CULTURE

Andriopoulos cancellation

Ilias Andriopoulos’s Herod Atticus concert scheduled for August 6 will not be taking place after all. The announcement came directly from the composer, who sent out the following press release: «While in the middle of preparing my concert for Wednesday, August 6, at the Herod Atticus, I was surprised to receive an unexpected fax from the Hellenic Festival, stating that as a prerequisite for my appearance there I had to pay the sum of 15,200 euros (including VAT) in order for the theater to open its doors… It is worth noting that the theater’s use was authorized by the Central Archaeological Council. «I’m astounded that a festival whose budget lies in the hundreds of millions demands money from a composer who tries to present his oeuvre far from promoters and moneymaking schemes which ostracize and render absurd the country’s artistic life.» Following this development, the concert has been canceled. The same program, featuring Mikis Theodorakis poems set to music, will be presented at Patras’s Ancient Odeon on August 12. Indeed, the Ministry of Culture’s seal of approval is necessary for all the performances taking place at the Herod Atticus which are not part of the official Athens Festival calendar. However, for the theater to operate on such occasions, infrastructure costs must be covered entirely and Herod Atticus staff must be paid. This has been a longstanding Athens Festival policy and no exception was made for this particular concert. In the case of the Cultural Olympiad’s recent productions which took place at the ancient theater at the beginning of the summer season, for instance, the wages of all those who worked during each performance were covered. Surely, this must be a misunderstanding.