The annual celebration of the Arts, the country’sbiggest festival and a great chance to enjoy ancient drama at its finest and authentic form, while discovering, the new wave of Greek contemporary trends in theatre, music and dance. Meet two of the world’s most ancient and significant theatres as well as other important venues and feel the experience of an utterly artistic summer.
*With English surtitles
Seven Against Thebes / Aeschylus
Direction by CezarisGraužinis, National Theatre of Northern Greece
One of the most successful performances of last year’s Festival, is repeated this year, kicking off the Epidaurus Festival 2017 programme. An exploration of our commonly shared survival instincts and how these instincts are compatible with our fundamental need to remain human, despite our fears, insecurity, and despair. The plot followsKing Oedipus while he abdicates in favour of his two sons in the aftermath of horrific familial revelations.
INFO 30 June - 1 July, 21:00, Ancient Theatre of Epidaurus
Peace / Aristophanes
Direction by Konstantinos Arvanitakis, National Theatre of Greece
Peace was first presented at the City Dionysia festival in 421 BC. It won second prize, just a few days before the Peace of Nikias was signed, promising to end the Peloponnesian War. This production draws inspiration from the fragile balance between war and peace, Heraclitus’ famous quote “War is the father of all, and king of all” and the thorny question whether peace is a prerequisite for happiness and virtue. Featuring the great Greek composer Nikos Kypourgos and the talented young writer Dimosthenis, writing the music and libretto respectively for a musical adaptation of Aristophanes’ Peace.
INFO 21-22 July, 21:00, Ancient Theatre of Epidaurus
Alcestis / Euripides
Direction by Katerina Evangelatos, National Theatre of Greece
Dramatizing the triumph of life over death, Alcestis (438 B.C.), Euripides’ oldest surviving work, is the subject of endless debates regarding its genre, as it contains both tragic and comical elements. Director Katerina Evangelatos makes her Ancient Theatre of Epidaurus debut, tackling one of Euripides’ most intriguing and provocative tragedies. In a world where one can take someone else’s place in death, the writer scrutinizes seemingly selfless relationships, and raises a series of crucial questions, such as: What constitutes a proof of true love? What are the limits of devotion?
INFO 28-29 July 2017, 21:00, Ancient Theatre of Epidaurus
The Bacchae/ Euripides
Direction by EktorasLygizos, Municipal and Regional Theatre of Larissa
The Bacchae is the only surviving ancient Greek tragedy to feature Dionysus both as a character and as the all-seeing director/author. This production will explore the conflict between the main hero’s individuality and the polyphonic nature of the chorus. The choral interludes will be integrated into the drama’s main plot.
INFO 14-15 July, 21:00, Ancient Theatre of Epidaurus
Oedipus at Colonus / Sophocles
Direction by Stavros Tsakiris
In Sophocles’ last surviving tragedy, Oedipus arrives at the village of Colonus, on the outskirts of Athens. Now a stranger, blind and in rags, he seeks hospitality after ten years of wandering.The cast will narrate a “parable” to the audience on a stage that is virtually empty save for a few objects.
INFO 7-8 July, 21:00, Ancient Theatre of Epidaurus
The Persians / Aeschylus
Direction by Aris Biniaris, Cyprus Theatre Organisation
Having won acclaim in recent years for his electrifying performances, director Aris Biniaris makes his Epidaurus debut featuring a cast of talented actors from Greece and Cyprus. The cornerstone of this production is musicianship, that is, the interplay of rhythm and words; a vibrant synthesis of poetic language, music, and stage action.
INFO 11-12 August, 21:00, Ancient Theatre of Epidaurus
Cyclops / Euripides
Direction by Pantelis Dentakis
A masculine, raw, violent world of mutual killing and man-eating, where justice is tantamount to the survival of the fittest. In the land of the Cyclops, the Outsider is neither sheltered nor entertained. Rather, s/he is exploited or devoured. Euripides’ characters are frivolous, ridiculous, sly, opportunistic, decadent, and savage. This purely masculine world is explored through an all-female production which seeks to redress the balance between the serious and the ludicrous, between the genres of splatter horror and comedy.
INFO 21-22 July, 21:30, Little Theatre of Ancient Epidaurus, Prices starting from €20 to €25
Homesickness Blues: Greek Immigrants at the Basement of the USA by Kostas Vomvolos
In this musical performance, early swing and blues pieces will be performed side by side with traditional urban Greek songs, immortalized in recordings by Greeks who immigrated to the USA.
INFO 2-3 July, 22:00, Peiraios 260, Garden D, €13
Athens State Orchestra: Battleship
Potemkin of Sergei Eisenstein in Dmitri Shostakovich’s music
A landmark masterpiece in the history of cinema and arguably the greatest silent film ever made, Sergei Eisenstein’s Battleship Potemkin will be shown at the Odeon of Herodes Atticus, during which time the Athens State Orchestra will be performing live Dmitri Shostakovich’s music.
INFO 5 July, 21:00, Odeon of Herodes Atticus, Prices starting from €35 to €12
A Tribute to a major Greek artist Manolis Rassoulis
The late ManolisRasoulis was a lyricist, singer, songwriter, author, and journalist, with dozens of popular songs, articles, radio shows, and television interviews under his belt. One the finest Greek lyricists of the last several years, his songs are as relevant as ever. This tribute performance at the Odeon of Herodes Atticus will feature some of Rasoulis’ best songs from his collaborations with major composers and performers.
INFO 9 July, 21:00, Odeon of Herodes Atticus, Prices starting from €15 to €50
The Bacchae: A Liturgyby MarthaFrintzila
Informed by Dionysus’ quality as the archetypal “outsider,” as well as the power of music over humankind, this performance of The Bacchae is conceived as a musical and even therapeutic event, fusing rock music with African beats and Arabic maqam. The performance will be held at the ancient stadium of Epidaurus with the participation of 100 Lyceum students.
INFO 18 July, 21:00, Ancient Stadium of Epidaurus, €5
Greek National Opera: Il Trovatoreby Giuseppe Verdi
The second big Greek National Opera production to be held at the Odeon of Herodes Atticus: Giuseppe
Verdi’s masterwork Il Trovatore, one of his most popular operas. This Greek National Opera production features some of the most highly acclaimed opera singers in the world, such as Piero Pretti, Walter Fraccaro
(Manrico), CelliaCostea (Leonora) and many more.
*In Italian, with Greek and English surtitles.
INFO 21, 23, 25, 27 July, 21.00, Odeon of Herodes Atticus, Prices starting from €25 to €100
Wim Mertens Dust of Truths
The great Belgian composer Wim Mertens will return to Greece for a single, bewitching concert. For his composition Dust of Truths, last part of the Cran aux Oeufs triptych (2015-2016), Mertens drew inspiration for this piece from his experience in Greece, when he performed solo in 2014 at the monument of Octavian August in Nicopolis. In the second part of the concert, audiences will enjoy a selection of the composer’s most famous and beloved works.
INFO 30 July, 21:00, Odeon of Herodes Atticus, Prices starting from €15 to €50