Athens Concert Hall revives a Hadjidakis classic

Basically, I’m a child of divorced parents. On the one hand, there was Mikis [Theodorakis] and on the other, Manos [Hadjidakis]. They were separated but together, said Maria Farandouri, joking at the press conference for the upcoming Gefyres (Bridges) program at the Athens Concert Hall. The singer, whose voice has graced the works of the two great composers, will interpret, along with Alkinoos Ioannidis, Doros Dimosthenous, Yiannis Christopoulos and Stella Gadedi, a work composed by Hadjidakis in the years between 1970 and 1980. The Age of Melissanthe, in which the composer harks back to a lost period of his life and the influences upon it, will be performed at the Athens Concert Hall tomorrow and Wednesday for the third time in 20 years. The singers will be accompanied by the Greek Radio Choir (directed by Antonis Kontogeorgiou), the children’s choir of the Larissa Municipal Odeon (directed by Dimitris Karvounis), and the Manos Hadjidakis music ensemble. Music is provided by the Athens Philharmonic, under the overall direction of Loukas Karytinos. I miss Manos a lot. The other times we produced it, he was there to give direction, said Maria Farandouri. The Age of Melissanthe is the second production in the Gefyres series, which aims at forming a bridge to different arts, cultures and people. In the first part of the program on November 2, vibraphonist Gary Barton performed with Thanos Mikroutsikos. In upcoming events in the program, the famous Cuban trumpeter Arturo Santoval will perform with the Volos Symphony Orchestra on November 28, followed, on December 6 to 8 by the famous Argentinean music ensemble Tango Passion, who will initiate the audience into the magic of the dance. On December 12 and 13, there will be a musical work inspired by the novel Invisible Cities by Italo Calvino. On December 15, a new, restored version of Charlie Chaplin’s film Modern Times will be screened, while a tribute to Buster Keaton will be held at the end of the month. In the middle of January, Alkistis Protopsalti will perform accompanied by the Prague Symphony Orchestra. A guitar festival has been scheduled from February to April, a tribute to Astor Piazzolla with Costas Kotsolis, as well as a jazz concert with Vangelis Katsoulis. By depersonalizing her images, Craig-Martin takes a distance from her subject, a voyeuristic and dispassionate distance that is yet strangely involved, which allows her the maximum play on ambiguity and shades of meaning. Jeff Burton (one of the participating artists in the current show on American New Art at the London Barbican Gallery) uses a similar kind of distance. His photos, which are taken during the intervals of the filming of pornographic movies in Hollywood, neutralize the content of overt sexuality and confer upon images that we usually perceive as vulgar a completely different reading by, for example, turning naked bodies into aesthetic objects through a careful manipulation of light, texture and blurring techniques. Burton reveals all the humor, artificiality, ersatz glamour and melancholy that is part of the porn movie industry but also reflects on the fine lines between art and subculture.

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