It is a rare occasion when young and old can attend the same theatrical performance and both derive such pleasure. That, however, is exactly what happens with Maxim Gorky’s “Summerfolk” at the Onassis Cultural Centre. Gorky’s protagonists appear to be mired in ego and stuck in their own little worlds – until the moment they begin to be aware of the wider world around them and feel the necessity of taking action. But can they really manage to escape themselves?
TOSCA BY GIACOMO PUCCINI PRESENTED BY THE NEW NATIONAL OPERA AT THE STAVROS NIARCHOS FOUNDATION CULTURAL CENTER
Combining the famous libretto of Giuseppe Giacosa and Luigi Illica with the renowned music of Giacomo Puccini, “Tosca” is one of the most widely loved Italian opera, with adoring fans among both music-lovers and musicians alike. This opera in three acts was first performed in 1800 in the era it portrays and refers to the painter Mario Cavaradossi, the lover of Tosca, a well-known singer of that period. When Cavaradossi is sentenced to death, and Tosca is unable to save him, distraught and in despair, she kills herself. The New National Opera’s “Tosca” opens on the 26th of January as part of a wider tribute to famed director and set-designer Stefanos Lazaridis. A stellar cast has been assembled for this production, among them Cellia Costea in the title role, Pavel Černoch and Dimitris Paksoglou in alternating performances and Dimitris Tiliakos in the role of Baron Scarpia. This captivating work is hosted in the dazzling new home of the New National Opera at The Stavros Niarchos Foundation Cultural Center.
The Budapest Festival Orchestra with soloist Radu Lupu at The Athens Concert Hall
For decades now, the system of musical education in Hungary has produced outstanding orchestras and extraordinary musicians who perform all over the world, always garnering ecstatic reviews from leading music critics. The Budapest Festival Orchestra, conducted by Iván Fischer, is coming to The Athens Concert Hall for a single performance on January 19, featuring the piano soloist Radu Lupu, considered one of the finest interpreters of Chopin worldwide. On the 19th, the Orchestra will present Johann Sebastian Bach’s Orchestral Suite no. 2, Robert Schumann’s Piano Concerto in A minor, and Sergei Rachmaninoff’s Symphony no. 2 in E minor.
Polkas, waltzes and mazurkas flood the Christos Lambrakis Hall of the Athens Concert Hall, played by the masterful musicians of the Camerata Orchestra under the baton of the renowned maestro George Petrou. This is the concert that all of Athens has been eagerly awaiting in order to give an inspiring start to the New Year with hopeful music from the opera “The Merry Wives of Windsor”, the operetta “Die Fledermaus” as well as internationally beloved waltzes, polkas and mazurkas. It’s almost a sure bet that most of the audience will be silently singing along in their seats.
A “Bohème” which has conquered audiences and critics alike
There still remain two more performances, on the 3rd and 5th of January, of the loveliest musical-theatrical work of this past year, an astounding revival and reinterpretation of Puccini’s beloved opera “La Bohème”, set in Athens’ own Bohemian Exarchia. Declared an instant masterpiece by audiences and critics, everyone who has thus far attended this work, with the inspired leadership of Graham Vick and the artistic and musical direction of Elias Voudouris and Vladimiros Symeonidis, who rotated these key roles between themselves – have raved about the production and will surely remember it for months and years to come. For those lucky enough to attend – don’t miss it!
Gareth Davis & Frances-Marie Uitti at the Onassis Cultural Centre
On January 11, two extraordinary musicians, the clarinetist Davis and the cellist Uitti will interpret – with their characteristic flare and passion – works by two outstanding 20th-century Italian composers, Giacinto Scelsi and Salvatore Sciarrino. As has been their custom during the seven years of their collaboration, the two musicians will explore and bring to light other perspectives of these great composers’ work – and will take us along with them on this journey.
The Nutcracker, staged by Bolshoi Ballet's chief choreographer of the last 30 years Yuri Grigorovich, will fill the Alexandra Trianti Hall with music and spectacle from 20 to 30 December, once again bringing the magic of the unrivalled Russian ballet to Greek audiences.
Renowned choreographer Grigorovich, who turned 90 this year, brings his own style to the classic fairytale of The Nutcracker to the Athens Concert Hall in an adapted libretto by Marius Petipa. The principals and leading soloists will once again demonstrate Russia’s supremacy in classical dance to the music of Pyotr Ilyich Tchaikovsky, as scenery and costumes fill the stage with magic to captivate young and old.
The Nutcracker ballet in two acts, based on a fairytale by Hoffmann titled The Nutcracker and the Mouse King, opens on Wednesday 20 December and runs through 30 December. Performances are at 4 and 8 pm on most days. Whichever show you choose, you are sure to leave the theatre under its spell.
Christmas Oratorio for just one performance in Athens
This holiday season, Bach’s landmark Baroque work Christmas Oratorio will fill the Christos Lambrakis Hall at the Athens Concert Hall in a performance by Les Musiciens du Louvre, one of France's best known musical ensembles.
Les Musiciens du Louvre are internationally known for their expert renditions of the pre-classical and classical repertoire. This work by Johann Sebastian Bach is considered one of most beautiful compositions of sacred music of all time. At their performance on 20 December, Les Musiciens du Louvre will be playing period instruments under the direction of Marc Minkowski, accompanied by internationally known singers.
Their name: Pilobolus; their performance: Shadowland; their art: contemporary dance; their audience: more than 800,000 spectators throughout the world; their success: indisputable!
A company of contemporary dancers based in New York, Pilobolus has captured audiences through surprise, startling subversions, and their play with light using their own shadows as the vehicle. In Shadowland, a young girl travels to the world of dreams on the wings of dance and shadows. Precision lighting, multimedia, and moveable alternating screens present a dance spectacle of shadows where people are transformed into objects, animals and mysterious creatures that change faces to frighten, bewitch, seduce and mesmerise.
Perfection in movement and modern technology
The members of the Pilobolus dance group, with their solid training in modern dance, along with technicians led by lighting director Neil Peter Jampolis, use the cloth as their blank slate to create their own surprising story. Follow the young girl's journey and let her sweep you along to a land of shadows and excitement. For five days and eight performances.