Melodized ancient chorals to be staged at Athinais Arts Complex

The idea for «Chorals ’05 – A Lifelong Study in Beauty,» a performance to be staged at the Athinais Arts Complex on June 21 and 27, grew out of a show which the Speira Speira theater troupe presented at the University of Athens. «After the show, when we were sitting at the table, my teacher Costas Georgoussopoulos came up with the idea of writing new melodies for ancient dramas,» said composer Stamatis Kraounakis. «In a short time we managed to acquired a file with all his manuscripts and translations, the lyrics of the chorus, the words of poets from the ‘The Trojan Women,’ ‘The Clouds,’ ‘Agamemnon,’ ‘The Trachiniae,’ ‘The Suppliant Women,’ ‘Helen,’ ‘Hecuba,’ ‘Oedipus at Colonus’ and other works.» Members of the Speira Speira group will be interpreting chorals selected and translated by Georgoussopoulos, one of the country’s most esteemed translators of ancient drama, working under the name of K.H. Myris. The music that accompanies the lyrics was penned by nine contemporary composers: Nikos Aslanis, Christos Theodorou, Panayiotis Kalantzopoulos, Stefanos Korkolis, Nikos Kollaros, Stamatis Kraounakis, Costas Leivadias, Evanthia Reboutsika and Yiannis Christodoulopoulos. The performance includes 20 chorals from ancient tragedies and Attic comedy. «The excerpts I selected for this composition, from all three tragic poets and from Aristophanes, form a broad anthology of lyric motifs which to this day nourish lyric poetry, elegy and paeans,» said Georgoussopoulos. «What had made these great poets stand out is the fact that they are responsible for creating, in a most unique way, almost all the molds for the poetic experience as we know it today.» Over the two years that it took to prepare this performance, the group has become interested in seeing whether it can be adapted to a variety of venues, such as museums, open-air theaters and even schoolyards. It amounts to «taking Greece all over Greece,» as Kraounakis says. Performances will be held on June 21 and 27, at 7.30 p.m. at the Athinais Arts Complex, 34-36 Kastorias, Votanikos, tel 210.348.0000.

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