CULTURE

Big names lined up for September

Fall is just round the corner and heartfelt wishes for the new season will no doubt trigger the traditional nervousness that defines this time of year. While September is considered a transitional month in terms of cultural life, next month presents an exciting lineup of performances by leading names from the international arena of music and dance. The Greek Festival comes to an end with Sam Mendes’s take on Shakespeare’s «Winter’s Tale» at the Ancient Theater of Epidaurus this weekend, while the fall-winter 2009-10 season begins at the Athens Concert Hall and the Greek National Opera later this year. There’s plenty of cultural action in September, however, with Athenian audiences getting the chance to attend some big-draw performances at the Athens Concert Hall and the Herod Atticus Theater. These include performances by artists who are known for making regular appearances on Greek stages, international bookings which have yet to disappoint the local public: Jose Carreras, Luz Casal, Svetlana Zakharova, Vanessa Mae, Dulce Pontes and the Alvin Ailey American Dance Theater, each and every one of them illustrious stars in their own field, not to mention appreciative of Athenian applause. Coming to Greece is Ukraine’s Svetlana Zakharova, who, along with her celebrated soloist friends, the Kiev Ballet and the National Opera of Ukraine, is scheduled to appear at the Thessaloniki Concert Hall on September 1, followed by performances at the Athens Concert Hall on September 4, 5 and 6. Spain’s Luz Casal is also appearing in both cities, with a first concert scheduled at the Herod Atticus Theater on September 13 and another at the Dassos Theater in Thessaloniki, the following day. Also at the Herod Atticus Theater, fellow Spaniard, tenor Jose Carreras will be accompanied by the Greek Radio and Televion (ERT) National Symphony Orchestra under the baton of David Jimenez, and singers Sabina Puertolas and Anjel Odena on September 19. An evening uniting three Mediterranean musical cultures will take place at the ancient theater on September 21, when Dulce Pontes, Paco Pena and Thanassis Polykandriotis join forces and disciplines in Portuguese fado, Spanish flamenco and Greek «laika» tunes respectively. Last but not least, violin sensation Vanessa Mae takes to the Herod Atticus stage on September 24, on the same day that the Alvin Ailey American Dance Theater begins a series of performances at the Athens Concert Hall, from September 24 to 27.