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Culture

The 64th Philippi Festival Celebrates 1821 and Dionysios Solomos

ATHENS – This year, the Philippi Festival, July 3-September 5, has a motto, the word “Solomos,” and will feature the National Poet of Greece Dionysios Solomos and the “reading” of his entire body of work, in celebration of the 200th anniversary of the Greek Revolution.

“Greek and foreign scholars, directors, actors, dancers, musicians, writers, cinematographers, photographers will present performances, concerts, speeches and actions based on his work and on this great moment for our homeland,” Thodoris Gonis, Philippi Festival Artistic Director, shared via email.

With the collaboration of the Aristotle University of Thessaloniki and the University of Palermo (Universita degli Studi di Palermo) the works of Solomos will be read by professors Katerina Tiktopoulou and Maria Rosa Caracausi, in collaboration with students, postgraduate students, and actors to present the three stages of elaboration of The Woman of Zakynthos by Lydia Fotopoulou and Dimitris Naziris under the guidance of Glykeria Kalaitzi. To these readings will be added the speeches of the writers and scholars of Solomos, Pantelis Boukalas and Dionysis Kapsalis.

The theatrical groups of Georgia Mavragani, Elena Mavridou, and American Laura Tesman will present respectively the Dialogue, Lambros, and the Hymn to Freedom translated into English where accompanying, in the form of a documentary, Greek-American immigrants sing the National Anthem.

The writers Akis Dimou, Glykeria Basdeki and Haris Michalopoulos have written three theatrical monologues on the subject of Solomos to be presented by the actors Despina Papazoglou, Maro Papadopoulou, Aris Ninisofos, and little Foti Evangelides. Dimitris Hantzopoulos digitally designed, especially for the Philippi Festival, the portrait of Dionysios Solomos as the main poster of this year's event. Also, the theatrical group Quinta (Pavlos Stavropoulos and Natalia-Anna Vasileka) present the Cretan, the poet and performer Konstantinos Papacharalambos talks to Porphyras, the composer Nikos Xydakis "re-reads" – with his own melodies – poems by Dionysias entitled Dionysios Solomos – A musical poetic design, the singer Niovi Klaudianou with the composer Spyros Souladakis, prepare a musical performance in poetry by Solomos and the dance group "Proshima" by Maria Koliopoulou creates a performance on issues of identity and freedom.

Gonis said: “Also, this year – due to the ‘weather’ and the difficulty – we started early, with tests and exercises. We were at the 1st Primary School in Kavala, on the peninsula of Panagia, in a closed building, silent in recent years, we opened it, sat at its desks and in its courtyard, we invited the students of the 7th Primary School, and along with us, we read carefully and tried to recite by heart the first verses, the youth exercises, we studied the poems of "preparation" of Solomos great work to reach the Hymn to Freedom, in its 158 stanzas. This work of ours was filmed by Giannis Karapiperidis and will be screened in the big tribute of the Festival to Dionysios Solomos.”

“And, of course, at the ancient theater of Philippi, the historical core of the Festival, we will welcome the great performances of ancient drama of the Athens and Epidaurus Festivals, productions of the National Theatre, the National Theatre of Northern Greece, the free theater and the new institution of the Ministry of Culture ‘All Greece One Civilization,’” Gonis concluded.

More information is available online: https://philippi-festival.gr.

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