CULTURE

Cypriot crooner closes annual Musical July series at Epidaurus

The Musical July series at the Little Theater of Epidaurus, which has developed into a summertime institution since its inception in the mid-1990s, ends this week with two performances by the popular singer and songwriter Alkinoos Ioannidis tomorrow and on Saturday. The upcoming final performances of the month-long series were preceded by shows from Greek folk conservationist Domna Samiou, the Camerata Orchestra, pianist Natalia Michailidou, and the New Hellenic Quartet, one of the country’s finest chamber groups, with mezzo-soprano Marina Fideli, who is currently contracted to the Kiel Opera in Germany. Ioannidis, one of the country’s most popular artists on the local contemporary circuit for nearly a decade now, will be joined for both shows by Camea, a Bulgarian vocal quartet which, since 2001, has frequently worked abroad. The quartet first performed in Greece in 2002, for a National Theater production of «Oedipus Rex» with music by Nikos Kypourgos. Calmly sentimental and deeply lyrical as a vocalist, the Cypriot artist emerged in the early ’90s at a time when the contemporary Greek music circuit was experiencing an influx of various influences, local and foreign. Whether performing rock-inflected material or ballads, the artist has impressed with his prowess. Ioannidis has performed at the Little Theater of Epidaurus once before, in 1997, with his long-serving violinist Miltiades Papastamou, for an evening of traditional songs from their native Cyprus. For this latest visit, Ioannidis has reworked his own material for a sound which he believes will be suited to the theater’s overall mood and ambience. A relatively recent discovery, the Little Theater of Epidaurus was brought to light in 1972 by the archaeologist Evangelia Deilaki. Her ensuing studies suggest that it had begun operating approximately 2,500 years ago, prior to the region’s far larger Epidaurus Theater. Besides offering high-caliber musical performances, the Musical July series also offers city-dwellers in Athens good reason to escape for not-to-distant entertainment at Epidaurus, just over 100 kilometers (62 miles) from the capital. As in previous summers, visitors can also opt to travel by sea. Cruise boat service will be provided from the Trocadero marina in Faliron, southern Athens, at 5.30 p.m. on both performance days. The small theater is a 15-minute walk from the port at Epidaurus. Concert tickets available at the Hellenic Festival’s central box office in downtown Athens (39 Panepistomiou, tel 210.928.2900). For boat tickets: N.E. Epirotiki-Hydraiki-Pleasure Cruise offices (87 Akti Miaouli, Piraeus, tel 210.429.1501-10).