North Cyprus’ “largest and most extensive culture and arts organisation”, event organisers have finally released their full programme for the two-week festival. All events will again take place in the city’s two historic venues: Othello Castle and Salamis Amphitheatre.
Launched in 1995, the 2018 International Famagusta Arts and Culture Festival opens on Tuesday 28 August with a concert by reggae legends Inner Circle and closes on 12 September with chart-topping Turkish pop star Teoman.
The music of Barış Manço, one of the godfathers of Anatolian rock who passed away in 1999, is remembered with a concert on 29 August. Expect the audience to sing along to the many hits of this Turkish national treasure, performed at Salamis Amphitheatre by leading Cypriot musicians.
On Friday 31 August, the action moves to Othello Castle or a concert by renowned Turkish musicians Ahmet Aslan and Erdal Erzincan. Famed for their evocative renditions of Turkish folk and blues, Alsan and Erzincan’s traditional music will transport you to the hinterlands of Anatolia.
The air turns classical on 4 September, as the TRNC Presidential Symphony Orchestra, Bursa State Symphony Orchestra and Turkish Republic’s Polyphonic Choir perform Carmina Burana. at Salamis Amphitheatre will provide the magical setting for this 1935 opera by German composer Carl Orff.
The following night another Turkish legend, Kemal Sunal is remembered in a night of conversation with his wife Gül Sunal at Othello Castle. She gives insight into the life, traits and timeless works of the much-loved comedic actor who appeared in 87 films before his sudden death of a heart attack in July 2000 aged 55.
On Friday 7 September, it’s time for A Cypriot Epic, a gala fashion show at Othello Castle that will include traditional Cypriot costumes. The event is being produced by Fatma Sönmez Aydoğdu, Bülent Günkut and his Günkut Modelling Agency.
The festival’s penultimate night sees local man, now international star, Okan Ersan perform. The Grammy-nominated jazz fusion guitarist and composer will be playing his German music project Okan Ersan and the Noise Adventure at Salamis.
Since its inaugural year, the International Famagusta Arts and Culture Festival has hosted more than 150 events and 450 artists, watched by in excess of 400,000 people. Among previous international stars to have performed at the festival are: Julian Marley, Paco Pena, Aswad, Natalie Cole, Goran Bregoviç, Pink Martini, Sertab Erener, Zülfü Livaneli, Yasmin Levy, Cesera Evora, Monica Molina, Los Paraguayos, Berlin Art Ensemble, Erkan Oğur, Nilüfer, Candan Erçetin, Artis Quartet Vienna, Belarussian Ballet Company, Los Vivancos, and Wax Poetic.
Top photo: three of the artists performing at this year’s International Famagusta Festival (l-r): Ahmet Aslan, Gül Sunal, and Teoman