Meet one of Istanbul's State Opera divas, seasoned mezzo-soprano Lynn Çağlar. The US native has made Istanbul and it's state opera her home. She hopes more will be done for Turkey's opera scene starting from the renovation of the Ataturk Cultural Center, to the need for better state-operated schools for the next generation of soloists

ISTANBUL - Turkish Daily News

After singing in Turkey for over 20 years, one foreign opera singer for Istanbul's State Opera and Ballet can't wait for Istanbul to have a new stage.
U.S. native Lynn Trepel Çağlar has lived in Turkey since 1984. She has since performed as a mezzo-soprano in countless operas in Turkey, but most of them have been in the heart of the city, at the Atatürk Cultural Center (AKM) on Istanbul's Taksim Square.
She said that considering the preference of theater over opera, the opera scene in Istanbul has been well-attended.
�If it isn't a football night with a critical match, or a night where the weather has gone beautiful and everyone wants to be out, then our attendance rate is pretty good,� said Çağlar with a chuckle.
But the life of the city's opera over the next year will undergo some drastic changes. As of May 30, when the opera and ballet season ended, the AKM is closed for renovation and construction. In the next year major opera shows like Carmen will be put on hold and smaller ones, such as Mozart's Magic Flute and Don Pasquale by Gaetano Donizetti, will be held at the Kadıköy Municipality Süreyya Opera House. �These will continue as well as concerts,� said Çağlar. �We are lucky Kadıköy gave us this opera,� she said of the temporary arrangement. �They restored it for us and it has great acoustics.�
The AKM had allowed performers to rehearse and perform within the same building. In the interim, while works are completed at the AKM, however, the orchestra, choir and ballet will be using the Tekel building in Üsküdar. �It's different than being in the same building,� she said, �but we're managing.�
The plan is to get back the AKM refurbished, with a better sound system and facilities, as well as the props and materials stored in it.
�We are hoping to get the AKM in the same condition we left it in,� said Çağlar. �Although, the renovation needed to be done. It had gotten a little shabby,� Çağlar said of the AKM.