More than 150 young performers from the Leipzig Opera Children’s Choir and the Barış İçin Müzik (Music for Peace) Youth Orchestra and Choir met up in Istanbul for the first time last week under the coordination of ENKA Arts and with support from the ENKA Foundation. The young performers from Germany and Turkey were taking part in the second leg of the “Weit, weit, weg. Zuhause/Far, Far Away. At Home” project. The first leg took place in Leipzig in 2016. On that occasion, 70 young performers from the Barış için Müzik group travelled to Leipzig and the ENKA Foundation met their travel expenses. This time, the Foundation assumed the accommodation costs of the whole party arriving from Germany and all the transport, catering and similar expenses of the entire company, including the Barış için Müzik group. The Foundation also took responsibility for preparing the rehearsal and concert halls and all related technical and organisational matters.
During a one-week musical camp, members of the two groups took part both in cultural activities and in workshops designed to enhance their musical talents. About 500 students were invited to an “Open Rehearsal” organised for ENKA Schools by ENKA Arts, giving them the opportunity to learn more about the show and observe the activities.
The climax of the project came on February 12th and 13th with performances of the musical show “Don’t Stop Me Now”. The show is set in the year 2040, when the world has become a better place thanks to music. The performances were notable for their colourful costumes and choreography. The children from the two countries and the audience all sang the Turkish folk song Dere Geliyor Dere together. The show was directed by Anett Krause, while the Leipzig Opera Children’s Choir was led by Sophie Bauer, the Barış İçin Müzik Youth Choir by Ceyda Çekmeci and the Orchestra by Samuel Matus. The show attracted great interest from the media as well as from the many music-lovers who filled the ENKA Auditorium to see it.
In her opening speech, ENKA Arts Director Gül Mimaroğlu noted that, besides education, the ENKA Foundation believes in the unifying and healing power of sports and the arts, and works to ensure that the younger generations in particular derive maximum benefit from these three fundamental fields of endeavour. Mimaroğlu went on to mention the support which the Foundation gives to young artists and musicians. “We welcome numerous children and young people to our activities free of charge all year round,” she said, “and frequently open our stage to young performers, particularly the Barış İçin Müzik group. The show you are about to watch is one of these performances.” “All together,” Mimaroglu concluded, “We are about to witness the bridge that more than 150 talented young people from the Leipzig Orchestra Children’s Choir and Barış İçin Müzik Group have built between their two countries through art. On behalf of our Foundation, ENKA Arts and my team, I would like to thank the representatives of all the institutions who have made this project a reality, the young musicians themselves and all the members of their teams.”
Speaking after Mimaroğlu, Dr Yeliz Baki, Vice President of the Barış İçin Müzik Foundation, and Sophie Bauer, Director of the Leipzig Opera Children’s Choir, emphasised the importance of developing cooperation and valuable friendships between countries for the future of world peace.