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 neglected.

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.”