STAGE >Financial crisis hits Turkey’s State Opera and Ballet Directorate
Umut Erdem – ISTANBUL
Turkey’s State Opera and Ballet General Directorate is suffering from a big financial crisis and is taking a number of measures to try to make savings and recover, daily.
General Director Selman Ada has sent a letter to all provincial directorates across the country, ordering them to avoid using allowances except for unavoidable expenses like electricity, gas, telephone, the Internet, cleaning and service purchases.
The crisis has also had a negative effect on programs, with Ada stating that all provincial directorates should not stage new works or go on any tours until at least the end of this year. Meanwhile, performances of “La Boheme” and “Aida” have been removed from the 8th International Istanbul Opera Festival program.
Ada also warned that personnel would not be charged with giving ballet classes in the provincial directorates.
The 2017 budget of the State Opera and Ballet General Directorate is 286.89 million Turkish Liras, but alarm was raised during the first meeting held to evaluate the expenditures of the first four months of the year.
Ada, who has drawn attention for changing 24 directors in nearly two-and-a-half years since he took the post, sent a statement touching on the financial troubles on May 11 to the Ankara, Istanbul, İzmir, Mersin, Antalya and Samsun directorates.
“The meeting held to evaluate the 2017 financial year budget revealed that the current budget will fail to meet expenditures during the first four months of the year. As a result, problems with investment projects, festival expenses and allowances will occur. All expenditure units will therefore prioritize paying unavoidable expenses including electricity, gas, telephone, Internet, cleaning and service purchases, as mentioned in the Financial Ministry’s budget regulations,” the statement read.
It added statement that additional allowance demands are generally refused by the ministry, so compulsory savings measures must be taken in order to prevent financial trouble before end of the year.
Ada also announced the performances that will be removed from the festival programs.
“As part of the 8th International Istanbul Opera Festival, the opera ‘La Boheme,’ which was set to be staged on June 10 by the Ankara State Opera and Ballet, has been removed from the festival program. ‘Aida,’ which had been set to be staged on June 23 by the Antalya State Opera and Ballet, has also been removed from the program and replaced with the work ‘Faust’ on the same day,” the statement said.