THE REPORT PRESENTED TO ATATÜRK
Mr. Max Reinhard the administrative manager of the Vienna Reinhard School had
been invited to establish the opera in our country. He accepted, made
investigations and then prepared a report, which he presented to Atatürk.
After the inspection, Atatürh added a note to the report “ Let’s hold this
report essential” in his own handwriting (music magazine 1963 November 189-Mr.
Etem Üngör. The following has been written in this report: Turkish people are
one of oldest culture nations of the world. The Nation has got a special music
taste. This taste could be worn off with time and could be repressed by the
hypnotic impressions of Arabic and Byzantine music. Every foreigner who was
active in this respect could easily understand the reach source of excellent
values of Turkish folk melodies despite the monotony of palace music.
We want to establish an opera for this nation. This opera would perform
essentially every kind of western works from Bizzet to Wagner. It is not so
difficult to train the personel even to perform well these operas. But the isue
is to prepare the people to listen and enjoy them meanwhile. This is a more
difficult question than performing an opera.
Therefore the people who are responsible to establish the opera must also be
charged to prepare the opera spectators. In my opinion, the real work starts
from this point.
Kemal Pasha could reduce the Turkish Music broadcasting hours in the past
from he could even abolish broadcasts.
He could replace them with Western music. He could arrange Western Music
Concerts in each town hall. But this won’t be a (positive) affirmative action.
People would listen to the nearest oriental radios with a confidential
resistance in their closed curtain rooms.
This direct change could be met with antipathy and sudden withdrawal could
begin. Than the advocacy of abolishing western music on the radio could prevail.
All the work done could be lost. Thus, the Turkish opera might be in a danger of
not finding listeners, except from a temporary, limited crowd seeming to be
looking forward to the nice future performances of the Turkish opera.
According to my investigations, I have come to an opinion about the higher
visual taste of Turkish people.
We can do some important things supported by the visual taste.
It is necessary to start with operettas that will appeal to people’s taste.
The humorous (funny) elements and melodrama elements can be mixed in these
operettas. I can advise to you a Hungarian operetta for a first step.
The similarity is obvious between the Turkish taste and the Hungarian folk
music. A Hungarian operetta supported by Hungarian folk music can be accepted by
Turkish people and wathed with delight. This has to be the first step.
Furthermore western musical examples of old folk musical theatres, despite their
being primitively written, can be held. The visual ornamentation is not to be
After that an opera-buffo, a comic opera addressed to the visual taste of the
spectator can be selected. A mixture collecting the various musicians’
compositions can be made. More over, this has to be preferred, without
hesitation. The spectator will not believe his eyes at the beauties at the stage
and be taught to love the melodies touching their ears willingly or unwillingly.
After that more serious operettas can be given, starting with the easiest.
Such a program has been attached to this report. Additionally, there are other
suggestions to realize.”