The annual International Famagusta Culture, Art and Tourism Festival is currently in full swing after getting under way last weekend.
Having kicked off on July 1, events are to set continue until July 19, with a culminating concert by famous singer and guitarist Jose Feliciano at the ancient Salamis theatre.
The festival is a well-established event in the cultural calendar and is organised by the local council. Every year, the festival showcases a string of well-known artists from around the world, Turkey and the local community. The festival programme has lined up 11 different events, ranging from concerts given by famous musicians to theatrical performances, as well as other forms of entertainment.
Speaking to reporters prior to the launch, head of the local council Ismail Arter said that Famagusta had a long history, deeply rooted in culture and art.
“Famagusta can be considered as the island’s cultural capital, and that tasks us with a weighty duty, which we believe we have been carrying out.”
Arter said this year’s festival had a record budget of 1 million Turkish Lira. “One third of this will be covered by our sponsors, another third from the entry tickets and the rest will be met by the Famagusta council,” explained Arter.
The Festival itself began last Saturday with a show put on by famous Turkish Cypriot fashion designer Abdullah Oztoprak. Oztoprak, who is also well-known for his choreography and composing skills – put together a musical/fashion show entitled ‘The Only Witness was the Fig Tree’.
The musical fashion show, which refers to the history of the Turkish Cypriot community, took place at the Venetian Palace, with art enthusiasts packing the venue despite the hot summer evening.
This week, Sebnem Ferah took the stage on Monday at Salamis’ ancient theatre to present an alternative night of music entertainment. Sebnem is a famous Turkish singer, songwriter, composer and guitarist. She was the lead vocalist of the all-female hard rock band Volvox until 1994, before going on to embark on a successful solo career.
Clearly, the Festival’s programme ensures an enticing line-up for everyone, and music lovers have been particularly spoilt for choice this year.
After a series of other music events, the Festival will close with the biggest name on the list, Jose Feliciano, playing, once more, at Salamis’ ancient theatre.
Feliciano is a famous Puerto Rican singer and songwriter, best known for many international hits, including his rendition of The Doors’ “Light My Fire” and the best-selling Christmas single, “Feliz Navidad”.
His music is distinguished by a mix of styles, ranging from flamenco music to mellow, easy-listening influences in many songs.
All concerts and theatrical events begin at 9pm. For further information on the programme, visit the Festival’s website at: magusa.org/festival.aspx
By Kyriacos Kiliaris for In-Cyprus