Carmina Burana at Ephesus Theatre


The opportunity to see any performance in the great theatre at Ephesus is not to be missed and, on Friday night, the Izmir State Orchestra were giving a grand finale performance of Carmina Burana.  Not, perhaps, our first choice of music, but a great chance for the artists to showcase their talents.

We walked to the venue, breaking our journey with a pre-theatre dinner of gözleme at Seven Sleepers.  Then, once we approached Ephesus, it became apparent that the event would be very well attended.  The carpark was even more packed than it is when four cruise ships are in Kuşadası at the same time.  People were having to park on the approach roads.

The site itself was lit up and we were swept along with the crowd – the atmosphere was festive and electric – much as it must have been in the city’s heyday.  Once we got to the theatre we found plenty of people we recognised and, much to our surprise, managed to find our friends in the crowd.

The theatre has a capacity of over 20,000 seats and, although the top part is inaccessible, it is still able to seat a great many people.  We couldn’t estimate how many were there, but it did seem like ‘an awful lot of people’.   Many of whom were watching through their phones or tablets or other handheld devices.  At least, we think, most people silenced their phones and the many children present were well-behaved.  Many of them fell asleep…

The performance started with speeches and a minute’s silence for the victims of Soma mine disaster.  The acoustics are remarkable – we heard every note in great detail.  And the atmosphere was… incomparable.


9 responses to “Carmina Burana at Ephesus Theatre

  1. It sounds like a wondeful evening- the setting alone must have added a special feeling to it. Are there many musical events held there? We walked through Efes in December, the mosaics in the newly uncovered house were stunning – wonder what future generations will make our tiles…

    • There are a few events over the summer, some in the great theatre, some in front of the library.

      Fully agree the terrace houses are fantastic, in our view the best bit of any trip to Ephesus – not to be missed despite costing extra to get in.

  2. . . takes me back to my first ever opera at Aspendos with three of the State Opera and Ballet companies and the Presidential Orchestra. . but that is too long a story for here. As for the acoustics, they don’t build them like that any more!

    • Aspendos theatre is pretty amazing – though Roman. We would really like to get there for an event. Events in Ephesus are a lot easier for us to get to and the acoustics are pretty good. Some day we may arrange tour of live music events, Ephesus, Aspendos and Epidaurus. Would sure beat the matinee down at the Palais.

  3. Enviable. Must have been a wonderful experience……

    • It is wonderful that ancient theatres are still used as they should be. Carmina Burana is a great piece of Germanic madness. It was well presented in a fantastic setting. So yes, a wonderful evening.

  4. Hi Ashley and Hilary! It turned out to be a truly memorable evening, didn’t it? What could be better than sitting in the ancient amphitheatre of Ephesus and listening to such magical music? Fabulous. It was also really GREAT to see you both again! I really admire you for settling into life in Selcuk like this. I saw that there is a vibrant expat community out there.
    Don’t forget to let me know when you next come to Istanbul ….xx

    • Hi. It was really great to see you. We keep meaning to come to Istanbul but something always seems to get in the way! Last time we were there was when we bought the bike (and it snowed). Our summer looks very busy, but hopefully in the autumn or winter.

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