CULTURE

Herod Atticus Theater pre-opening ceremony

On the night of August 12, the evening before the opening ceremony of the Olympic Games, the Olympic Flame, which started its international journey in Olympia back in March, will reach Athens and climb its way up to the Acropolis, where it will await the great moment when it is to be transferred to shine at the Olympic Stadium the following day, in the way Dimitris Papaioannou and his colleagues have chosen. Official reception There will be an official reception for the flame on August 12 on the Acropolis, in the presence of the entire «Olympic Family,» meaning not only the Immortals, but also numerous other officials from all over the world (presidents, prime ministers, ministers and more) who will be in Athens. Once the flame has reached its special place on the Acropolis, they will all descend to the Herod Atticus Theater, which will host the celebration for the reception of the flame in Athens. The program of the celebration and the artists who will have the honor of performing to such a select crowd had remained unknown until recently. According to Kathimerini sources, however, the artists chosen to perform at this demanding event are internationally acclaimed pianist Dimitris Sgouros and the fine Patras Strings Orchestra, which will be conducted by Alexandre Myrat. The program will consist of Thanos Mikroutsikos’s «Slow Motion,» Nikos Skalkottas’s «Three Greek Dances» (numbers 1, 3 and 5) and, finally, Dmitri Shostakovich’s Concerto for Piano and Orchestra No. 1, Op. 35, with pianist Dimitris Sgouros and another acclaimed Greek musician, trombone player Socrates Anthis. Athens 2004 had initially intended to hold this music event on the Acropolis and had even asked permission from the Central Archaeological Council (KAS). Because of the problems that such a move would cause (a stage for the artists as well as a platform for the seats of the spectators would have to be constructed) and because KAS members pointed out many other details, it was finally decided to hold the event just below the Acropolis, in the Herod Atticus Theater; the concert will start right after the flame is lit on the Acropolis. That was the reason why the second of composer Notis Mavroudis’s concerts, scheduled to take place that evening, has been canceled (Mavroudis and his colleagues will play on Wednesday, August 11 as scheduled).