A recital featuring musical compositions based on Shakespeare’s sonnets took place in the Faculty of Performing Arts Theater on December 10, courtesy of the Department of Turkish Literature. The program was dedicated to the memory of the late Prof. Talât Sait Halman, renowned for his Turkish translations of Shakespeare’s works.
Alper Almelek, who composed and sang the sonnets, was accompanied by Oğuz Kasap on the piano. Mr. Almelek, a graduate of both the political science and music departments at Southern Maine University in the US, has been composing vocal versions of Shakespeare’s sonnets for the last 20 years. Of the 40 sonnets he has set to music, 10 were included in the recital.
Mr. Kasap, who assisted Mr. Almelek in arranging the sonnets for recital performance, worked with Serguei Tchepournov at the Ontario Conservatory of Music in Toronto, Canada, after graduating from the music department of Gazi University. In addition to serving as accompanist, Mr. Kasap also spoke briefly about each piece before the recital, while Prof. Halman’s translations were displayed on a screen.
This musical presentation of Shakespeare’s sonnets proved a delightful and unique experience for the audience. Mr. Almelek and Mr. Kasap earned the admiration and applause of Bilkent students and faculty members alike for their inventive work in bringing this project to fruition, as well as for their harmonious performance.
Aslı Yerlikaya (EDEB PhD student)