Thursday, November 25, 2010

Public OutCry in District of Amasra of Bartin Province on Black Sea coast of Turkey

Local Investor Industry Inc. company plans to construct a total of 2640 megawatts  coal fired thermal power in touristic county of Amasra on the BlackSea coast. Two public information meetings for EIA  were scheduled earlier but could not be realized due to ever growing local public reaction. Bartin Province and surrounding municipalities under the leadership of Amasra county, in 120 non-governmental organizations are established to oppose to coal fired thermal power plant investment. The EIA public information meeting was scheduled to be held in the Municipal Social Premises on 24-25th November 2010. Group of about two thousand people, and with their protest banners gathered outside the meeting hall.  Police's broad security measure was held to avoid any unpleasant outcome.  Opposition party deputy, Bartin Mayor (MHP), Mayor of Amasra (CHP),  together with the local crowd, entered the meeting hall with opposing slogans at the time of the EIA meeting and stopped the procedures.  Hema Industrial Energy Group Vice President and other company executives were surrounded by the crowd. The slogan was, 'We do not want thermal power plants'. Corporate managers wanted to walk out of the hall since meeting was not possible. Due to the ever growing reaction of the local people who do not want to have an EIA meeting, the company managers were removed under the police cordon. The protesters shouted slogans, 'Your Business is death', 'Do not touch our Living entitlement', 'NO to thermal power plant', 'Do not  touch my forest nor water'. They had lots of posters/ banners with the similar wording of the slogans. In the end, EIA meeting had been canceled due to public protest. The records could not be kept of the meeting. The announcement of the cancellation is celebrated with local folkloric dances with drums and flutes experienced great joy in playing. Translated from HurriyetDailyNews

Saturday, November 13, 2010

Panel on Energy in Antalya on 3rd December 2010

Turkish Chamber of Mechanical Engineers Antalya branch announces the Panel on "Hard Facts of Turkish Energy Markets and Recommended Solutions" on 3rd  December 2010 Friday starting at  0900 hours in Antalya  MMO  premises main Conference room. Speakers are key professionals from Turkish Public and Private enterprises. Panel is open for all interested parties and it is free-of charge. Full-day panel will be conducted in Turkish language however some ppt presentations could be in English. For further information and/or clarifications, please feel free to ask.  
           (+90) 242 4448666 


Wednesday, November 10, 2010

Wagner in Ankara

Dear Energy Professional, Dear Colleagues,

I spent almost all my professional life in thermal power plant business. I support all types’ energy investments provided that they create employment for the local people, they are environmentally friendly and they utilize local energy sources.  When I consider classical music, I feel that Opera is the music of the energy sector, of the thermal power plants.

Once we think of natural gas industry, then we recall Nabucco Opera composed by Giuseppe Verdi. "Nabucco" pipeline is named after this opera, since it was the opera performance on stage in Vienna Opera house during partnership negotiations held in Vienna at that time.

In the spring of 2010 at the Ankara Opera, world famous lady director "Mrs. Yekta Kara", directed   "Macbeth" opera on stage. Macbeth was played three times, two of which I had the chance to see.  The baritone roles were great.  Singers, choir and the orchestra performance were exceptional, great.  "Macbeth" opera relays subtle messages in a political sense. 

In this autumn, Tosca and Macbeth will be staged in Ankara Opera House.

Opera is the harshest, most brutal, most spectacular music, the peak is of the German Richard Wagner Operas. There will be a new Wagner Opera Tannhauser in Ankara Opera House after New Year.  Premier will be on 7th May 2011. 

Why Wagner? I feel that it is most suitable music for thermal power plant professionals. 
Wagner, who lived between the years 1813-1883, contrary to common thought he had nothing to do with Hitler, he even did not live at the same life span.   

When I watch a presentation on thermal power plants, in a conference, in panel discussions, in fairs, exhibitions,  at the background I hear Wagner's music. I do not know why? I guess maybe it's the most suitable music for all parties.

“At the moment in the opera world, which Wagner Opera is being staged where?" I did goggle search. Have a look what I have found,

There are seven separate opera houses in Moscow, after a long period of indifference for the first time this year,  Wagner will be on stage.

In Germany, Deutscher Oper in Berlin,   Hamburg  StaatsOper, Munich Bayerische Oper will have Wagner opera on stage.
LaScala in Milan too,   Die Walküre ,
In Paris, three  Wagner Opera will be performed in the spring of 2011,
Two different Wagner operas  will be on stage in New York Metropolitan Opera,
Maybe "Opera in Cinema" organization in Ankara can create an opportunity and we can watch live in Cinema.
Royal Opera House in London has one Wagner performance in  November.
There is no Wagner opera in Telaviv Israel, an unofficial ban of Wagner music due to unpleasant WW2 events.
Prague Opera house has two-separate Wagner repertoire. “Flying Dutchmen” and “Tristan and Isolde”  as of 2011.
In 2010-2011 Budapest Opera repertoire, there are 5-separate Wagner operas, it is fantastic.
Vienna State opera has only the "Flying Dutchman" in 2010
Sydney Opera house has no Wagner, in BuonesAires Opera house it  "Tristan and Isolde" on stage.
So what is the latest situation in Turkey? Izmir opera house repertory has "The Flying Dutchman", we do not know if they play this season.

In Ankara, we have learnt that Wagner’s "TannHauser" Opera will be staged on 7th May 2011.  Conductor and Director are German, all singers are Turkish.

Wagner Opera in Sureyya Istanbul is not in near future.  LaTraviata will be held on October 16-19-21-22 in Sureyya Istanbul Opera house. Tickets are available for purchase from the internet, you can buy tickets 30 days before being on stage.

This year LaTraviata in Sureyya Opera house has three different teams. It is better to watch on two consecutive days. You should be online on 30 days earlier in the morning, at 0930 hours and when the web page opens already to sell  tickets for the duration,  and then you should immediately purchase the tickets. The next day it is too late. Then for those who will travel to Istanbul, one should create business meetings/ fairs/ conferences in Istanbul, anyhow we have 1-month time to organize such activities.

To buy an opera ticket/ and choose a seat is not easy, you should choose not front seats where you cannot watch the performance on the hall. You should choose once left end corner the other day on the right end corner.

Balcony tickets are not recommended. You watch left of right and that gives you headache.  If you are alone and you have one balcony ticket, in the second act,  go direct to hall and try to find a seat. Those beautiful usher ladies will help you and get a seat for you immediately.

"LaTraviata" Opera in Sureyya Opera house is played on stage with almost empty  decor. There is a little bit tilted platform, one chair, one big gambler table, or the last act one bed are on the stage. But the lead singers and choir are in great ball gown look, everybody is happy, men in black tuxedos, ladies in beautiful night dresses they walk on stage with jewelry.

My favorite conductor Antonio Pirolli will be directing the opera orchestra. All low voices even whispers can be heard very well in Sureyya Opera house, all three teams play different, and the audience feels that they watch three separate opera performances.

For an Opera attendance, you should get prepared earlier. You should get cassette, CD, iPod, mp3 player, to play Wagner’s Tannhouser music non-stop where available applicable at least 1-2 days or even one-week earlier.

You should remember  each note  each sound of opera  music in your head, even you have no conservatory training, you should be able to follow the full  music in your head.

You should have a dark business suit, shirt, neck-tie, proper dress.  This requirement is for male audience. If you will be watch football match of your favorite team  Fenerbahce, then get your blue jean and FenerBahce t-shirts.

If you will be watching an Opera get dressed accordingly. Casual dress for the opera is declaration of self-disrespect. We have no wording for ladies. Ladies know how to dress properly for every occasion.

Go early and get your seat not later than 19:30 in the hall.  There will be a few newcomer youngsters who would talk to each other, ignore them. This will be their only and last chance to see an opera.

Program book is definitely needed. Buy program booklet for each colleague you are with, and please do not try to read the text on the last minute. Opera is very well known.  Do not try to read the digital wording, enjoy the music, it is so familiar you have heard earlier.

Sureyya Opera house is relatively small, but that is the advantage, all the natural voice is heard more clearly. The other opera AKM is too big, sometimes portable microphones are used.  I feel that it is not appropriate.

In the first intermission, one half cup of red wine (Merlot Ankyra) drinking is relaxes, and makes you happy. Then in the other calls,  black coffee with no sugar keeps people awake. Also please do note that the toilet has very steep stairs, and if you need to go to toilets, go early as possible. Your fluid intake is  to be kept under control to avoid toilet need.

In the LaTraviata Opera, in the last act is the most beautiful, the most dramatic part, gives the soprano to show her talent.  In Milan LaScala Opera, audience does not forgive any slightest mistake. The Artists are showered with  flowers.

We've got the standard applause here, we should bring flowers to the front row,  the artist should get the rain of flowers. After the performance, it is better to stay in the coffee house just across the street for half an hour, then the crowd will be released and you can get taxi easier.

Past spring, over website MyBilet "Opera in Cinema" program began. In Ankara Panora shopping mall cinema 7.hall, we had live opera broadcast. We watched, "Simon Boccanegra" and "Carmen". Tickets were sold at TL40 for live performance,  TL30 from past digital records. The cinema management served cold white wine and strawberries, the audience were very pleased. 
Lady director "Yekta Kara" was in the in the audience, and also, Ankara opera house conductor/ artists / orchestra players/ chorus/ singers/ almost all staff.

This fall, maybe the same practice continues. Maybe I watch a live broadcast of a Wagner opera in "Opera in Cinema" program. 

Ankara METU Alumni Association is planning Classical Music and opera performances in their open air Amphitheater Lawn.

Do not be without classical music, especially the opera. With deepest regards

Haluk Direskeneli, Ankara based Energy Analyst,

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