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Baritone SEDAT ÖZTOPRAK

Baritone Sedat T. Öztoprak who is the grandchild of the famous oud virtuoso and composer Ahmet Sedat Öztoprak, one of the founders of Dârülelhan (Istanbul Municipality Conservatory), one of the pioneer performers of the Republic, was born inIstanbul. He started his vocal training at the State Conservatory as pupil of soprano Belkıs Aran. He carried out his master studies with Prof. Daniel Ferro at Chigiana Academy of Music in Siena, Italy, by means of a bursary by Italian Government, right after his vocal graduation from famous soprano and tutor Belkıs Aran’s class. He found the opportunity to work with conductors and pianists known worldwide. Later, although Daniel Ferro invited him to New York, he turned back to his native country to sing Don Giovanni in the opera Don Giovanni, in Istanbul. He worked with Robert Wagner who has an important place in Turkish opera. He performed The Secret of Susanne of Wolf Ferrari, The Consul of Menotti, The Merry Wives of Windsdor of Otto Nicolai, Carmen of Bizet, The Marriage of Figaro of Mozart, La Boheme of Puccini, The Masked Ball of Verdi, Yevgeni Onegin and The Queen of Spades of Tchaikovsky, and Atatürk Oratorio of Nevit Kodallı, and accompanied by Istanbul State Symphony Orchestra, he also performed the symphonic work Lieder Eines Fahrenden Gesellen of G. Mahler and Oratorio of Faure in Istanbul Festival. He introduced himself to Turkish art audience.

He blazed a trail in Turkish opera history by being awarded the Grand Prize of Radio and Television, the best Verdi performer in his own classification and the first prize, and the second prize among 640 people in general classification in 9th International Belvedere – Vienna Singing Competition in, one of the most important singing competitions in the world, held in Vienna, the Capital of Austria, in 1990. He gave concerts in Vienna, Bolzano and Baden soon after the competition. He appeared in many radio and TV programs. Then in 1991, he appeared in the Italian media with supreme praise following his recital performance with Prof. E. Furlotti in Parma, Italy. He received concert and stage play proposals from the other cities of Italy. He performed concerts subsequently.

He started to his international opera career with a contract he made to Wuppertal opera, by leaving Istanbul opera in 1993. He performed the operas The Merry Widow of Lehar, Rome and Juliette of Gound, Werther of Massenet, Yevgeni Onegin of Tchaikovsky and Jeanne D’arc. He worked with many people like the famous director Prof. Friedrich Meier Oertel, Hampe, Orlowski, Gruber, Leniert etc. He performed Fierrabras of Schubert with the conductor Dr. Peter Gülke after the world premiere performance in Vienna. This success carried him to Dortmund opera. What enable Sedat Öztoprak to rank amongst the leading baritones in the world was his performance and stage performance with his role in the opera Rigoletto of Verdi. The outstanding prospering comments in newspaper critics carried him many different stages rapidly.

He performed operas of Manon Lescaut of Puccini with Prof. George Schmöe, Cavalleria Rusticana of Masganini and Salvatore Giulliano of Ferrara with B. Lang, Nabucco of Verdi with O. Caitani, Don Giovanni of Mozart with M. Piollet, Masked ball, and Reingold of R. Wagner and Carmen of Bizet with Roberto Paternostro, and the operas of La Forza del Destino of Verdi, Hansel and Gretel of Humperdinck and also the opera of Don giovanni with Lewin from 1995 on, after he transferred to Kassel State Opera of Germany. He performed Nabucco and Rigoletto in Cemnitz opera; La Forza del Destino opera of Verdi in Altenburg-Gera, Münster, Rostock; The Masked Ball in the cities of Bamberg, Beireuyt, Hof; La Traviata opera of Verdi in Düsseldorf, Duisburg and Koblenz operas.

He appeared on the stage in international festivals. He performed many different operas notably Nabucco and Rigoletto in cities, Aspendos Opera Festival being in the first place, like Bregenz, Bielefeld, Bonn, Stuttgard, Bremen, Leipzig, Jena, Kalsruche, Frankfurt, Aachen, Munchen. His first tour abroed was Butterfly opera of Puccini in the cities of Renlighausen, Sollingen.

He gave concerts in the cities Mannheim, Mainz and Frankfurt with Prof. Peter Falk and Ludwigshahen philharmonic orchestra. He performed Gerschwin Porgy and Bess opera with Kassel symphony orchestra as konzertant (concertante). He appeared in concerts with Roberto Paternostro with Kessel symphony orchestraand Andreas Delfs with Dortmund symphony orchestra.

The performer, having a rich opera and concert repertory, carried out many opera stage plays and concerts in many countries in the World like Germany, Austria, Italy, Switzerland, Belgium, Holland, Hungary etc. He appeared in Radio and Television programs RAI, ORF, ZDF, WDR, TRT…

He turned back to his native country as the manager and general art director of Istanbul state opera in 2000. He continued until 2002 with his management understanding of Opera and Ballet arts which he fulfilled under the title of ‘Bringing the Turkish composers into the world repertory immediately’.  He transferred the International Belvedere- Vienna opera-singing competition to our country (Turkey) in 2001. He presented Ferhat and Şirin Ballet of A. Melikov to art-lovers in the framework of 100th birthday of Nazım Hikmet as the first DVD of Istanbul State Ballet in history as a project of Ministry of Culture.

Beginning from 2002, he appeared on the stage together with his wife soprano Efsun Öztoprak for the first time with the operas Rigoletto, Il Trovatore, The Masked Ball, La Traviata, Aida of Verdi and Manon Lescaut of Puccini. He performed the opera Luisa Miller of Verdi, to be performed for the first time in Turkey, with an outstanding achievement in Mersin opera in March 2009. He performed 4 separate main characters in the opera The Tales of Hoffman in the same stage play for the first time in 2010. Besides, he performed the opera Rigoletto as 2 premiere stage plays in Antalya Opera.

The performer who is married to Efsun Öztoprak has a musician son whose name is Sedatcan Öztoprak.

The performer, who has CD works both domestic and abroad, will release a special 30 years in art CD, with reference to 2010 Istanbul Capital of Culture, and also will release the long-playing-record of arias, composed of the opera productions of G. Verdi, who has worldwide fame, of an opera performer for the first time in Turkey.

He transmits his experiences to young opera artists by means of Opera Master Class programs he applies in the field of education and works as a singing master academician at opera singing branch at Istanbul University State Conservatory. He conducts academic studies as a supervisor at vocal training department of Istanbul Technical University Turkish Music State Conservatory, ranging from academicians to students and conducts seminars.