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19th Pafos Aphrodite Festival: Director Leigh Holman modus operanti to Mozart’s comic gem, The Abduction from the Seraglio

Producers of the 19th Pafos Aphrodite Festival promise to offer opera lovers a unique audio-visual spectacular performance that is expected to dazzle the audience:  W. A. Mozart’s popular opera " Die Entführung aus dem Serail " - The Abduction from the Seraglio. The spectacular performance of Mozart’s glorious comedy, will take place at the enchanting stage of the Medieval Castle of Pafos, on the 1st , 2nd  and 3rd  September, under the signature of established artists of opera, in co-production with the Italian agency Parma Opera Organization C.E.F.A.C. and  the participation of the Cyprus Symphony Orchestra.


Renowned stage director in the fields of Opera and Musical Theatre Leigh Holman, director of the production for the 19th Pafos Aphrodite Festival, distinguishes Die Entführung aus dem Serail as a glorious comedic singspiel where Mozart lifts us up, reminds us to laugh, to feel deeply, to keep our vows and to cherish tolerance. In this opera, through an act of compassion by the Turkish Pasha Selim, the celebration of eastern art and Mozart’s “bringing together” of western and Turkish music - though it be Mozart’s imagined version of Turkish music - we experience the Enlightenment that Emperor Joseph the II was hailing when he commissioned the work.

Mozart was only 25 in1782 when he premiered the opera in Vienna. Audiences were delighted and the opera received superb reviews for its music, comedic effect and vocal demands. European audiences were captivated by what the European art historians call “orientalism”. Orientalism was introduced to Europe by the Ottoman Empire and it turned up in architecture, art, design and music throughout Western Europe. Mozart was one of the many artists of his time fascinated by it. Through this fascination Mozart brings to Die Entführung his shared values of the Age of Enlightenment, reason and the brotherhood of man, Holman states.


In line with the comedy singspiel tradition, which heavily influenced the style of American Musical Theater, the dialogue and musical numbers depict Mozart’s clear story-telling and character development. Though one of his most hilarious operas, the characters are drawn well – particularly Konstanze. She has a deep emotional capacity, as shown in Mozart’s music, and though deeply in love with Belmonte, is no man’s foolish girl. She is a strong Spanish woman, quite modern in her independent nature and cannot be moved from her ideals. She is also loving and compassionate.


Holman points that for the 19th Pafos Aphrodite Festival production of this beloved comedy, she and the team of distinguished artists hope to present on stage what the composer would have wanted and what audiences will relish: beauty, levity, color and movement. With a fresh scenic design by the talented Franco Armieri, a lighting design by Paolo Casati and a costume design by Mirela Ranzani, the production aims to celebrate Mozart’s colourful imaginings of Turkey, his vibrant and rangy music, and the lightness as well as the emotional range of the story and characters. “We hope, in this production, to illuminate Mozart’s - and indeed our - desire for a united and compassionate “brotherhood of man”, Leigh Holman declares. 


For more information please contact the offices of Pafos Aphrodite Festival Cyprus in Pafos at 26822218 or visit the company’s website

Ticket prices are as following: €25, €40, €50 and €70.


There will be a simultaneous translation in Greek and English via subtitles.