ATHENS -- The annual Athens and Epidaurus Festival will reopen to live audiences this year on June 1, with over 80 productions scheduled and a duration of four months, to October 10.
Focusing on Greek artists - 50 of the 80 are Greek productions - it will also include performances scheduled in 2020 but suspended due to the coronavirus epidemic restrictions.
In an online presentation, the Festival's artistic director Katerina Evangelatos said that this year's schedule did not focus on strict themes but would include productions on LGBTQ and gender identity.
In Athens, venues will also include the Pireos 260 building, which was shut down last year, and performances at the Festival overall will include theater performances, music, dance, and visual arts, while some productions will be held in other than the standard venues in Athens. In addition, the Cycle 1821 will commemorate the centennial of Greece's War of Independence from the Ottoman Empire.
The Ancient Theater of Epidaurus will premier 10 productions over three days a week (Fridays, Saturdays, Sundays) from June to August. In addition, German theater director Thomas Ostermeier and the Schaubühne will present a version of 'Oedipus Rex' by Maja Zade. Several Greek directors, independently or collaborating, will present ancient drama as well.
At the Small Theater of Ancient Epidaurus, four Greek authors will each present a commissioned modern version of an ancient tragedy for the 'Contemporary Ancients' cycle, while other experimental work will also take place.
The Athens Festival's main venue, the Odeon of Herod Atticus (Irodio), will host distinguished international musicians Brian Eno with his brother Roger Eno, pianist Zubin Mehta with the Maggio Musicale Orchestra of Florence, violinist Pinchas Zuckerman and the Monteverdi Choir accompanied by the English Baroque Soloists, in a performance conducted by Sir John Eliot Gardiner.
On the Greek side, the Athens Festival will also include performances by the National Opera, Eleftheria Arvanitaki, and Lena Platonos with Nalyssa Green, among others.
For additional information (in Greek and English), please see https://aefestival.gr/to-programma-toy-festival-athinon-epidayroy-2021/