Sureyya Opera House - Kadikoy
In order to talk about Sureyya Opera House, you must first learn about Sureyya Ilmen himself. Founder of the aviation organization and a textile factory, Ilmen not only served as a member of the parliament but also donated most of his wealth to charities and different causes. As such, the opera house was built with his donations and he was the founder of the Sureyya Opera Group.
We found information on the history of the opera house in Katoglu, Gursel and Aydemir’s book that they’ve written for Kadıkoy Municipiality. The architecture of the opera house was created through incorporating three different foreign design esthetics (one of them being Champs-Elysées of Paris is known only).
After Kadıkoy Municipality’s restoration of the building in 2006, the opera house finally started fulfilling its purpose and is still hosting the Sureyya Opera Performances. As Istanbulites, we think you will be missing out a lot if you don’t go and experience the beauty and power of opera here. You can find the program here, and take the 360° virtual tour of the building- although it can never compare to the real deal!
Russian painter Nikolai Kalmukov, whom later moved to Turkey and changed his name to Naci Kalmukoglu, created the ceiling frescos and wall panels. You can find more information (only Turkish) on him and pictures of his paintings in a video through this link from an exhibition that took place in Izmir last year.
The statues that adorn the exterior of the building as well as the columns around the stage were made by the first Turkish sculptor Ihsan Ozsoy. You can find more information on the artist here.
This week we took you to Sureyya Opera House that waited 80 years to be reunited with its music. Life is better with music, so why don’t you play a tune you like right now and be reunited it with it immediately.
Take care of yourselves,
Tracer of Istanbul