The Greek Island of Corfu is known for its rich musical and theatrical history, as is the rest of Greece. However, while the rest of the country was under the rule of the Ottoman Empire, Corfu was the capital city of a Venetian colony. This gives it a unique musical and theatrical history which should be enjoyed while visiting the island.
The love of theater on the island of Corfu comes from its Venetian heritage and Italian style opera has been popular for centuries. Corfu Municipal Theater is a must see during your Corfu Holiday 2012. It’s located in the center of the city and is the hub of cultural activity on the island.
Because of the Venetian influence to the tiny Ionian island, Italian style opera was introduced in the 1700s and has flourished ever since. Because of this, there are several operas written by Corfiot playwrights. Be sure to visit the Corfu Chamber Opera during your visit where you’ll be able to see a variety of performances.
Since theater and opera are such a huge part of life on the island, visitors can catch outdoor as well as indoor performances. And September brings Corfu Festival where Greek, as well as international companies, put on shows for all to enjoy.
Music is so deeply woven into Corfu’s history that several villages around the island have formed their own bands which play in festivals throughout the island year round. Most of these are brass bands and give classical as well as jazz concerts on the Upper Liston Square as well as at both of the town’s fortresses.
Three philharmonic orchestras have been established in Corfu and are active fixtures on the island. There’s the Philharmonic Society of Corfu which was established in 1840, the Mantzaros Philharmonic Society, established in 1890 and the much more recently established Capodistrias Philharmonic Union which was born in 1980.
Everybody in Corfu seems to be involved in theater or music to some degree, so that means not every performance is a professional event. Each summer, star pupils from Greece and abroad take part in Ionian University’s Summer Music Academy. And each year, the students play special events to packed audiences. Tourists are treated to modern international musical styles as well as Ancient Greek music.
Another must see while on holiday in Corfu is the Lefkimi festival at the beginning of July which draws in guests to see the traditional dancing in honor of Agios Prokifios.
The island of Corfu may be small, but its musical and theatrical history is huge and diverse. So, while on holiday on the picturesque island, be sure to take in all of the ancient, modern, specifically Corfiot and decidedly international cultural events as possible. With musical and theatrical traditions dating back centuries as well as thoroughly modern pieces, there’s something everybody will enjoy.