Author(s): Elif Sanem GÜLEÇ

Ikesus was one of the first Turkish opera singers to appear on stage in Europe. In 1941 after returning to Turkey she went on with her stage work in the role of Leonore in the production of the opera Fidelio mounted by Carl Ebert. After Fatma Saadet Ikesus graduated in 1940 from the Berlin Conservatory, she began her career as a mezzosoprano in the Duisburg Opera. In addition to singing opera she began her work at the Ankara State Conservatory as the first Turkish woman voice instructor and during her music career she made an effort to develop a technique that suited the Turkish throat. She translated more than 50 operas into Turkish in order to contribute to the development of opera in Turkey. In 1952, she worked as an assistant to Arnulf Schroder, the principal conductor of the Munich State Theater, when he took a position to work in Turkey. With the encouragement of Muhsin Ertugrul who made important contributions to the development of Turkish theater, she acquired the title of first Turkish woman director as she took part in the staging the opera Cosi Fan Tutte as a director. In addition to the translations she did in the field of literature, she wrote the first book in Turkey in the field of voice training and health (Ses Sagligi ve Korunmasi/1965). Known as the teacher of teachers, Fatma Saadet Ikesus was one of the leading artists who transfered her incredible knowledge as opera singer to younger generations as a director and instructor. Modern polyphonic Turkish music lost Fatma Saadet Ikesus on 12 December 2007.


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