Yesterday morning, the Greek Minister of Culture, Mr Antonis Samaras, announced the schedule of the legendary Athens-Epidaurus Festival for summer 2009. Musical concerts, theatrical performances, ancient dramas, lectures and many more events will be held in the Ancient Theatre of Epidaurus and various places, such as the Theatre of Lycebattus Hill, the Concert Hall and the Theatre on Pireos st, 260. Among the famous foreign artists to take part in the Athens-Epidaurus Festival this year will be Romeo Castellucci, Daniel Barenboim, Ethan Hawke, Hellen Mirren and many others.
The Athens-Epidaurus Festival has covered a long way since its beginning but today it has managed to become the most important cultural in Greece. It was in September 1938 when the first ancient drama was played in the Theatre of Epidaurus since the ancient times. The National Theatre production of Electra, a drama of Sophocles, was presented there under the soft evening light, as there was no electric power.
The Second World War and the Greek Civil War that followed stopped the evolution of the festival till 1955, when the second drama Hecuba was presented. Since then, Epidaurus becomes the centre of theatrical confrontation. Today, this ancient theatre has become the symbol that unites ancient and modern Greek culture.