If you missed Monday’s opening night concert of the Fethiye Culture & Arts Festival, you really missed out on an excellent display of nascent, and at the same time some very accomplished, musicianship.

Students from the Antalya Conservatoire performed in the amphitheatre and the evening opened with a 9-year-old boy followed by a 10-year-old girl both playing piano pieces.

Only one name will be mentioned in full in this article: Merve Akyıldız.

18-year-old Merve is already competing on the international piano competition circuit, and last year represented Turkey at such a competition in Italy, and won first prize.

You can see her in the photo accepting her award, and she really stood out at tonight’s concert, as she complemented her long auburn hair with an emerald green gown.

As well as playing the piano Merve sings – and in several languages. There were two other excellent young women who sang, and two male students who played classical and flamenco guitar.

Songs, and an operatic aria, were performed in Turkish, Spanish, Italian and English and there was a show stopping delivery of Edith Piaf’s ‘Je Ne Regrette Rien’ by a young woman called Duygu.

At the end all the performers gathered on stage for a final round of applause, and the presentation of the traditional thank you certificates by a member of the Festival Committee.

Then Merve and Duygu brought the house down with their yodelling.

Forget Swiss men in lederhosen and plump young women in dirndl skirts, this was operatic yodelling and it blew us all away.

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A great start to the week and we hope to see more non-Turks attending tomorrow’s concert which will start at 8pm not 7.30 as previously advertised.

If it rains the concerts will relocate to the Cultural Centre.

No Commitment, Just Turn Up

It is a very free and easy atmosphere at these outdoor concerts, with people coming and going as they please.

So if you don’t like the music you can just leave at any time.

And bring a cushion as the stone seats are hard!!!

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