This prestigious annual event which sees spectacular performances in the amazing setting of the Roman theatre at Aspendos has been running for the last few weeks and our reporter saw Barbarossa on Monday evening.

For the first time this year we didn’t publicise the Aspendos Festival in advance.

We have written about it each year since the website started and, as we received no reader response whatsoever, decided not to announce it this year.

Of course, sod’s law, we finally got to attend a performance at the Festival on 20th June and were knocked out.

We saw Barbarossa which is billed as a dance drama, but seemed like a modern ballet to us. There was a cast of around 50, mainly men, and some of the dancing was amazing.

Of course there have been changes to the way it runs since we first wrote about it in 2005.

Until recently tickets were 20TL regardless of where you sat and you needed to bring your own cushions. Now the seats are colour coded and cost 30, 40, 50, 60TL according to location and cushions are provided.

However, they only sell tickets for the lower half of the huge theatre so, if you bring your own cushion, buy cheapest ticket to get you in, you can then sit in the upper half of the theatre and enjoy the magnificent acoustics and an excellent view.

On the night we went the lower half was about 50% full – so don’t worry about getting in. The theatre apparently seats twenty thousand in total and you will always get in (famous last words ;-).

They now charge 10TL to park outside the theatre – but this high cost is offset by the 5TL for the thick glossy programme that covers all the performances in the Festival. And it is in Turkish and English.

And you could still make the final two performances of this year’s Festival.

On 29 June there will be a performance of the ballet ‘Swan Lake’ by the Turkish State Ballet Company.

On 2nd July the final event in this year’s Festival is ‘Tosca’ performed by the Kazakhstan Academic State Opera company.

Next year we’ll publish the Festival programme well in advance because we are determined to go again.

Want to Know More?

For more information take a look at http://www.aspendosfestival.gov.tr which is in English as well as Turkish.

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