Landmark theater re-opens on Syros

Following 150 years in silence, the Apollon Theater on the island of Syros is about to open its doors to the public once more. A landmark neoclassical building in the capital, Ermoupolis, the theater was designed as a miniature version of Milan’s La Scala. Rossini’s popular «Barber of Seville» will mark the theater’s comeback this week – the production is part of the annual Syros festival, known as Ermoupoleia. The festival, which turns 13 this year, kicked off earlier this month and runs to mid-September, featuring exhibitions of works by leading Greek artists, theater and concerts. Running parallel to the Ermoupoleia is the first-ever Cyclades Music Festival, focusing on classical music. «From Rossini, Verdi and Bizet all the way to Markos Vamvakaris, this year’s Ermoupoleia stand out, not only in terms of the quality of the selections, but also for the broad range of the arts being represented,» said Yiannis Dekavallas, mayor of Syros, at a recent press conference. «This year, there is something for everyone.» Opera One of the festival’s highlights is Rossini’s «Barber of Seville,» at the Apollon on Thursday and Saturday. The production is a collaboration between Peter Tiboris, the American artistic director of Midamerica Production within the context of the Aegean Opera 2005 program. Directed by Gianmaria Romagnoli, the opera features the Rome Philharmonic Orchestra Soloists under the baton of Christian Francesconi Catena. The cast is led by well-known singers such as Maria Francesca Mazzara, Pietro Masi and Amedeo Moretti, among others. An intrinsic part of the Syros festival begins on July 18: the 12th Guitar Festival features a series of concerts by leading guitarists including Andrea Dieci, Gerard Abiton and David Grimes, while a tribute marking 100 years since the birth of rebetika composer Markos Vamvakaris will take place at the Miaouli Square on July 24 and 25. Coming up in August is an evening dedicated to prominent composer Michalis Souyioul (August 7). Also in August is a performance based on music by the Polis theater company (August 10-14). On the visual arts front, three exhibitions stand out: «Realism and Humor in Contemporary Greek Painting» features works from the Vorres Museum collection (Running to July 31), an exhibition of works by Sotiris Sorongas (July 30 to August 24) and a retrospective show of works by Yiannis Moralis (August 6 to September 15). The first edition of the Cyclades Music Festival will run from August 27 to September 10. Taking part in the festival are leading Greek musicians including soloists Dimitris Sgouros, Leonidas Kavakos, Giorgos Demertzis and Costas Cotsiolis. Another of the festival’s highlights is a concert marking a year since the Closing Ceremony of the Athens 2004 Olympics, scheduled to take place at Miaouli Square on August 28.

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