By Bejay Browne
PAPHOS will host the ‘Pafos Aphrodite Festival 2015’ and present the popular opera La Cenerentola – Cinderella- for three days this weekend at the medieval castle.
The romantic opera by Italian composer Gioachino Rossini is a co-production between the French lyrical organisation Ramfis Productions Avignon and the Cyprus Symphony Orchestra. Performances will take place on September 4, 5 and 6.
According to festival organisers, La Cenerentola or ossia La bontà in trionfo (Cinderella or goodness triumphant) is a two-act drama based on the well known fairy tale Cendrillon (Cinderella) by Charles Perrault.
The libretto was written by Jacopo Ferretti and it premiered at the Valle theatre in Rome on January 25, 1817 and since then has been one of the most-performed operas worldwide.
A festival spokeswoman told the Cyprus Mail: “Tickets are selling well and sales are already better than last year. There is still some availability though, especially for Sunday’s performance which is always the last to sell.”
She stressed that seats in the 2,200 seat auditorium are comfortable and that there is no need to bring cushions. The opera will also have both Greek and English subtitles which are projected onto the area of the orchestra pit, and are easy to read, she said.
The operatic version of this much loved story varies from the classic fairy tale of Cinderella. There is no fairy godmother, but a male character who helps Cinderella go to the ball because of the kindness she has shown him.
The mean stepmother is replaced by a vain stepfather who dreams of rich husbands for his daughters in order to restore his former wealth, and there is no lost slipper to fit Cinderella; the Prince recognises her from her bracelet.
Organisers say that the theme of the opera remains relative to modern audiences and still enchants as it deals with the timeless issues of social class distinction, the desire to social climb, wealth and glory, greed, selfishness, wickedness and vanity, all of which continue to exist. However, it also shows that goodness, virtue and spiritual nobility can prevail.
The festival organisers said that the opera is melodic and vibrant and characterises the talent of Rossini. The production also utilises inspired sets and costumes, which will carry the music loving audience to a fairy tale world where a prince can fall in love with a poor girl and where evil can be repaid with love.
Performances will get underway at 8pm on Friday, Saturday and Sunday.
Ticket prices are: €25, €40, €50 and €70 and can also be booked online using the festivals ticketing system and printed out at home.
For further information contact ‘Pafos Aphrodite Festival Cyprus’: 26822218 / www.pafc.com.cy