Greek Fes­ti­val opens with Cav/Pag opera dou­ble bill

Kathimerini English - - Life - BY OLGA SELLA

The Herod At­ti­cus The­ater and the pedes­tri­an­ized zone of Thi­seio are set to wel­come the first guests of this year’s Athens Fes­ti­val to­mor­row. The an­nual event will be in­au­gu­rated by two Greek Na­tional Opera pro­duc­tions, “Caval­le­ria Rus­ti­cana” and “I Pagli­acci,” which will be per­formed as a dou­ble bill on four con­sec­u­tive evenings at the Herod At­ti­cus The­ater, and two free-ad­mis­sion con­certs set to take place on a spe­cially con­structed mo­bile stage in nearby Thi­seio.

Mean­while, a few pend­ing is­sues have now been taken care of. Ari­ane Mnouchkine and the Theatre du Soleil will now be out­fit­ting the Metropoli­tan Expo cen­ter for per­for­mances of “Les Naufrages du fol espoir” on June 11, 12, 15, 16, 17, 18 and 19). The Metropoli­tan Expo cen­ter is sit­u­ated in An­t­housa, near Athens In­ter­na­tional Air­port.

And there’s more news. A re­cent ad­di­tion to the fes­ti­val’s pro­gram is the de­but screen­ing of Gior­gos Skevas’s “Bare Hands,” which tells the story of Dim­itris Mitropou­los. Fo­cus­ing on the prom­i­nent Greek com­poser’s years in the United States, the doc­u­men­tary fea­tures ac­tor Lefteris Voy­atzis study­ing Mitropou­los’s cor­re­spon­dence in an at­tempt to an­a­lyze his per­son­al­ity. There’s good news for dance lovers too, given that De­nis Mar­i­otte will ap­pear in an orig­i­nal mu­sic and dance per­for­mance at the Pireos 260 venue on June 28 and 29.

Brows­ing through the fes­ti­val’s pro­gram, it is ev­i­dent that the sum­mer event is sup­port­ing ris­ing tal­ent, main­tain­ing its ties to lead­ing in­ter­na­tional artists, giv­ing more space to sym­phon- ic mu­sic and young Greek dance troupes and bring­ing to­gether the­ater and lit­er­a­ture. The fol­low­ing are some of the fes­ti­val’s high­lights.

Di­rec­tor Stavros Tsakiris will be pre­sent­ing a pro­duc­tion based on Rus­sian dancer-chore­og­ra­pher Vaslav Ni­jin­sky’s diaries and cor­re­spon­dence on June 18. “Ni­jin­sky: I Am a Pup­pet in the Hands of God” will take place at the Herod At­ti­cus The­ater, star­ring chore­og­ra­pher Kon­stanti­nos Ri­gos and ac­tors Yian­nis Tsortekis and Ta­tiana Pa­pamoschou.

Crit­i­cally ac­claimed Greek ac­tor and di­rec­tor Aris Ret­sos presents “The Throne of Atreus” on July 5, while the Cyprus The­ater Or­ga­ni­za­tion will pay a visit to Athens with a dance the­ater per­for­mance ti­tled “A Lit­tle More,” with per­for­mances tak­ing place at the Pireos 260 venue on July 16-18.

Trib­utes will have a lead­ing role this year. Among them, a tribute to Ian­nis Xe­nakis is sched­uled for June 3, 6 and 8 at the Pireos 260 venue. The Orches­tra of Col­ors will in­ter­pret Gior­gos Kouroupos’s piano con­certo “Mono­gram” as part of a tribute to No­bel lau­re­ate Odysseas Elytis at the Herod At­ti­cus The­ater on June 24. At the same venue, La Scala’s Phil­har­monic Orches­tra and the Athens State Orches­tra will present trib­utes to Gus­tav Mahler on June 26 and July 15 re­spec­tively.

Opera will be present through­out the fes­ti­val. Be­sides the event’s open­ing, Mozart’s three-act “Idome­neo: King of Crete” will be per­formed in con­cert form at the Athens Con­cert Hall on July 4, while Tchaikovsky’s “Eu­gene One­gin” will be in­ter­preted by the Bolshoi Opera at the same venue on July 12 and 14. A few days ear­lier, Mon­teverdi’s “Corona­tion of Pop­pea” will go on stage at the Onas­sis Cul­tural Cen­ter on July 6.

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