He came, he sang, he conqueredThe impressive performances of the 25 participants who competed in this year's Siemens Opera Contest Turkey definitely didn’t make it easy for the high-caliber jury to crown a winner. But in the end, baritone Uğur Atasoy stood out clearly with his performance of Rodrigo Aria from Verdi’s Don Carlo, showcasing a masterful technique and a mesmerizing stage presence. From the moment he hit his first note, he grabbed everyone’s attention. In fact, Uğur Atasoy seemed to have no problem filling the room with his voice. It was a well-deserved victory at the 21st Siemens Opera Contest Turkey.
Uğur Atasoy – a talent to look out for
Uğur Atasoy was born in Ankara in 1991. While still at high school, he came second in the “Best Performer” category of the Inter-High School Music Contest organized throughout Turkey by the Hürriyet newspaper.
He entered Haliç University Conservatory, Opera and Concert Singing department in 2013. He took to the stage at the Oper Im Berg Festival both in Salzburg, Austria and Munich, Germany when he was only a junior and performed in La Traviata, I Puritani, and The Magic Flute operas.
He won second prize in the 22nd International Istanbul Baroque Festival’s singing competition in 2016. He was a soloist at the Young Talents concert of Istanbul State Opera in 2018 and performed Count Almaviva of Le nozze di Figaro by Mozart.
Early 2019 he was invited to the Opera Studio of I’Opera National de Paris, one of the biggest operas of Europe. He successfully completed his voice training with vocal coaches baritone Nejat Işık Belen and baritone Kevork Tavityan. He took style and interpretation lessons from Suat Arıkan, Head of Istanbul State Opera, and joined the masterclass program of Bass Baritone Burak Bilgili.
He is continuing his vocal trainings with Prof. Güzin Gürel.
Siemens Opera Contest Turkey 2019
For three days, young talented singers from all around the country gathered at the Istanbul Foundation for Culture and Arts (IKSV) to compete in Turkey’s only nationwide opera contest.
Their aim was to showcase their talent, gain valuable experience and win one of the attractive prizes, which include a scholarship at Karlsruhe Opera and Salzburg Mozarteum, as well as exciting performance opportunities all over Europe.
Despite the outstanding renditions of all singers (including first- and second-placed soprano Sedef İlayda Büyükyörük and baritone Ramazan Karaoğlanoğlu, as well as Siemens Opera Contest Honorable Mention mezzo-soprano Melis Günerli), 28-year-old Uğur Atasoy from Istanbul won over the jury.
Its members included Yekta Kara (opera director), Peter Spuhler (Baden State Theater Karlsruhe), Andrea Raabe (University of Music and Performing Arts Karlsruhe) and Stephan Frucht (Siemens Arts Program). Beaming and – as always – very expressive, Uğur Atasoy accepted the award at the Prize Gala handed over by Hüseyin Gelis, CEO Siemens Turkey, whose regional company initiated the competition together with the Siemens Arts Program.
The great interest in foreign-language songs brought Beren Fidan to the opera.
At the age of 19 she began her studies as an opera singer. In 2018 she won the Siemens Opera Contest in Turkey. In the same year she completed her studies as top and high honour student at the Dilek Sabancı State Conservatory. Since 2017 she has been working with the soloist of the Ankara State Opera, Görkem Ezgi Yildirim.
In August, Beren Fidan was given the opportunity to present excerpts from the international opera repertoire at the Bürgerfest of German President Frank-Walter Steinmeier in Bellevue Castle.
The Siemens Arts Program will follow Beren Beren's career with great interest.
“It's like a dream”İlkin Alpay, winner of the 2016 Siemens Opera Contest Turkey, can still feel the awe-inspiring boards of Carnegie Hall beneath her feet. After singing at the world-famous venue, she’s surrounded by adoring New York music fans: today is just like a dream for the young soprano.
After İlkin Alpay won the 2016 Siemens Opera Contest in Istanbul, her career really took off. Her debut was on October 22 at the Badisches Staatstheater in Karlsruhe in the role of Gianetta in Donizetti’s ‘L’elisir d’amore’ (The Elixir of Love). This marked the start of a stint at the Staatstheater’s opera studio for the 2017 season.
Hers is an unusual timeline: The young soprano has made it to the world’s premier concert hall – before her professional singing career has officially begun! So her appearance in New York is the high point of her experience to date, and it’s down to support from the Siemens Arts Program. Stephan Frucht, Artistic Director of the Siemens Arts Program, on the subject of fostering talent: “It’s always been important for Siemens to attract and support young talent from all spheres. We work to provide them with the basis for developing their own creativity.”
The nineteenth Siemens Opera Contest is being held in 2017 in Istanbul between May 22 and 25.
Hueseyin Gelis, CEO of Siemens Turkey, on the Siemens Opera Contest: “Creativity isn’t restricted to research, technology or IT. Our aim at Siemens is to spark an exchange between all creative areas of life. That’s what drives us.”