Epidaurus goes all Greek for next summer’s offerings

Looking ahead to this summer’s activity at Epidauraus Theater, theatergoers can forget about a repeat of last year’s rich program which included major foreign productions by prominent directors. At a recent news conference, Periklis Koukos, president of the Hellenic Festival, which coordinates the events at the Epidaurus Festival, noted that this summer’s agenda would be limited to domestic productions. The program may not include stand-out prospects, but it nevertheless maintains a respectable standard. Koukos attributed the absence of major highlights, such as the anticipated Russian production of «Lysistrata» and a production by Peter Hall, to unfortunate circumstances. Procedures at this summer’s festival will tread on familiar territory. Once again the Musical July at the Small Theater of Epidaurus, a four-week musical sidelight to Epidaurus’s drama events which was introduced 10 years ago, will feature a mix of the classical and contemporary. This year’s Musical July concert series, to begin July 4, will open with two performances by La Camerata, the Athens Chamber Orchestra, of works by Mozart. Two exceptional soloists will be at the forefront; clarinetist Spyros Mourikis and renowned American violinist Kurt Nikkanen. The following week, on July 11 and 12, leading Greek pianist Alexandra Papastefanou will perform works by various composers, including Chopin, Schumann, Ravel, and Debussy. On July 18 and 19, the Alea III orchestra from Boston and the Emmeleia Choir, conducted by Valery Oreskin, will render excerpts of music written by Greek composers for ancient Greek drama. Selections will include works by Katina Paxinou, written during her youth, Nikos Kypourgos, Mikis Theodorakis, Manos Hadjidakis, Giorgos Kouroupos, and Thanos Mikroutsikos. Music for tragedies, to take up the program’s first half, will be followed by music for comedies. The top-selling singer Eleftheria Arvanitaki will end the four-week series on July 25 and 26.