Jeremy Irons in Athens for charity event

Art’s ability to deal with deeply humanitarian causes and aid charity organizations is well known. It is under this light that Charles Camille Saint-Saens’s «Le Carnaval des Animaux» (Animal Carnival) will be presented in Athens. Organized by Synthesi in collaboration with the Ivory Coast Consulate, the performance is scheduled to take place at the Herod Atticus Theater on Sunday, September 29. The performance is already generating a great deal of interest for two reasons: On the one hand it will raise funds for children suffering from AIDS on the African continent, while on the other, it will offer the Greek public the opportunity to see celebrated actor Jeremy Irons on stage. Saint-Saens’s oeuvre is a series of humorous musical portraits of animals; at the Herod Atticus, the British actor will accompany the music with an original text by Ogden Nash. The performance’s direction rests in the hands of Yiannis Kakleas. At a recent press conference at the Ministry of Culture, the director noted that his aim is to inject the work with a series of Greek elements, using excerpts from works by great Greek literary men such as Embiricos, Roidis and Cavafy, which will be rendered by young Greek actors. At the Herod Atticus, the Patras Orchestra will be conducted by maestro Saulius Sondeckis, featuring piano soloists Christos Papageorgiou and Giorgos Petrou. As far as the charity character of the event is concerned, Mero Kececioglu, the Ivory Coast’s general consul in Athens, reminded the press conference’s audience of the huge problems facing the African continent: «More than 30 million people live with the virus in Africa today, while somebody dies of AIDS every 11 seconds.»

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