Mariinsky Theatre Orchestra

Beyoğlu Cultural Route Festival Kicks off – A Symphony of Arts and Culture in Istanbul

The Ministry of Culture and Tourism of Turkey is organizing the fourth annual Beyoğlu Cultural Route Festival, a part of the Turkey Cultural Route Festivals, aimed at enhancing Turkey’s international brand value.

The festival, which began in 2021 in Istanbul’s Beyoğlu, is a cultural and artistic brand for Turkey, featuring over 4,000 events across 11 cities, involving around 30,000 artists in more than 500 venues, spanning approximately 100 days.

A Cultural Marathon

The Beyoğlu Cultural Route Festival, the eighth stop in this cultural marathon, will continue until October 15th. It will host world-renowned musicians at the AKM Turkish Telecom Opera Hall, including the Mariinsky Orchestra, one of the world’s oldest and most productive art groups, conducted by Valery Gergiev.

A Melange of Musical Genres

The festival will feature a diverse range of artists, such as Tunisian protest artist Emel Mathlouthi, who blends traditional melodies with electro and trip hop, and Angelique Kidjo, known as the Diva of Africa. Other performers include Riff Cohen, known for his successful folk songs, and Dino Merlin from Bosnia and Herzegovina. Gilbert Varga, who began his music career with violin lessons from his famous violinist father, Tibor Varga, at the age of four, will also perform with the Izmir State Symphony Orchestra.

Opening Ceremony

The opening ceremony will be marked by a grand representation of the Istanbul State Opera and Ballet, featuring soloists, solo dancers, orchestra, choir, and the ‘Modern Dance Community Istanbul’ project dancers. The program will include selections from operas like Fidelio, Don Giovanni, I Puritani, Il Trovatore, Yevgeni Onegin, Lucia di Lammermoor, Otello, Cavalleria Rusticana, Aida, Nabucco, Faust, La Bohème, Carmen, and ballets like Giselle, La Bayadère, and Don Quixote.

Pop Music and Exhibitions

Famous names in Turkish pop music will give open-air concerts, leaving a mark on the Beyoğlu Cultural Route Festival. The festival will also host the most comprehensive exhibition ever made about Star Wars, featuring over 600 pieces collected over 40 years, bringing the Star Wars universe to the Istanbul Cinema Museum from October 1st.

Opera and Musicals

The festival will feature operas and musicals like “Fiddler on the Roof,” which takes its audience to the world of residents of Anatevka village, stuck between tradition and revolution in pre-revolutionary 1905 Tsarist Russia, and “Rigoletto,” composed by Giuseppe Verdi. The Istanbul State Opera and Ballet will perform classics like “La Bayadère” ballet and “Faust” opera, while the Samsum State Opera and Ballet will present a two-act “Carmen” ballet, blending classical ballet and flamenco.

Turkish Folk Music and Jazz

The festival will also feature Turkish folk music with symphony orchestra performances and specially prepared dances, conducted by Eray İnal, and the Kerem Görsev Quartet concert will be presented to jazz lovers. Görsev will be accompanied by Can Kozlu on drums, Volkan Hürsever on double bass, and Engin Recepoğulları on saxophone.

Art Exhibitions

Various art exhibitions will be held at locations like Rami Library and Istanbul Painting and Sculpture Museum, featuring manuscript exhibitions of Anatolian Sages and Scholars, the Akbank 41st Contemporary Artists Award Exhibition, and many more.

This festival is a testament to Turkey’s rich and diverse cultural heritage, offering a plethora of events and exhibitions that cater to a wide range of artistic tastes and preferences, thereby solidifying its status as an international cultural and artistic brand.

Visit for more details and program.

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