ATHENS - Keeping to its appointment with the public, even at this unprecedented time, the Athens and Epidaurus Festival intends to present a condensed programme that supports Greek artists, according to a recorded message by the festival's artistic director Katerina Evangelatou uploaded to Youtube on Tuesday.
The Festival "actively supports Greek artists, who are going through a particularly difficult time, while also giving citizens and visitors to our country the opportunity to attend grand performances and concerts in our emblematic monuments," she said.
In particular, 17 Greek productions of music, theatre and opera will be presented, featuring some 300 artists, who will appear only in the open theatres of Epidaurus and the Herodes Atticus Odeon in Athens. These are some productions of the Athens and Epidaurus Festival, as well as collaborations with government agencies, all of which were already included in the programme announced in March and which will be adapted to the new conditions imposed by the pandemic.
Evangelatou noted that the programme presented on March 30 "with a feeling of hope, but also with several reservations due to the ongoing pandemic," will not be possible to realise as planned. "For all of us at the Festival, the forced cancellation of dozens of wonderful performances and collaborations with important people of the arts has been really painful. We had planned more than 70 events from 14 countries, and the collaboration of about 1,400 artists, in a variety of spaces, open and closed," Evangelatou added.
On her part, Culture and Sports Minister Lina Mendoni, in a recorded message, noted: "The pandemic forced us to change our habits. So, this year we will have a special edition of the Athens and Epidaurus Festival. We have unlimited trust in the artistic directors of our institutions. Katerina Evangelatou, with the talent that distinguishes her, with her perspicacity and with a lot of work, managed to offer us a different but very high-quality festival. The Ancient Theatre of Epidaurus, the Little Epidaurus and the Herodion will operate with state organisations and will provide us with a vibrant cultural summer. Congratulations to Katerina Evangelatou, to the Board of Directors of the Festival, to her collaborators and to all the artists because they prevented the stagnation of culture this summer."