Izmir - the pearl of Turkey, historically Smyrna, is the third most populous city of Turkey and the country's largest port after İstanbul. It is located in the Gulf of İzmir, by the Aegean Sea. The history of Izmir stretches back to around 3000 BC when the Trojans founded the city in Tepekule in the northern suburb of Bayrakli. This was the birthplace of Homer, who was thought to have lived here around the 8th century BC.
İzmir State Opera and Ballet Company was founded in 1982 by the founder of the British and Turkish Ballet Dame Ninette Valois. She put on stage Çeşmebaşı (The first Turkish ballet) for the opening night in 1982. Between 1982 and 2012 company has all of the highlight classic productions as well as modern pieces within repertory. Choreographer Mr. Serhat Nüfusçu has been the director of the company since 2005.
The company has participated on tours to Spain, Germany, Pakistan, Cyprus as well as in to the festivals in Turkey and other countries.
The productions that company has in its repertory are; Sleeping Beauty, Coppelia, Swan Lake, Nutkracker, Cindirella, Romeo and Juliette, Le Corsair, Don Quichote, The Three Muskeeters, The Hunchback of Notre Dame, Raymonda, Doctor Jivago, The Fountain of Bakhchisarai, La Bayedere, Scheherazade, Les Patineurs, Les Sylphides, Lady of the Camellias, A Midsummer Nights Dream, Bolero and others in classical style and Eros and Thanatos, Troubled Dreams, Wave of Emotions, Magnetic Fields, The Crossing of Borders, A Roving Feast, Carmina Burana, Windy Senses, A Dove Story in modern style. Among the classical and moder style ballets there are also Turkish productions like: Bebek, Yozdöngü, Hürrem Sultan, Afife Jale, Kösem Sultan, Çeşmebaşı.
The company has worked with very valuable choreographers such as Andre PROKOVSKY, Margi SCOTT-Yuri PAPKO, Korkmaz SAGATOV, Vasiliy MEDVEDEV, Gediminas TARANDA, Geyvan MACMİLLİAN, Nugzar MAGALAŞVİLİ, Robert BALOGH, Bulat AYUHANOV, Goyo MONTERO, Jan LİNKENS, Thorsten KREİSSİG, Young Soon HUE SİMON, Lorca MASSİNE, Marc RİBAUD, Roberth NORTH and the Turkish Choreographers; Suna ŞENEL, Oytun TURFANDA, Uğur SEYREK, Mehmet BALKAN, Beyhan MURPHY, Deniz OLGAY.
The new generations of soloists and principals have dance awards from İSTANBUL, VARNA and PERM.