The Greek capital’s annual Athens and Epidaurus Festival will reopen to live audiences on June 1, with over 80 productions scheduled to take place over four months.
With an emphasis on Greek artists (50 are Greek productions) the popular event (amongst both locals and international visitors) will conclude in October 2021.
Taking place across Athens, venues will include the Pireos 260 building with performances including theatre, music, dance, and visual arts. This year, there will be an addition to the program, Cycle 1821, which is set to commemorate the centennial of Greece’s War of Independence from the Ottoman Empire.
The Ancient Theatre of Epidaurus will premier 10 productions over three days a week (Fridays, Saturdays, Sundays) from June to August. Here, German theatre director Thomas Ostermeier and the Schaubühne will present a version of ‘Oedipus Rex’ by Maja Zade. Several Greek directors, independently or collaborating, will also present their ancient drama.
At the Small Theater of Ancient Epidaurus, four Greek authors will each present a commissioned modern version of an ancient tragedy for the ‘Contemporary Ancients’ cycle, while other new performances will also take place.
The Athens Festival’s main venue, the Odeon of Herod Atticus (Irodio), will host distinguished international musicians such as Brian Eno with his brother Roger Eno, pianist Zubin Mehta with the Maggio Musicale Orchestra of Florence, violinist Pinchas Zuckerman and the Monteverdi Choir accompanied by the English Baroque Soloists, in a performance conducted by Sir John Eliot Gardiner.
In terms of Greek performances, the Athens Festival will also include the National Opera, Eleftheria Arvanitaki, and Lena Platonos with Nalyssa Green, among others.