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Istanbul, Turkey

Süreyya Opera House

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Architect Kegam Kavafyan designed this regal opera house under commission by government official Süreyya Ilmen, who was inspired by the great theaters of Europe and wanted to establish a similarly elegant venue in Istanbul's Anatolian portion. The building was grand, for sure, but didn't have sufficient facilities to actually host operettas, and soon converted into a movie theater: the Süreyya Cinema, which offered big-screen delights for many decades. In the mid-2000s, the place was renovated to fulfill its original intended purpose: Now it actually IS an opera house, hosting performances of the Turkish State Opera and Ballet as well as sundry art events and festivals.

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