A young Athenian and former close collaborator of Thanos Mikroutsikos is the new – temporary – artistic director of Patras 2006 – European Cultural Capital. Forty-year-old Alexis Alatsis, a stage director with a rich record in theater and opera productions, mostly beyond Greek borders, takes over the city’s artistic reins at a crucial time, only a few days before the inauguration festivities are to begin on January 14. Abroad A graduate in musicology, theater studies and French literature in Paris, Alatsis began his career as an assistant director in opera productions in Germany and Italy and has collaborated with Hamburg’s Kampanage theater center for about seven years. In Greece, he directed «Clowns,» a Fournos Theater production in 1998. While many were left speculating about whether or not the new director will maintain his position throughout Patras’s tenure as cultural capital, Alatsis had no time for reflection and immediately immersed himself in his work. His priority? To make sure that all the events of the first trimester go ahead as planned, with as few technical glitches as possible.