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Athens & Epidaurus Festival 2013

koa_athens_festival_2013

Athens & Epidaurus Festival 2013

The “Hellenic Festival” is a limited company established in 1998 for the organisation of music, theatre, and other cultural events, the publication and distribution of periodicals, books and other types of publications, and the creation of audiovisual material for the promotion of its events.

The company is administered by a seven-member board of directors that serves a three-year term. The resources of the company are derived from the regular, budgeted funding of the Greek state, a proportion of the revenues of the casinos on Mount Parnitha and Corfu, the sponsorships and revenues of performances, and the granting of its venues.

As of January 2007, shareholders in the company are the Greek Ministry of Culture (which also oversees the company administratively), and the Greek Ministry of Economy and Finance...

Until 2005, Hellenic Festival events were staged at the following venues: the Odeon of Herodes Atticus, the two ancient theatres at Epidaurus (at the Sanctuary of Asklepios, and at the ancient city), and the Lycabettus Theatre. In the summer of 2006, the company began a programme of expansion regarding the venues at which its performances are staged: property granted by the National Bank of Greece allowed for the creation of a new theatre through the renovation of Building D at the former Tsaosoglou Factory at 260 Pireos Street, while other venues around the city were used for the first time, such as Irini Pappas’ “Scholeion”, the Kotopouli Theatre, the Benaki Museum, the Faliro Indoor Sports Hall, the Porta Theatre, and others. A new theatre, co-funded by the Ministry of Culture and the Hellenic Festival, was created in 2007 through the renovation of Building H at the Peiraios 260 complex...

In addition to the creation of new venues for the staging of its performances, the company aims to broaden the audiences that attend its events, to highlight and promote the work of young artists, and to present contemporary trends in dance, music and theatre through the invitation of, and collaboration with interesting artists and performance companies. Efforts are being made to fall in line with the major European festivals of this kind...

Highlights

Athens State Orchestra – Vassilis Christopoulos
Giuseppe Verdi, Requiem
14 June, 21:00 Odeon of Herodes Atticus

Haris Alexiou & Nouveau Sextet
Two worlds in my soul
3 July, 21:00
Odeon of Herodes Atticus

Diana Krall in concert
Glad Rag Doll World Tour
1 July, 21:00
Odeon of Herodes Atticus

Lenia Kitsopoulou - Lenia Zafeiropoulou
Ludus Lucta Illusio
6-7 July, 23:00
Peiraios 260, Building E

The enigma of art, embracing society

Defying all circumstances, the festival – a celebration of culture – is back for another Greek summer. And it’s been a real test of endurance this year: just when we thought we’d pulled it off and built up a relationship based on mutual trust with the public – and young people, above all – over seven seasons, as well as establishing fertile channels of communication between the Greek and international culture scene, something came along out of the blue to spoil the jigsaw we felt so close to completing.

In the words of Kostas Axelos, “A stumbling humanity is in dire need of remedies”. And culture can serve as consolidation at the very least; addressing the emotions, the senses and the intellect, Art can help us reconfigure our view of the world.

It was this kind of consideration that we shared with the late Lefteris Vogiatzis: Two of this year’s events – Harold Pinter’s Hothouse, which he directed, and screenings of films in which he starred – are dedicated to his memory. If poetry is the mother of theatre, he was ‘a poet of the stage’. He was fond of saying that it was a play’s enigma that fascinated him most, and he always delved deep behind the words. A perfectionist through and through, he was never satisfied until he’d dug down to the very beginning of anything he worked on; he never had enough time. But then, who can beat time?

This year’s programme of theatre, music, dance and the visual arts is underpinned by a spirit of pluralism and open borders between the arts. This spirit is evident, too, in this year’s venues, which range from ancient theatres to the industrial landscape of Peiraios 260, which is still inspiring. Once again, the Festival is reaching out to the city and embracing society at large, and Michael Marmarinos’ site-specific production returns to offer audiences more genuine experiences for a second year, as does Dimitris Papaioannou’s Primal Matter...

For seven years now, it has been our constant aim to showcase Greek creativity on an equal footing with art and culture from other countries. We have kept in place the bridge which links us to the international scene, and old friends of Greece and the Festival are returning once again this year, among them Thomas Ostermeier, Bob Wilson, Maguy Marin, the Thabet brothers, and the distinguished Greek musician of the diaspora, Teodor Currentzis. In view of the dismal economic situation, we thought it right to give domestic production a boost and provide a platform for new and young as well as established artists.

In the pages that follow you’ll be able to pick out certain aspects of this year’s Festival: the dynamic presence of young women meeting the challenge of creativity on the theatrical stage; take for instance Maria Protopappa, the prominent actor who is directing for the first time; an interesting artistic osmosis between different genres, like music theatre (Lena Kitsopoulou – Lenia Safiropoulou, Lambros Filippou – Yianneis) and sound installation (Georgia Spiropoulos); the coupling of East and West (as attempted by Markellos Chryssicos); and the challenge of Epidaurus, which Simos Kakalas takes on for the first time, in collaboration with Nikos Panagiotopoulos.

Yorgos Loukos
Chairman & Artistic Director

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