The great thing about Turkey is the way they represent their culture and expose it to the people; you may find a lot to learn and explore in this city. In this article however, I am going to talk about Istanbul Opera House, its location and a glimpse on its history. Buckle up and let’s have fun.
Süreyya Opera House, also known as Süreyya Cultural Center is an opera hall in Istanbul neighborhood of Kadıköy, Turkey. The building was designed by the Ottoman Armenian architect Kegam Kavafyan by order of a Deputy for Istanbul Süreyya, the first musical theater on the Anatolian part of Istanbul was originally established in 1927. Nevertheless, due to lack of adequate theater facilities and equipment, operettas were never staged. Then, the venue was used as a film theater until the building underwent a functional renovation and reopened as an opera house by end 2007.
Süreyya Pasha began the construction of the building in 1924 to meet the need for a place for cultural and social events lacking in Kadıköy. During his visits, he was impressed by the glamor of the famous theaters in Europe. In the hall, an example of an Art Deco based upon the Champ Elysées Theater in Paris and in the interior, showing the German architectural styles, the esthetic and functional influences of the architectural design of the buildings are reflected on his design. Through order of Istanbul Süreyya’s representative, Kegham Kavafyan was named architect at the 1927 completed Süreyya Opera House. Named “Süreyya Opereti” and opened on March 6, 1927, the theater was the first of its art in the Asian part of Istanbul and the sixth in the whole city.
The ballroom on the second floor served as a wedding hall for many years. It hosted the theater group “Kadıköy Sahnesi” (Kadıköy Stage) five years from 1959 on. Later, the room was used as a clothing workshop.
At the beginning of 2006, Kadıköy Municipality initiated a renovation project after the Darüşafaka Association leased the building for a 40-year period in August 2005. The reconstruction included the ceiling and wall frescoes and façade sculptures. The construction works lasted almost two years and the cost amounted to around 14 million Turkish Liras. On 14 December 2007, Ahmet Adnan Saygun reopened the Süreyya Opera House performing the oratorio Yunus Emre (Opus 26). Thus, after 80 years, the dream of Süreyya Pasha about an opera house came true. The stage of the theater has dimensions of 14 m long, 10 m deep and 4.90 m height with newly added orchestral pit. There are 14 dressing rooms, constructed without changing the building’s architecture. The opera house has a seating capacity of 570 seats. The second-floor ballroom can sleep 500 guests. The opera house has State Opera and Dance in Istanbul. The venue presents opera and dance shows three days a week. The house frequently hosts displays of arts, and celebrations such as the Republic Day Ball.
On their official website you can navigate through all the upcoming events. The events are almost daily, they have instrumental concerts like the Four Pianos, Children Opera, Ballet, Children Music, Oratoryo-Bale, Romantic-Classical opera. You can book your tickets from the website as well after you choose the opera you want to go to.
You can go there using the minibuses that takes off from Taksim Square directly to Kadiköy district, and then you might take the rest of the road walking through the amazing Kadiköy, or using the Kadiköy’s Tram which will arrive near the Opera House.