Delos to host music and ballet

The island of Delos will provide the awe-inspiring setting for «Apollo Delios,» a spectacular ballet and classical music event in early September. Under the baton of Daniele Gatti, the Filarmonica della Scala will perform Stravinsky’s «Apollo Musagete» as well as Mahler’s Symphony No 1, at an event organized by the Alexander S. Onassis Public Benefit Foundation with the support of the Attiki Cultural Society. The orchestra will be joined by soloists of the Teatro alla Scala Ballet and principal dancer Roberto Bolle. The performance will take place at Delos’s striking ancient ruins on September 1, with the permission of the Central Archaeological Council which seldom allows events on the island, although the precise location has yet to be decided. In order to protect the archaeological site, no more than 500 people will be able to attend and women should not wear high heels. So as not to disappoint ballet and music lovers, the production will also be staged at the Herod Atticus Theater on September 3. «Holding an important cultural event at a venue that is of great significance for Greeks adds to Greek cultural life,» said Minister of Culture Giorgos Voulgarakis at a press conference yesterday. «The ministry views the Onassis Foundation as its strategic partner. It promotes Greece abroad, through its initiatives both in Greece and abroad.» «Our aim is to promote Greek culture in its international dimension,» said the foundation’s president, Antonis Papadimitriou. He explained that the foundation believes in the continuity of Greek culture through the ages – from ancient times to the birth of the modern Greek state – adding that Greek culture is an inexhaustible treasure for the future. Their most recent cultural activity, the exhibition «Athens-Sparta: From the 8th to the 5th Century BC,» which was held at the foundation’s New York branch, was a great success and will soon open at Sparta’s Olive and Oil Museum. Founded by Claudio Abbado in 1982, the Filarmonica della Scala, which had Riccardo Muti as principal conductor from 1987 to 2005, has gained international acclaim. It has worked with distinguished maestros such as Leonard Bernstein, Zubin Mehta, Seiji Ozawa and Yuri Termikanov, as well as renowned soloists including violinist Anne-Sophie Mutter and cellist Yo-Yo Ma. Daniele Gatti has been music director of London’s Royal Philharmonic Orchestra since 1996. His numerous recordings – many of which were performed with the London Philharmonic – include compositions by Mahler, Prokofiev and Bela Bartok. He has collaborated with high-caliber orchestras such as the Vienna Philharmonic, the New York Philharmonic, the Dresden Staatskapelle and the Concertgebouw Orchestra. Roberto Bolle, who was nominated resident guest artist at the Teatro alla Scala in 1998, has performed with the Royal Ballet, Berlin’s Staatsoper and the Stuttgart Ballet, among others. In 2002, he performed at Buckingham Palace as part of the celebrations for Queen Elizabeth II’s Golden Jubilee, in an event broadcast worldwide by the BBC. The Delos spectacle will be broadcast by ERT, both nationally and abroad. All proceeds from the Herod Atticus Theater event will go to the Hellenic Society for Disabled Children (ELEPAP), which this year celebrates its 70th anniversary. As explained by ELEPAP president Mary Diamantopoulou, the society already has six centers around Greece and is working toward the creation of a new home that will be able to host and provide creative activities which will help disabled children become more independent. «Cultural heritage should not be solely identified with museums,» said Voulgarakis. «You experience it better when it is part of current events.»

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