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Delphi's ancient theatre opens again after a pause of 20 years

15 July 2012 / 19:07:36  GRReporter
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After 20 years of silence, the antique theatre in Delphi opens with a modest theatre and musical performance. The event, which will take place on Saturday, 21 July, is organized by the Festival in Athens and Epidaurus, under the initiative of the Ministry of Education, Religious Affairs, Culture and Sports, in order to enliven the ancient theatre and to show off one of the most important monuments of antiquity.

"I visited the place and I was impressed by its beauty. I didn’t believe my eyes", the director of the Festival, Yiorgos Loukos, shares his first impressions from the antique theatre in Delphi. The proposal to organize a performance there found "a response among the people of the arts, nobody declined, nobody said "I can't"", Loukos emphasizes. And so, fragments from ancient Greek works ("The Persians" and "Agamemnon" by Aeschylus, "Hercules" by Euripides, etc.) and poetry will be performed by the actors Giannis Bogiatzhs, Nikos Karatanos, Eleni Kokidu, Lydia Konyordu, Olya Lazaridu, Maya Limberopulu, Vassilis Papavasiliu, Reni Pitaki and Marisa Triandafyllidou. Besides, the same evening the New Greek Quartette will play the piano series of five plays "Mirrors" by Maurice Ravel with the participation of Lenia Zafiropulu, soprano, and "Clarinet Concerto" by Mozart, with the participation of Dionysis Gramenos.

The budget for the restoration of the theatre amounts to 1.3 million euro (the project is included in the National strategic reference frame), as the carrying out of the research has already been approved.

"Greece's strongest point is culture. Culture will save us", said before the announcement of the programme the Deputy-Minister of Education, Religious Affairs, Culture and Sports , Kostas Dzavaras.

"The theatre's opening bears a deep, symbolic meaning", noted the main secretary of the Ministry, Lina Mendoni.

"The most important wealth of Greece is culture. We can export it worldwide. And I don’t say that out of chauvinism", stressed actor Giannis Bogiatzhs. "We have forgotten culture because we are trying to make a living, to survive. To live, however, we have to feed our souls as well. So that the others are able to see us through the eyes of culture, and not as a nation of broken paupers", he added.

Giannis Bogiatzhs and Yiorgos Loukos

To the actress Reni Pitaki, the restoration of the theatre represents "a pleasant surprise". She will perform part of "The Birds" by Aristophanes - a text, which "will make us think now, when we are like birds with cut wings and plucked plumage", a text, which "will raise our spirits".

The repertoire that will be presented is selected by the actors themselves. Because of the theatre's location, there had been technical problems, in connection with the method of transportation of the instruments, for example.

"The event will be realized in the manner of a performance, since the actors will have only two days for rehearsals", Loukos explained.


The last performance in the antique theatre in Delphi, before the restoration works had started, was in 1992 and represented a solemn musical event on the occasion of 100 years from the start of the excavations of the French Architectural School in the Delphi area.

Tags: Delphi ancient theatre performance Mozart Maurice Ravel ancient Greek tragedies
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