CULTURE

Festive spirit at the Megaron

The Athens Concert Hall has a lot of music, dance and a musical fairy tale, «Merlin the Magician,» in store for the festive season. The season’s program started yesterday and will run to the end of the month – but already most of the shows are sold out. The program opened yesterday, with the Andreyev Imperial Russian Orchestra which, directed by Dmitri Khokhlov, interpreted Russian folk songs and compositions written for the balalaika by Shostakovich, Gavrilin and others, as well as Darius Milhaud’s «Scaramouche,» which the orchestra interpreted with saxophonist Thodoros Kerkezos. Seasonal tunes Tonight, the Melos Brass ensemble for brass winds, joined by the Children’s Choir of the Kodaly Conservatory and organist Nicolas Kynaston, will interpret traditional Christmas carols and Christmas music from all over the world, as well as compositions by Bach, Pierpont and Clark. On Thursday, the Camerata Salzburg, one of the most active chamber music orchestras in the world, will interpret compositions by Mozart and Corelli, while from December 22 and until the end of the month, Periklis Koukos’s musical fairy tale «Merlin the Magician in the Island of the Poets,» commissioned by the Athens Concert Hall, will be performed at the Dimitris Mitropoulos Hall. The show’s sets are by Alexis Kyritsopoulos and the lights, screenings and video by Nikos Soulis. The production features mezzo-sopranos Irini Karayianni and Mary-Ellen Nezi, baritones Charis Andrianos and Tasis Christogiannopoulos and alternating pianists Natalia Michailidou and Maria Papapetropoulou. Costas Kastanas is narrator. On the same days, December 22 to December 30, much-loved Russian dancer Vladimir Malakhov will return to Athens to present yet another spectacular festive gala at the Friends of Music Hall. He will be joined by ballet stars like Diana Vishneva (first ballerina of the Kirov Ballet), Maria Alexandrova and Sergei Filin from the Bolshoi Ballet, Philip Balanchievich and Maria Eichwald from the Stuttgart Ballet, Polina Simeonova from the Berlin Ballet, and others. The Kiev Opera Corps de Ballet will participate in the gala, the program of which will include extracts from Tchaikovsky’s «Swan Lake» and «The Nutcracker,» Glazunov’s «Raymonda» and the solo «Voyage» choreographed by Renato Zanella, among others. Athens Concert Hall, 1 Kokkali & Vas. Sofias, Kolonaki, for more information call 210.728.2333 or visit www.megaron.gr.