Sultans of the Opera
The Dream of the Orient
Many operas with Turkish motifs, stories and turqueries often have a sultan as their model or hero.
The dream of the Orient, exotisms and Alla Turca, music between Orient and Occident, a story of interrelations, oriental fantasies, new sound worlds - all this is SULTANS OF THE OPERA.
Treasures of forgotten or lost music from the Baroque period are presented in this programme with a CD and video recordings. One of the works will delight the listener as new recordings and open up new worlds of sound.
32 musicians from Germany, Italy, Spain, Russia, Mongolia and Turkey are involved in this unique project.
The Alla Turca opera is a genre that is indispensable in late Baroque and classical music-making. But the European version of life at the sultan's court always oscillates between the depiction of power-hungry, bloodthirsty rulers and the sultry, erotic atmosphere of the harem. So it is not only time to redefine the genre, but to show the world of the seraglio as it really was. In various opera scenes conceived according to the principle of baroque pastiche, the Pera Ensemble takes the audience on a fascinating journey into new (sound) worlds full of passion, devotion, love and the quest for power. The musical realisation is off the beaten track of Turkomania and exoticisms. Through the congenial combination of western baroque music and classical Turkish art music, the concept of aesthetic shock familiar from the 18th century is reworked here for a cosmopolitan audience of today.
1389 Battle of Kosovo was the first time the Ottoman army and the European nations of the time met in a military confrontation. This is the beginning of numerous warlike encounters between Orient and Occident in the centuries to come. The Ottoman dreams of expansion towards the West with the multiple siege of Vienna ended abruptly after the last siege of Vienna in 1683, where the Ottomans were repulsed by the Holy Alliance of Europeans.
However, the Crusaders had already fought against the Seljuk Turks in the 11th century and lost Jerusalem to them. All subsequent crusades were remembered by the European peoples through wars against Turks. As a result, the image of Turks was dominated by stereotypes that emphasized cruelty because of the Turkish wars.