2002 Cultural Olympiad

More than 30 events are scheduled for the Cultural Olympiad of 2002, and the Culture Ministry has allocated over 7 billion drachmas (around 20 million euros) to cover them. There are some changes to the original program, arising from the cancellation, postponement and addition of certain events. Among the interesting new additions, the most important is the drama series at the Herod Atticus Theater, with the participation of leading Greek and foreign artists, including Michalis Cacoyannis, Nuria Espert, Eymundos Necrosios, Iakovos Kambanellis and Maya Morgenstern. This cycle of plays is separate from the Theatrical Olympiad to be held at Epidaurus. The Cultural Olympiad begins tomorrow with an exhibition of works by great contemporary European and American artists from the noted Dutch Van Abbe Museum at the Athens School of Fine Arts. Other events are as follows: – An international video clip competition conducted via the Internet and directed at young artists with a theme of Greek mythology. – «Classical Civilization,» a major archaeological exhibition, will be held in Berlin, starting in March. – The National Opera performs Mikis Theodorakis’s opera «Lysistrata» at the Athens Concert Hall (April 14-20). – Theater costumes designed by Dionysis Fotopoulos will be on display at the National Theater in London in May. – The WOMAD music festival will take place in Athens (June 14-16). – Major buildings in 10 Greek cities will sport the art of graffiti (May 21-July 22). – Rossini’s opera «The Siege of Corinth» will be performed on site by the National Opera – at the archaeological site of Corinth. (The company will perform Strauss’s «Ariadne on Naxos» in 2003 and Mozart’s «Iphigenia» at Knossos in 2004.) – The drama series at the Herod Atticus Theater (see box) in June. – The Theban cycle at Epidaurus will be conducted in collaboration with the international Cultural Olympiad, under the supervision of Thodoros Terzopoulos. He and foreign directors will stage tragedies linked with Thebes (such as «Bacchae,» «Antigone» and the Oedipus plays), sharing a common set designed by Yiannis Kounelis. – The Theban cycle will be the theme of symposia and performances at the 11th International Ancient Drama Meeting at Delphi (July 5-12). – The exhibition «Minoan and Mycenaean Flavors» is to be held in Birmingham in July. – The National Opera Ballet will tour in Europe and America with Theodorakis’s ballet «Zorba.» Numerous other events are scheduled as part of the Cultural Olympiad: exhibitions, conferences and tributes (Mediaterra, «The Bull in the Mediterranean» and «The Return of Greek Antiquity); international competitions – for «ephemeral constructions» by architects, and for conductors for «The Opera of the Earth» and others, such as the «New Balkans» series. One event originally scheduled for 2002 that has since been canceled is the series of performances on the theme of the human body in space and time. Two other items have been postponed: A series of 12 videos and CDs dealing with two centuries of Greek music, and an exhibition, «In the Light of Apollo,» on the link between the Renaissance and ancient Greek art.

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