A Stormy Night in Bellapais

This was a splendid evening of entertainment to behold on what was a stormy night in Bellapais

It was a dark and stormy night with the rain belting down when I found many vehicles crawling into Bellapais and as I approached the village I found cars gridlocked and many people making the way on foot across the shale that had washed down the hill..

Were they escaping to higher ground from flooding? not at all, they were going to the International North Cyprus Music Festival at Bellapais Abbey on Friday 5th October and by the time the storm had abated and with the lightning flickering in the distant sky, I joined the last few souls to find refuge in the ancient abbey for the delights of music and song that was to come.

Moving inside these 13th century walls and finding a corner in very much a full house we started to listen to the Kyrenia Chamber Choir led by Director, George Ward and with Agata Jozwik on piano as they started the evening with the first part of the programme “Fugue”.

This was a collection of exciting and unusual pieces starting with a spoken chorus followed by a Banquet Fugue and then a piano solo was played by the renown local pianist and member of the choir, Fikri Toros to the huge delight of the audience.

Moving into the second part of the programme named “Water” the choir changed the tempo of the songs which now included some sea shanties and the audience were now moving rapidly with the spirit of the evening.

Time for a break seemed swift and we all moved back into the splendid Abbey Refectory to listen to the third and final part which was dedicated to  Celebrating the Diamond Jubilee of Her Majesty, Queen Elizabeth 11.

The choir started with the Elizabethan Serenade by R Binge which was followed by a vocal duet by Maxine Shailer and Bridget Kerr of the Flower Duet – Lakme by L. Delibes which received great applause from the audience.

Now it was time to introduce international guest star, Miriam Butler who is from Australia and is a world-class bassoonist and she not only brought her musical talents to this great event but also the World Premiere of a Sonata for Bassoon and Piano. The composer, Richard Lambert, who has dedicated this work to Miriam, had flown out to Cyprus to accompany her on the piano in this duo and what a treat it was for the audience!

Following on from this World Premier performance the choir returned and gave the audience more delightful and enjoyable songs before the evening came to a sparkling end.

This was a very splendid  evening of musical entertainment to behold on what was a stormy night in Bellapais and it was great to know that the proceeds from ticket sales will be donated to the SOS Kindergarten, specifically aimed towards their educational equipment needs.

For those readers who want to learn more of the work of the SOS Childrens Villages in North Cyprus please follow the following links. Web pages of the non-blog type take a lot of work to keep them updated so you may not see the latest news but you will see the local contact details if you want more information.

Sponsor a Child in North Cyprus

Child Sponsorship Report – North Cyprus 2009

If readers would like to provide cyprusscene.com with more information regarding SOS Children’s Villages – North Cyprus, we will investigate and try to write more to give them support.

Finally we include just a few pictures of this and some other events recorded at  Bellapais Abbey to show you why this is such a beautiful place to hold a Musical Festival.

By Chris Elliott

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