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Throughout a 33-year stage life that started with "CAVALLERIA RUSTICANA" in Ankara in 1950 and ended with "LA PROVA D'UN OPERA SERIA" (Rehearsal of a Serious Opera) in Milan in 1983, a full repertoire, she left about 100 registered works, thousands of awards, countless success stories.

Before each performance, with the besetting fear of losing, which started after losing her father; Leyla Gencer enchanted millions of people while struggling with the worries of "what if I fail, if my voice doesn't come out, or if my dress is torn".  

A young Sicilian peasant girl who was betrayed in love, feeling guilty in "Cavalleria Rusticana"; a 14-year-old Japanese geisha who fell in love with an American officer in "Madame Butterfly"; in Tchaikovsky's "Yevgeny Onegin Opera", a Russian woman who lived in an imaginary world, while trying to remain loyal to her husband among love adventures, she was performing with great success. The fact that she could portray hundreds of different characters with different social, economic and cultural conditions was the inner richness of Leyla Gencer's fairy-tale childhood. She achieved successes the proved human eternity. She was on the stage in the US and the Soviet Union during the most felt years of the cold war. Almost every country in the world greeted our “Prima Donna” with great enthusiasm, love and respect.

"Prima Donna", "La Diva Turca", "Goddess Leyla", "Crazy Turk", "Neapolitan Turk" made the word heard to the world "I am Anatolian", "I am Turkish" everywhere she went.


She became so universal in music that she interpreted the piano works of "Chopin" by writing Turkish lyrics. Only this "confrontational" person could make such daring ventures that no one had ever dared before.

Leyla Gencer, who presented her way of using the Leyla Gencer-style throat, known as "Genceratte" to the world music literature, was humble enough to say: "I did nothing... Everything happened spontaneously... I just sang"


Leyla Gencer, who ended her stage life at the peak of her career in 1983, but continued her artistic career without interruption and without slowing down, enabled the training of thousands of successful musicians, operators and theatre artists. Just as she knew no boundaries in the musical field and enabled trans-lingual unity among countries, when she passed away on May 10, 2008, she also established a "supra-religious" unity. Funerals were held in 11 countries. A ceremony was held in both churches and mosques on the same day.


In her will, her body was cremated and her ashes were sprinkled on the Bosphorus, which she loved so much, in the company of the "Yunus Emre Oratorio".

She was the earth now.


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