun Arts Center in an evening performance on Saturday 2 May 2015, according to news reports that appeared in Turkish media.
The company’s management removed the Carl Orff cantata from the repertoire citing “technical problems”; however, the fact that the last-minute decision came right on the heels of classical pianist Fazıl Say’s column on 29 April 2015 in the Cumhuriyet daily – in which he wrote about the themes explored in “Carmina Burana,” such as sex, lust and drinking – has raised questions as to whether Say’s column has served as a “wakeup call” for the İzmir State Opera, according to an article published 1 May 2015 in Cumhuriyet.
Photo: İzmir State Opera and Ballet artists perform in a dress rehearsal for the company’s ballet production based on the Carl Orff cantata ‘Carmina Burana’ for the 2009-2010 season in this archive photo dated 25 September 2009. Photo by Cihan.
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