18th Pafos Aphrodite Festival presents Don Giovanni


As music fills the harbour….

During the first weekend of September, the wonderful sound of opera will be carried on the evening breeze in Pafos as the Parma Opera Organisation (CEFAC) performs Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart’s much-loved classic, Don Giovanni, in the spectacular setting of the town’s harbour with its famous and magistic medieval castle as the backdrop.

This popular annual event is known as the Pafos Aphrodite Festival and attracts opera lovers from all over Europe – many of whom have taken advantage of the online booking system. This year will be the 18 th year of marvellous performances that have in previous years included Hamlet, Nabucco, La Traviata and Cosi Fan Tutte.

Don Giovanni will be performed on Friday 2, Saturday 3 and Sunday 4 September with performances starting at 8.00 p.m. each evening. Like all operas performed in Pafos harbour, it will be a unique and memorable occasion with a canopy of stars overhead and a plethora of little fishing boats visible on the sea beyond the harbour wall – the fishermen totally oblivious of this marvellous event!

The ambience is truly unforgettable and is perfect for those who have never been to the opera and is what makes the Pafos Aphrodite Festival so special and unique.

Don Giovanni is based on the colourful legends of the fictional character Don Juan  (Spanish name) who was a Spanish nobleman who was both a libertine and seducer. The opera is in two acts with the Italian liberetto written by Lorenzo Da Ponte – hence the name Don Giovanni!

Mozart visited Prague in early 1787 and the city fell in love with his marvellous music and he was commissioned to write the opera. The premiere performance was scheduled for 14 October 1787 in the city’s Teatro di Praga (now known as the New 
Estates Theatre) and there was a buzz around the city as everyone was talking about the event. Unfortunately, Mozart did not complete the opera in time and begged to have its premiere moved to the 29 October... story has it that Mozart did not complete his work until late the night before....

The new opera was performed under its full title Il Dissoloto Punito Ossia Il Don Giovanni and was enthusiastically received by its first audience who loved its rich music played by a string section supported by double woodwinds, two horns, two trumpets and alto, tenor and bass trombones.

On 7 May 1788, the opera was performed for a second time in Vienna but had been adjusted by Mozart with the inclusion of two new arias and with a shorter finale and it is this version that is today performed around the world - making Don Giovanni the 10th most popular opera.

Mozart is one of the world’s best composers and the early performances of Don Giovanni certainly delighted opera lovers. It was described as ‘dramma giocoso’ the musical phrase meaning a blend of melodrama and comedy but it has been cleverly
interwoven with musical portrayals of the supernatural too. The opera is set in Seville, Spain, in the 17 th century and tells the story of the erotic liaisons of Don Giovanni. He attempts to rape Donna Anna and whilst trying to escape kills her father. Don Giovanni never repents. Donna Anna’s father returns from the dead to seek revenge whilst Don Giovanni finds himself on the road to hell.

In the opera, Mozart shows his sheer musical genius with such delights as the ballroom scene at the end of the first act in which two on stage musical ensembles each play their own individual melodies which are different from that played by the orchestra in the pit yet the three play in perfect synchronisation – sheer magic!

Don Giovanni will be performed in Paphos harbour by the Italian opera company Parma Opera Organisation (CEFAC) which will be supported by the Cyprus Symphony Orchestra. The opera company is relatively new as it was founded in 2007 but has performed extensively and gained international renown. To ensure that everyone thoroughly enjoys this wonderful opera when it is performed in Pafos there will simultaneous translations of the Italian dialogue and lyrics in Greek and English displayed on either side of the stage.

My Guide is once again proudly the media sponsors of this memorable annual event that has successfully secured Pafos a place on the opera lovers’ annual calendar of events... Don Giovanni is certainly not an opera to miss!

Ticket reservations can be made using the toll free number 8000-8005 or they can be made online – info@pafc.com.cy.

Seats are priced €25 €40 €50 and €70.