Aspendos Theatre

Aspendos is located about 40km east of Antalya and was once an ancient city in Pamphylia, the ancient name of the fertile land in southern Turkey. Pamphylia was part of the ancient Hittite empire with Side and Aspendos being the main towns.

Aspendos has a long and varied history and has seen many different rulers over the years. The city surrendered to the Romans in 190 BC who later plundered and pillaged its treasures. A decline began at the end of the Roman period and continued throughout Byzantine times. Approximately 1km north of Aspendos the remains of a Roman aqueduct that once supplied water to Aspendos are still visible.


Information about Aspendos

Aspendos is perhaps best known for the best-preserved theatre of antiquity in Turkey, with a diameter of almost 100m and seating provided for thousands of people. The amphitheatre was designed by the Greek architect Zenon and built in the second century during the rule of Marcus Aurelius.

Aspendos ancient theatre

In keeping with Hellenistic traditions, a small part of it was built in such a manner that it leaned against the hill where the Citadel stood. The rest of it was built on domed arches.

In 1930 Ataturk visited the site and instructed the Aspendos Theatre to be renovated and made fit to use. Today, Aspendos is generally visited by tourists for its theatre and waterways.

Aspendos Theatre

The theatre hosts the annual Aspendos International Opera and Ballet Festival. In Turkish it is called "Aspendos Uluslararasi Opera ve Bale Festivali” and has been organized by the Turkish State Opera and Ballet since 1994 with opera and ballet companies from all around the world taking part.

Cukurova Symphony Orchestra in Aspendos


Performances today, although modern, give you the opportunity to soak up the atmosphere and look back in time to what it was like in Roman times.

The annual festival is held during the months of June and July. Part of the program for 2011 is shown below:

09 June Thursday 2011
CARMEN - G.Bizet (Opera)
Istanbul State Opera and Ballet

13 June Monday 2011
MEDEA - L.Cherubini (Opera)
Antalya State Opera and Ballet

16 June Thursday 2011
OTELLO - G.Verdi (Opera)
Izmir State Opera and Ballet

20 June Monday 2011
BARBAROSSA - M.Dede (Dance Drama)
Directorates of State Opera and Ballet

21 June Tuesday 2011

23 June Thursday 2011
Ankara State Opera and Ballet

29 June Wednesday 2011
SWAN LAKE - P.I.Chaykowski (Ballet)
Directorates of State Opera and Ballet
Izmir State Opera and Ballet Orchestra

02 July Saturday 2011
TOSCA - G.Puccini (Opera)
Abay Kazakhstan Academic State Opera and Ballet


Video Of Aspendos Theatre


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