"All of Greece One Culture" Summer Festival to Begin on Saturday

Αssociated Press

People walk in front of the Gate of the ancient Roman agora with the ancient Acropolis hill seen in the background in the traditional Plaka district of Athens, as lockdown measures continue to prevent the spread of the coronavirus, on Monday April 27, 2020. (AP Photo/Petros Giannakouris)

ATHENS -- A series of contemporary cultural events are to take place in archaeological sites and museums throughout Greece this summer, in a celebration of Greek culture that seeks to combine the country's ancient heritage with its current creativity. The culture ministry programme is called "All of Greece, One Culture" and kicks off on July 18, with Georgian mezzosoprano Anita Rachvelishvili in a gratis performance, accompanied by the Greek National Opera and conductor Lukas Karytinos, to sing a selection of arias from various operas in the Roman Agora in Athens.

The performances, which are an effort to promote openness and financially support the Greek audiovisual performance arts during the pandemic, will be free of charge.

The concert will be broadcast live by the national opera website, as well as the culture ministry's new digital platform It will also be broadcast on the public television channel ERT2 on Sunday at 21:00 and later by European television stations, via EBU.

In a similar effort to restart culture that also activates international aspects is the live broadcast abroad of a performance of the tragedy "The Persians" by ancient playwright Aeschylus, which will be performed by the National Theatre at Epidaurus on July 25 with the support of the culture ministry and the Athens Festival.

"As we have not charged a ticket, it will be at the discretion of the viewers abroad, if they wish, to make a donation to the National Theatre in lieu of a ticket," Culture Minister Lina Mendoni said in press conference regarding the events programme on Tuesday. She noted that this was the 2,500th anniversary since the naval battle of Salamis, an event that decided the fate of the western world.

The programme of events under the newly established programme will run until September 30 and involve 270 performances and other cultural activities in 122 different venues throughout the country. The performances are free and all health safety protocols will be observed, while bookings can be made via the ministry's digital platform Bookings are now available for the first 30 events in the programme.