Renowned as the legendary birthplace of Aphrodite and standing as one of the most famous places of pilgrimage of the Ancient Greeks, the entire Pafos town also draws attention from around the world as a UNESCO World Heritage Site. And now, the spotlight shines brighter than ever on the seaside town steeped in a rich and colourful history as it lures crowds from near and far as European Capital of Culture 2017 (along with Aarhus, Denmark). Providing an endless source of inspiration around every turn, over 300 events will be held throughout the year, spanning all fields of artistic expression and culture.
All part of the ‘Open Air Factory’, the programme is inspired by myths and legends of the area and of Cyprus as a whole, with countless exhibitions, performances and much more in magical historic locations across the town. With a truly impressive agenda which will see foreign artists jet in to honour the occasion alongside local talent, My Cyprus Insider has drawn up a list of some of the top events that we believe shouldn’t be missed. Enjoy!
1. January 28 and 29: Opening ceremony, Town Hall Square. 7pm
It’s all set to begin at the Town Hall Square in the hub of modern Pafos, with an opening ceremony bringing together local artists with talents from Denmark and around the world. You can expect music, dance, projections, narrations and a sound and light show kick starting a year of celebrations! Free entrance.
2. February 10 – 20: Second Nature, Pafos Municipal Garden
Natural vegetation and architectural structures will combine with aesthetic integrity as artists and architects join forces to transform the Pafos Municipal Gardens. Free entrance.
3. March 10 – April 30: Celebrating Stass, Municipal Gallery, 10am-3pm
Head along to an exhibition that will pay tribute to Stass Paraskos (1933-2004); one of the most famous and internationally acclaimed Cypriot artists and founder of the School of Fine Arts in Lemba. Free entrance.
4. April 8: Terra Mediterranea: In Action, Fabrica Cave
As part of this event taking place in collaboration with the Nicosia Municipal Art Centre, highly acclaimed artist, Chiharu Shiota will be jetting in from Japan to create an installation in the ancient quarry of Fabrica Hill archaeological site. Free entrance.
5. May 1: Paphos Castle Square – Berlin Philharmonic Orchestra,12 noon
It’s the occasion that everyone has been talking about, one of the most highly anticipated events of 2017- the arrival of the Berlin Philharmonic! Considered one of the world’s greatest orchestras, performers will be arriving in Cyprus to wow the crowds as part of the orchestras’ annual European concert which is broadcast live across European countries while also streamed around the world. The concert will take place by the majestic Paphos Castle and will be conducted by Mariss Jansons; one of the former Artistic Directors of the Vienna Philharmonic.Tickets: €70/€50/€30
6. May 14: Signs in Time and Space – Open Air Art Museum, Kouklia Medieval Manor House
Head down to the Medieval Manor House to catch a glimpse of a photography exhibition providing insight into the open air art installations erected across Pafos. Twelve of these works will permanently remain in these public spaces, as an aesthetic enrichment of the landscape and a legacy that the European Capital of Culture will leave behind. Free entrance.
Credit: Foto Larko, Pafos
7. June 10: Vladimir & Vovka Ashkenazy, Paphos Ancient Odeon, 8.30pm
A recital for two pianos with Vladimir Ashkenazy and his son, Vovka. Often hailed the most significant maestro and pianistS in the world for the past six decades, Vladimir will be joined by his son to perform major works of the international repertoire.
8. June 23: Voices of the World, Sinti Monastery, 8.30pm
A magical location if ever there was one, the breath-taking Monastery of Sinti – one of Cyprus’ most beautiful monasteries – will come to life with the sounds of Theodisia Roussou and her musicians who will breathe life into this deserted place, with songs from across the Mediterranean and beyond. Free entrance.
9. June 25: Compagnie Retouramont, Aerial Dancers, Paphos Castle Square, 8.30pm
The Pafos Medieval Castle will be transformed when this dance group from France performs high in the air, using movement, lights and sound to transform the exterior of the centuries-old castle, the location for which this show has been specifically designed. Free entrance.
10. July 1: Eternal Voyages Summer Highlight, Paphos Castle Square, 8.30pm
One of the biggest events of Pafos 2017, renowned artists from Cyprus and abroad will be joined by volunteers in a show which will narrate the story of travellers who have landed on the shores of Pafos from around world, using drama, music, performing arts and cutting-edge technology. With music and lights transforming the city for the night, the show will pay tribute to the multicultural identity of the town.
11. July 7 – 8: The Trojan Women, Paphos Ancient Odeon, 8.30pm
The Ancient Odeon will take audiences back in time with an international production of The Trojan Women by Euripides. The world-renowned Greek theatre director, Theodoros Terzopoulos, and renowned set designer, Jannis Kounellis, collaborates with artists from around the world, bringing together actors and actresses from divided cities in Cyprus, Bosnia and Palestine to act out the tragedy of the women of Troy following its defeat and destruction. Tickets: €20/€15
12. August 5: Tales & Songs from Weddings and Funerals: Goran Bregovic, Aphrodite’s Rock, 8.30pm
Another one of the highlight performances of Pafos 2017, Goran Bregovic will be arriving with his orchestra to work their magic under the stars by the stunning Aphrodite’s Rock with characteristic music influenced by Balkan tradition. Before Goran steps on stage, the talented Amalgamation Project will present traditional songs and original compositions, with the inclusion of short narrations and poetry recitals. The performance, which celebrates the musicality of human voice, will include polyphonic songs sung a cappella by the female vocal group. Tickets: €70/€50/€30
13. August 11: Marguerite Yourcenar – C. P. Cavafy, Pafos Ancient Odeon, 8.30pm
British actress, Charlotte Rampling, Greek-French actor, Polydoros Vogiatzis and guitarist, Varvara Gyra, will take to the stage to present the literary encounter of the Greek poet Cavafy (1863-1933) and French novelist Marguerite Yourcenar (1903- 1987), edited by Jean-Claude Feugnet. Tickets: €20/€15.
14. August 19: Misia – The Soul of Fado, Pafos Ancient Odeon, 8.30pm
One of the best performers of Portuguese Fado music, Misia, will be arriving in Cyprus for a performance inspired by traditional poems, combined with new material giving rise to the inspirational sounds of contemporary Fado. Tickets: €25/€15
15. August 15 – 19: Uniting the Mediterranean Sea, Pegeia Sea Caves, 8.30pm
The spectacular Pegeia sea caves and the Edo III shipwreck will form a stunning backdrop for a theatre stage set to host actors from various Mediterranean countries giving it their all in a performance stemming from the artist’s personal experiences, dealing with artistic creation, travelling and migration.Free entrance.
16. September 2017 – Jan 2018: The Many Faces of Venus – painting the Goddess through Allegory and Myth, after the Renaissance, Leventis Gallery Nicosia
One of the few events of Pafos 2017 hosted in Nicosia, this international exhibition will bring together artistic treasures from the greatest museums of Europe to Cyprus, representing myths and legends related to Goddess Aphrodite. The exhibition will showcase western perceptions about the goddess, mainly from the Renaissance until Modernity. Free entrance.
17. September 20-24: Coming Together in Mouttalos
The Mouttalos quarter was once the core of the Turkish Cypriot community of Pafos. After 1974, it became a place of shelter for Greek Cypriot refugees, but nowadays, it has been left largely abandoned. This project will see Greek Cypriot and Turkish Cypriot artists join forces to reconnect past and present, bringing the two communities closer together. Free entrance.
Credit: Foto Larko, Pafos
18. October 12 – 14: Kingdoms of Pafos – Bridge of Unification of the Archaeological Sites
With the whole of Paphos acknowledged as a UNESCO World Heritage Site, steeped in history which brings myths and legends to life with every step, archaeologist Claire Balandier and her associates have compiled a series of tours and visits based on the city’s history and local myths. And at the epicentre of it all lies Fabrica Hill where excavations have brought to light one of the best-preserved quarries of the Hellenistic years, as well as a theatre, ruins of a temple, hidden worship sites and the remnants of an aqueduct. Free entrance.
19. November 18 – December 31: Weaving Europe: The World as Meditation, Attikon
As one of the oldest art forms in the world, this project is all about the art of weaving, its history and its semiotics. The project includes an exhibition of contemporary art by Cypriot and international artists using new media and digital technologies, while you can also enjoy lectures and discussions and workshops about knitting as a form of therapy, film and documentary screenings and more. Free entrance.
20. December 1 – 15: Salon d’ Automne International in Pafos, En Plo Gallery – Palia Ilektriki
The European Capital of Culture is linked to Paris with this exhibition of great significance held on annual basis in the French capital. Set to be hosted at the end of the year at the ‘Palia Ilekriki’, the exhibition opening will see pianist Nima Saekechik and dancer Herve Sika inspiring the crowds as crowds glance at the art work on show. Free entrance.
For more information on Pafos 2017 visit: www.pafos2017.eu or call (+357) 26- 932017
Online tickets: www.soldoutticketbox/pafos2017