Savvopoulos’s ‘Acharnians’

early 30 years after their debut, «The Acharnians» according to Dionysis Savvopoulos are singing once again. Last night’s performance will be followed by another tonight at the air-conditioned Halandri Arts Center. The evening, which also includes chorus parts from «Plutus» and much-loved Savvopoulos tunes, features musicians, dancers and singers performing on a set created especially for the Halandri performances by artist Alekos Fassianos. «I was listening to ‘Paravasi’ from ‘The Acharnians,’ and I wondered how long it had been since we played the whole thing,» said Savvopoulos during a press conference earlier this week. Twenty-nine years, to be exact. «The Acharnians,» according to Savvopoulos, opened for the first time in December 1977 at the Rigas music venue in Plaka. How had Savvopoulos come up with the score in the first place? Initially, the project had come about when Karolos Koun commissioned Savvopoulos to compose the music for a Theatro Technis production of Aristophanes’ play. The collaboration didn’t blossom, however, as Savvopoulos wasn’t keen on the idea of working solely on the music and staying away from the chorus parts. «This had nothing to do with the arrogance of youth,» Savvopoulos said, adding: «That’s the way I operate. I don’t differentiate between music and lyrics.» Thus Savvopoulos’s «Acharnians» earned its independence, turning into an album recorded by Lyra in the fall of 1977. Tonight’s performance includes the entire score, interpreted by a larger orchestra. The original production’s singers have been replaced by Aspa Theofilou, Vassiliki Karacosta, Costis Maravegias, Panos Mouzourakis, Gina Kalantzi and Lia Tsolaki. Also on tonight’s program are songs from «Plutus» – for which Savvopoulos had written music and adapted chorus parts for a National Theater production at Epidaurus in 1985 – along with other popular Savvopoulos works. «The Archarnians’ will be staged tonight at the Halandri Arts Center, 53 Garyttou, Halandri, 210.639.3341. The performance starts at 8.30 p.m.