Athens Festival Odeon Dimitris Mystakidis
A history of Greek music will be performed at the Odeon of Herodes Atticus. Photograph: courtesy Athens Festival.

ATHENS AND EPIDAURUS FESTIVAL 2019

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Where: Various venues around Athens & Epidaurus
When: 5 June to 10 August | 28 August to 8 October
Why Go: For an extensive line up of music, theatre & dance

The Athens and Epidaurus Festival is the city’s annual arts festival and a highlight of the Greek summer calendar. With a legacy that spans more than sixty years, today it incorporates a full programme of music, theatre, dance and visual arts. Performances at the two ancient theatres of the Odeon Herodes Atticus and the ancient theatre of Epidaurus are highlights of the festival. Both are famous for their exemplary acoustics and many of the great works of classical playwrights, such as Sophocles, premiered at the Epidaurus theatre in ancient times.

Athens Epidaurus Festival Programme Odeon

This year’s festival line-up includes British rock greats Jethro Hull, Greek composer Yannis Markopoulos and Canadian musician Loreena McKennitt.

The full 2019 festival programme for the ancient theatres have been announced and begin in June. Audiences can expect more international performers, visiting directors and co-productions with Greek theatre companies, which will provide for a wider perspective and reinterpretation of ancient Greek texts. Headline international acts this year include British rock band Jethro Tull, acclaimed Chinese pianist, Yuja Wang and the greatest solo cellist in the world, Yo-Yo Ma. The Greek National Opera will present Vincenzo Bellini’s tragic Norma (June) along with Giuseppe Verdi’s La Traviata (July).

Over at the ancient theatre of Epidaurus, a production of Oedipus based on Sophocles’ Oedipus Rex by the acclaimed American theatre director Robert Wilson will perform on 21 & 22 June. Kathryn Hunter, the renowned USA-born, British-Greek actress, will portray the title role in Prometheus Bound on 9 & 10 August.

Odeon Herodes Atticus Athens Epidaurus Festival Crowds

The Odeon of Herodes Atticus during the Athens & Epidaurus Festival. Photo: Athens Festival/Stefanos

If you’re lucky enough to be visiting Athens during the Festival, be sure to attend at least one performance at any of these ancient theatres for a truly unforgettable, once in a lifetime experience.

 

ODEON OF HERODES ATTICUS

The spectacular open-air theatre of Odeon Herodes Atticus provides a magical setting at the base of the Acropolis. It has hosted legendary performances by Frank Sinatra, Maria Callas and Luciano Pavarotti to name a few.

Why Athens Tip: All theatre performances will be accompanied by English subtitles unless otherwise specified

Yuja Wang Odeon Herodes Athens Festival

Yuja Wang in concert.

JUNE 2019 PERFORMANCES AT THE ODEON HERODES ATTICUS

NORMA by Vincenzo Bellini (OPERA)

5, 7, 9 & 11 June 2019. 9:00pm

Norma, the opera by Vincenzo Bellini, was one of the first to be presented in Athens as a newly formed state in 1837. A tragedy in two acts that takes place in 50 BC, Gaul, features Bellini’s signature long melodies and is considered a masterpiece of the bel canto genre, that is defined by a highly expressive style of singing. The love triangle between the perjured high priestess of the Druids, her young colleague and the roman proconsul, will be brought back to life by Spanish director Carlus Padrissa, one of the six artistic directors of the famous collective ‘La Fura dels Baus’ from Barcelona. See more information about the show here

Tickets: Available online here for this performance

 

ELENI KARAINDROU live at the Odeon (MUSIC)

14 June 2019 9:00pm

Acclaimed Greek composer Eleni Karaindrou will captivate audiences with her music. In the last decade she has composed music for 18 full-length movies, 35 theatrical productions and 11 TV series and television movies for some of the biggest names in show business. See more information about the show here

Tickets: Available online here for this performance

 

JETHRO TULL live at the Odeon (MUSIC)

15 June 2019 9:00pm

British rock band, Jethro Tull performs at the Odeon of Herodes Atticus, following their first gig at the ancient theatre in 2003. They return to Athens celebrating their 50 years of music. See more information about the show here

Tickets: Available online here for this performance

 

YUJA WANG & the Luxembourg Philharmonic Orchestra (MUSIC)

17 June 2019 9:00pm

Acclaimed Chinese classical pianist, Yuja Wang will captivate audiences with her virtuosity and her riveting performing style for one night only. Collaborating with the Luxembourg Philharmonic Orchestra, Wang will open this year’s classical programme of the Athens and Epidaurus Festival, at the iconic “Herodeon”, beneath the slopes of the Acropolis, led by incumbent musical director Gustavo Gimeno. See more information about the show here

Tickets: Available online here for this performance

 

GEORGE DALARAS & Izmir State Symphony Orchestra (MUSIC)

19 June 2019 9:00pm

George Dalaras and the İzmir State Symphony Orchestra will give a breathtaking concert that was originally presented at the Ahmed Adnan Saygun Hall in İzmir, as part of a cultural collaboration between the cities of İzmir and Nea Smyrni, the old and the new Smyrna respectively. See more information about the show here

Tickets: Available online here for this performance

 

A TRIBUTE TO NIKOS SKALKOTTAS – ERT Orchestra (MUSIC)

21 June 2019 9:00pm

Marking 70 years since the death of Greek composer Nikos Skalkottas, the ERT National Symphony Orchestra pays tribute to his work at the Odeon of Herodes Atticus. See more information about the show here

Tickets: This show is open to the public free of charge. Entrance tickets are on a first-come basis until exhausted. Registration is open now at this link.

 

LEONIDAS KAVAKOS with the Vienna Symphony Orchestra (MUSIC)

22 June 2019 9:00pm

Acclaimed violinist and conductor Leonidas Kavakos, accompanied by the Vienna Symphony Orchestra will perform a repertoire of music at the Odeon of Herodes Atticus in Athens.. See more information about the show here

Tickets: Available online here for this performance

 

A MUSICAL TRIBUTE TO FILMS BY STEVEN SPIELBERG (MUSIC)

24 June 2019 9:00pm

The Athens State Orchestra will perform a musical tribute of selected films by Steven Spielberg. Highlights of the programme include, Jaws, Indiana Jones, Bridge of Spies among others. The music will be accompanied by simultaneous screenings of film clips. See more information about the show here

Tickets: Available online here for this performance

 

MURRAY PERAHIA & THE THESSALONIKI STATE SYMPHONY ORCHESTRA (MUSIC)

26 June 2019 9:00pm – This show has been cancelled

Murray Perahia, one of the greatest pianists in the world joins the Thessaloniki State Symphony Orchestra to perform at the Odeon of Herodes Atticus as part of this year’s Athens Festival. See more information about the show here

Tickets: This show has been cancelled

 

LOREENA MCKENNITT (MUSIC)

27 June 2019 9:00pm

Canadian musician and composer Loreena McKennitt will perform songs from her new album ‘Lost Souls’ along with hits that have sold more than 14 million records worldwide. See more information about the show here

Tickets: Available online here for this performance

 

YANNIS MARKOPOULOS 80th birthday celebration at the Odeon (MUSIC)

28 June 2019 9:00pm

Celebrating his 80th birthday, legendary Greek composer, Yannis Markopoulos comes to the Odeon of Herodes Atticus to present a full repertoire of music for an enchanting evening of music. See more information about the show here

Tickets: Available online here for this performance

 

THANOS MIKROUTSIKOS – Music & Poetry 

29 June 2019 9:00pm

Greek composer and former politician Thanos Mikroutsikos presents this musical performance with poetry by Nikos Kavvadias at the Odeon of Herodes Atticus. See more information about the show here

Tickets: Available online here for this performance

 

YO-YO MA solo cellist (MUSIC)

30 June 2019 9:00pm

Widely considered as the greatest cellist in the world, Yo-Yo Ma comes to the Odeon of Herodes Atticus to perform Johann Sebastian Bach’s six suites for solo cello. See more information about the show here

Tickets: Available online here for this performance

 

JULY 2019 PERFORMANCES AT THE ODEON HERODES ATTICUS

MAXIM VENGEROV Odeon Herodes Athens Festival

Violinist Maxim Vengerov.

ROSAS dance group with Bach’s Six Cello Suites (DANCE)

2 July 2019 9:00pm

The world famous Rosas dance group along with choreographer Anne Teresa De Keersmaeker, perform to Johann Sebastian Bach’s six suites for solo cello, for one night only. See more information about the show here

Tickets: Available online here for this performance

 

DEAD CAN DANCE (MUSIC)

3 July 2019 9:00pm

British-Australian band Dead Can Dance has stood out for its avant-garde musical style drawing inspiration from nature and traditional music from around the world. See more information about the show here

Tickets: Available online here for this performance

 

ALCINA by George Frideric Handel (BAROQUE OPERA)

6 & 12 July 2019 9:00pm (previous show on 7 July was moved to 12 July)

Armonia Atenea – The Friends of Music Orchestra and accomplished conductor George Petrou return to the Odeon of Herodes Atticus to perform George Frideric Handel’s Alcina. See more information about the show here

Tickets: Available online here for this performance

 

BEETHOVEN’S SYMPHONY No.9 led by Riccardo Muti (MUSIC)

9 July 2019 9:00pm

Conductor Riccardo Muti will lead Italian & Greek musicians in Beethoven’s Symphony No.9 at the Odeon of Herodes Atticus. See more information about the show here

Tickets: Available online here for this performance

 

MARIA FARANTOURI (MUSIC)

10 July 2019 9:00pm

Legendary Greek singer Maria Farantouri performs classic songs of Greek and world cinema accompanied by the ERT Contemporary Music Orchestra. See more information about the show here

Tickets: Available online here for this performance

 

DIMITRIS MYSTAKIDIS – HISTORY OF GREEK SONG (MUSIC)

11 July 2019 9:00pm

An evening of Greek music is presented at the Odeon of Herodes Atticus in Athens by Melodia 99.2 radio station. As part of this year’s Athens and Epidaurus Festival, musician, researcher and teacher Dimitris Mystakidis performs his ‘mixtape’ dedicated to the history of Greek song. See more information about the show here

Tickets: Available online here for this performance

 

TINDERSTICKS (MUSIC)

13 July 2019 9:00pm

British alternative rock band Tindersticks will make a single mid-summer appearance at the Odeon of Herodes Atticus. See more information about the show here

Tickets: Available online here for this performance

 

MAXIM VENGEROV (MUSIC)

16 July 2019 9:00pm

World famous violinist Maxim Vengerov together with the Athens State Orchestra will perform one of the greatest and most demanding concertos for violin of all time at the Odeon. See more information about the show here

Tickets: Available online here for this performance

 

LA TRAVIATA by Giuseppe Verdi (OPERA)

27, 28, 30, 31 July 2019 9:00pm

One of Verdi’s most popular operas returns to the Odeon stage. This tragic love story, with its much-loved arias and duets, will be directed by the Greek National Opera’s choreographer and artistic director, Konstantinos Rigos who will attempt time travel, beginning with Violetta Valéry’s Parisian 18th century residence and moving into today’s world, where the tragic ending of the story will unfold. See more information about the show here

Tickets: Available online here for this performance

 

SEPTEMBER 2019 PERFORMANCES AT THE ODEON HERODES ATTICUS

The following performances have been given the green light by the Ministry of Culture for the Autumn programme at the Odeon Herodes Atticus.

Athens Events Andrea Bocelli

The legendary Andrea Bocelli returns to the Odeon this September for his performance in Athens since 2010.

30 August | Prometheus Bound by Aeschylus – ON SALE NOW HERE

31 August | Mario Frangoulis Live Concert – ON SALE NOW HERE

1 September | Remember Smyrna Concert – ON SALE NOW HERE

2 September | Maria Callas Opera Gala – ON SALE NOW HERE

5 September | The Suppliants by Euripides ON SALE NOW HERE

6 September | The Clouds by Aristophanes ON SALE NOW HERE

7 September | “Queen Symphonic” A Rock & Orchestra experience (SOLD OUT)

9 September | Assembly of Women ‘Ecclesiazusae’ by Aristophanes – ON SALE NOW HERE

10 September | ‘Together for Children’ benefit concert – PERFORMANCE CANCELLED

11 September | Andrea Bocelli in concert (SOLD OUT)

12 September | “The Snowman and the Girl” – musical theatre ON SALE NOW HERE

13 September | Archive 25-year anniversary concert ON SALE NOW HERE

15 & 16 September | Bejart Ballet Lausanne ON SALE NOW HERE

17 & 18 September | Classic Rocks III ON SALE NOW HERE

Athens Events Florence Machine

Florence and the Machine will perform live at the Odeon on September 19.

19 September | Florence and the Machine LIVE – concert (Sold Out)

20 September | John Cleese LIVE, ON SALE NOW HERE

21 September | Gainsbourg Symphonic with Jane Birkin – ON SALE NOW HERE

22 September | Florence and the Machine LIVE – Second concert (Sold Out)

26 September | Mimis Plessas Concert – ON SALE NOW HERE

27 September | Eric Burdon and the Animals – concert ON SALE NOW HERE

28 September | Best of Mario Biondi – concert ON SALE NOW HERE

29 September | 60 years of Vassilis Skoulas – concert ON SALE NOW HERE

30 September | George Dalaras and friends’ concert – (Sold Out)

 

OCTOBER 2019 PERFORMANCES AT THE ODEON HERODES ATTICUS

1 October | Stamatis Spanoudakis – concert ON SALE NOW HERE

5 October | Stavros Xarhakos Concert – ON SALE NOW HERE

7 October | Nigel Kennedy in concert ON SALE NOW HERE

8 October | “Queen Symphonic” A Rock & Orchestra experience ON SALE NOW HERE

 

ANCIENT THEATRE OF EPIDAURUS

Epidaurus Theatre Athens Festival Crowds Tickets

A twilight performance by the National Theatre of Greece during the Epidaurus Festival. Photograph: Thomas Daskalakis/NTG

The ancient theatre of Epidaurus is regarded as the best preserved ancient theatre in Greece and famous for its perfect acoustics. It was constructed in the late 4th century BC with a capacity of more than 12,000 spectators.

GETTING TO THE EPIDAURUS THEATRE

Epidaurus theatre is located within the archaeological site of the sanctuary of Asklepios in Palea Epidaurus, in the region of Argolis and is a two hour drive from Athens. Why Athens are offering special return transfers to the site on the days when performances are showing.

AGAMEMNON Epidaurus Festival Athens Transfer

 

JUNE 2019 PROGRAMME AT ANCIENT EPIDAURUS THEATRE

 

THE LIFE & TIMES OF OEDIPUS 

June 21 & 22

The iconic story of Oedipus comes alive in Robert Wilson’s series of breathtakingly, distinctive tableau vivant. See more information about the show here

Tickets: Available online here for this performance

 

ORESTEIA by Aeschylus

June 28 & 29

A bold, original concept by the National Theatre of Greece: Oresteia, the only extant ancient drama trilogy is presented in a single performance by three directors in their Epidaurus debut. See more information about the show here

Tickets: Available online here for this performance

 

JULY 2019 PROGRAMME AT ANCIENT EPIDAURUS THEATRE

 

THE SUPPLIANTS by Euripides

July 5 & 6

Two national theatres, the National Theatre of Greece and Cyprus Theatre Organisation, join forces to produce an iconic play: a tragedy about war and the dead, existential dread, dignity, faith and resilience. See more information about the show here

Tickets: Available online here for this performance

 

OEDIPUS REX by Sophocles

July 12 & 13

Sophocles’ masterpiece and arguably the ancient Greek tragedy par excellence begins with a mystery. See more information about the show here

Tickets: Available online here for this performance

 

IPHIGENIA IN AULIS by Euripides

July 19 & 20

The tragedy focuses on the fateful decision of Agamemnon, commander of the Greek forces, to sacrifice his daughter, Iphigenia. See more information about the show here

Tickets: Available online here for this performance

 

July 26 & 27 – ELECTRA & ORESTES by Euripides

The story of Electra and Orestes and more specifically how the two siblings reunite and make a pact to take revenge against their mother, Clytemnestra and her lover, Aegisthus. See more information about the show here

Tickets: Available online here for this performance

 

AUGUST 2019 PROGRAMME AT ANCIENT EPIDAURUS THEATRE

 

August 2 & 3THE CLOUDS by Aristophanes

Aristophanes’ masterful comedy was first presented at the Great Dionysia in 423 BC and attacks Socrates’ teachings and the philosophical ideas of the time. See more information about the show here

Tickets: Available online here for this performance

 

August 9 & 10PROMETHEUS BOUND by Aeschylus

With Kathryn Hunter as Prometheus. Hunter, the acclaimed USA-born British-Greek actress, is heralded for performing male roles, having portrayed Richard III at the Globe in 2003 to much critical acclaim. See more information about the show here

Tickets: Available online here for this performance

 

LITTLE THEATRE OF EPIDAURUS

Athens and Epidaurus Festival Little Theatre

The Little Theatre of Epidaurus. Photograph: Why Athens

The small theatre of ancient Epidaurus is located on the peninsula called “Nisi” (island), on the right side of the harbour. The theatre was discovered in 1971 and built in the 4th century BC. It was established in the Acropolis of the ancient city of Epidaurus at the south-western slope, before the period of Asklepios, and was used mainly for the events of the Dionysian cult and is therefore dedicated to the god Dionysus. It has a capacity of around 2000 seats. [Getting there: This ancient theatre is located in the Argolis prefecture of the Peloponnese. It is a half-hour drive from Nafplio and approximately two hours from Athens. More info on getting there.]

 

JUNE 2019 PROGRAMME AT LITTLE EPIDAURUS THEATRE

 

June 22Film Screening – VERTIGO (1958) by Alfred Hithcock | Entry to this event is free of charge, on a first come basis

June 28 & 29AVANTE-GARDE MUSICAL THEATRE | This performance has been cancelled. Please visit Greekfestival.gr for information regarding refunds.

 

JULY 2019 PROGRAMME AT LITTLE EPIDAURUS THEATRE

 

July 5 & 6THEOGONY by Hesiod | Tickets available online here for this performance

July 12 & 13KAOS by the Griffin Dance Company | Tickets available online here for this performance

July 19 & 20DAPHNIS + CHLOE by LongusTickets available online here for this performance

July 26 & 27 – PHÈDRE by Racine | Tickets available online here for this performance

 

AUGUST 2019 PROGRAMME AT LITTLE EPIDAURUS THEATRE

 

August 2 & 3DANAIDS by Andreas KalvosTickets available online here for this performance

 
We make every attempt to ensure information about events are accurate and obtained from reliable sources. Why Athens is neither the producer nor ticketing agent of any performances listed and is therefore not responsible for the outcomes of performances or including if they appear contrary to how the production has been originally promoted or represented. See our editorial policy for further information.