Athens and Epidaurus Festival

This week I thought it would be quite interesting to talk about some part of Greece’s culture, more precisely one event. The “Athens and Epidaurus Festival” takes place in both Athens and Epidaurus as the name says and lasts from May to October. It offers music, dance and theatre performances. For more than 50 years this festival succeeded in promising its visitors magical summer nights.

But how did it all start? In 1955 the Greek government decided to found a high arts festival in Athens. They invited the famous theater director Dinos Giannopoulos and gave him the freedom to organize this festival however he liked. The theatre and music performances were all held in the beautiful amphitheatre (e'mfithiater) next to the Acropolis. The highlight was the concert of the New York Philharmonic Orchestra.

Athens is well known as the capital of Greece and also as a city which has existed for thousands of years already. It is the place where democracy, the Olympic Games, philosophy, mathematical principles and theatre was born. Most people connect Athens immediately with the Acropolis but what they don't know, is that there is an amazing amphitheatre right next to it. The “Odeon of Herodes Atticus” has all the advantages of an amphitheatre: good view for all members of the audience and excellent acoustics. Many famous singers like Maria Kallas, Luciano Pavarotti and Frank Sinatra have performed there. Some also as part of the “Athens and Epidaurus Festival”.

Epidaurus is a small city two hours from Athens. It is most famous for its well-preserved and beautiful theatre which holds 13,000 spectators and has amazing acoustics. During the festival there are organized busses that bring spectators from Athens to Epidaurus to enjoy a unique performance.

So, if you are ever in the area between May and October you should definitely check out if there are some tickets left. It certainly is something you will never experience again in your life.



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