CULTURE

Additional summertime treats

Each summer, the Culture Ministry-sponsored Hellenic Festival’s agenda at the Herod Atticus Theater is enriched by additional events organized by other agencies, that is if KAS, the Central Archaeological Council, gives them its blessing for use of the ancient venue. This summer, the Hellenic Festival’s additional activity will again feature over 30 productions, most of them during the month of August, when the state-sponsored festival’s activity takes a monthlong break. One of the highlights of these additional events will be the Teatro Di Roma’s production of «Memoirs of Hadrian,» a stage adaptation of French writer Marguerite Yourcenar’s novel. The presentation will be held as part of an exchange program established by Greece’s National Theater and the Italian theater, which is headed by the renowned actor and director Giorgio Albertazzi. Also included on the agenda of Herod Atticus extras are performances by the Belgrade Opera’s National Ballet, Cairo Opera’s National Ballet, the National Theater with a repeat of one of this winter season’s productions – either «Medea» or «Ion» – Spyros Evangelatos’s Amphitheater for its presentation of «Hecuba» with Anna Synodinou in the main role, the Aristophanes Theater Group with Thymios Karakatsanis as «The Good Soldier Schweik,» and the Patras Municipal Theater with «Electra,» with Karyofyllia Karabeti in the lead role. Concerts as well Besides drama, the additional activity will include concert performances from Nana Mouskouri, Stamatis Spanoudakis, Mario Frangoulis and soprano Elena Kelessidi, among others. The program of additional events began last week with three performances of «Around the World in 80 Days,» directed by Marianna Toli, on May 23, 24 and 25. The National Opera’s children’s stage is to follow with Mozart’s «Magic Flute,» directed by Carmen Rouggeri, tomorrow, Friday and Saturday. At this stage, no Herod Atticus extras have been announced for the months of June and July, both already loaded with Hellenic Festival productions. In August, however, when the Hellenic Festival steps aside for its break while the capital’s residents disappear from the city for their summer holidays, the ancient venue will open its gates for the bulk of non-festival shows. In this doldrums period, promoters have been known to to make last-minute cancellations. As a result, the following list of announced events should be regarded as less than definitive: A performance by the composer Ilias Andriopoulos, whose recorded collaborations include Nene Venetsanou and Alkistis Protopsalti, has been tentatively lined up for August 6. The show has not yet been confirmed. Also indefinite is a performance of «Osiris» by the Cairo Opera House’s National Ballet the following evening. A performance of Moliere’s «Miser» by the Volos Municipal Theater is scheduled for August 10. The 17th century French dramatist’s «Tartuffe» has been scheduled for two performances, on August 11 and 12, by the Serres Municipal Theater. The production will be directed by Yiannis Iordanidis, with a cast that includes Tasos Chalkias and Smaragda Smyrnaiou. The Patras Municipal Theater’s production of Euripides’s «Electra» on August 17 and 19, directed by Themis Moumoulidis, will star Karyofyllia Karabeti and Magia Lyberopoulou. An August 20 date has been given for «Hecuba» by Spyros Evangelatos’s Amphitheater, with Anna Synodinou in the title role. The Agrinio Municipal Theater’s production of the comic opera «The Barber of Seville,» directed by Nikos Mastorakis and starring Aris Lebesopoulos, is scheduled for August 21. The current schedule then lists the Belgrade Opera House’s National Ballet for two nights, August 22 and 23, for either «Swan Lake» or «Giselle.» Teatro Di Roma will bring its «Memoirs of Hadrian» to Athens on August 29 and 30. The veteran singer Nana Mouskouri is scheduled to perform a concert on September 29. Mario Frangoulis and soprano Elena Kelesidou are expected to follow with two nights on September 30 and October 1. The final month’s agenda includes two concerts by Stamatis Spanoudakis on October 4 and 5, a performance of «The Good Soldier Schweik,» directed by Giorgos Remoundos and starring Thymios Karakatsanis, on October 7, and last year’s «Digenis Akritas» by Nikos Koundouros on October 13 and 14.