ATHENS AND EPIDAURUS FESTIVAL 2018Where: Various venues around Athens & EpidaurusWhen: 1st June – 18 August 2018Why 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 Odeon Herodes Atticus and the Ancient Theatre of Epidaurus…
ANCIENT EPIDAURUS THEATRE PROGRAMME & TICKETSWhere: Palea Epidaurus in ArgolisWhen: 29 June - 18 August 2018Why Go: To experience a live performance & perfect acoustics at this ancient theatre
As part of the annual Athens and Epidaurus festival, the Epidaurus theatre comes alive with the works of great Greek playwrights such as Sophocles, Euripides, Aristophanes and more. It is a highlight of the festival to experience a midsummer production at this iconic venue. The famous ancient theatre of Epidaurus was constructed in the late…
THE MAGIC FLUTE by The Greek National OperaWhere: Stavros Niarchos Foundation Cultural Center (SNFCC)When: 31 March, 1, 11, 13, 14, 15, 18, 20, 22, 25, 27, 29 April 2018Why Go: For an unforgettable night of Mozart at the opera
Mozart’s much loved opera, The Magic Flute, comes to the Greek National Opera in an impressive and innovative production that launched in Berlin in 2012, quickly becoming famous worldwide. Directed by Australian artistic director, Barrie Kosky of the Komische Oper Berlin, crowds have been awed by the production’s sheer imagination and the precision with which…
THE MAKROPULOS AFFAIR at the Greek National OperaWhere: Stavros Niarchos Foundation Cultural Center (SNFCC)When: 20, 23, 25 May 2018Why Go: This famous Czech opera comes to the Greek stage for the first time
The Makropulos Affair is a Czech opera in three acts, with music and libretto by Leoš Janáček, composed between 1923 and 1925. It combines existentialist drama with elements of fantasy. Staged for the first time by the Greek National Opera, Janáček was one of the 20th century’s leading European opera composers and was deeply interested…
A VIEW FROM THE BRIDGE by Arthur MillerWhere: National Theatre of GreeceWhen: 15 February – 27 May 2018Why Go: See one of the most iconic plays of the C20th
In the Brooklyn of the 1950s, immigrants arrive from all over the world in search of a better life, some of them illegally. They come from every walk of life in search of the American dream, determined to succeed, but it often proves to be the wrong path, leading those who follow it into hubris….
PURSUIT OF HAPPINESS by the Nature Theater of OklahomaWhere: Pireos 260When: 1-3 June 2018Why Go: Exploring the myth & legacy of the American dream
Pavol Liska and Kelly Copper, co-founders of the Obie award-winning Nature Theater of Oklahoma, take on the myth and legacy of the American Dream. Inside a Western saloon, a Mexican barman, an Austrian sales rep, the re-enactment of a peace keeping mission in Baghdad, a magic potion and some unsettlingly uplifting cowboy dances make up…
NABUCCO by the Greek National OperaWhere: Odeon of Herodes AtticusWhen: 1, 3, 6, 8 June 2018Why Go: see Verdi's classic opera beneath the Acropolis
One of Verdi’s most popular operas, Nabucco will be presented at the Odeon of Herodes Atticus as part of the Athens and Epidaurus Festival. A watershed in Verdi’s career, Nabucco put an end to a string of failures for the composer and marked the end of a period of great sadness in his life. The…
PEROUZÉ an opera by Sakellaridis with the Athens Philharmonia OrchestraWhere: Odeon of Herodes AtticusWhen: 16 - 17 June 2018Why Go: Greek opera under the stars
Theophrastos Sakellaridis’ masterwork Perouzé will be presented at the Odeon of Herodes Atticus as part of the Athens and Epidaurus Festival. It originally premiered on 9 August 1911 at the Olympia Theatre. A smashing success, it ran for two seasons and was performed throughout Greece. Perouzé was last presented in 1950 at the Greek National Opera. The opera’s…
THE ACHARNIANS by Aristophanes – Ancient Theatre of EpidaurusWhere: Ancient Theatre of EpidaurusWhen: 29 & 30 June 2018Why Go: See an ancient Greek work that is still relevant today
This presentation of The Acharnians forms part of the Athens and Epidaurus festival programme for 2018. It was first presented at the Lenaia festival, in the sixth year of the Peloponnesian War (425BC), earning the then-19-year-old Aristophanes, the first prize. Aristophanes sets out to ridicule war and warmongers, expressing people’s longing for peace. The comedy…
AGAMEMNON by Aeschylus – Ancient Theatre of EpidaurusWhere: Ancient Theatre of EpidaurusWhen: 7 July 2018Why Go: See Aeschylus’ best work of Greek tragedy
This presentation of Agamemnon by Aeschylus forms part of the Athens and Epidaurus festival programme for 2018. In Aeschylus’ Agamemnon, the tragic characters are doomed to suffer and die, whereas the members of the chorus are doomed to suffer and live, revisiting their misfortunes and seeking a way out. This ancient Greek tragedy is widely considered to…
COMPANY by Stephen Sondheim | Odeon of Herodes AtticusWhere: Odeon of Herodes AtticusWhen: 8 & 9 July 2018Why Go: See this Broadway smash hit at the iconic Odeon
After a string of hit musicals, (Kiss me Kate, West Side Story and Sweeney Todd), Armonia Atenea – The Friends of Music Orchestra returns to the Athens and Epidaurus Festival with Stephen Sondheim’s musical Company, presented in Greece for the very first time. Company made its Broadway debut in 1970 and received six Tony Awards, including those for Best Musical,…
ANTIGONE at the Odeon of Herodes AtticusWhere: Odeon of Herodes AtticusWhere: 11 July 2018Where: See an ancient Greek tragedy on an ancient Greek stage
Co-directors Emilios Chilakis and Manolis Dounias delve into Sophocles’ Greek tragedy, Antigone on stage at the Odeon of Herodes Atticus for the Athens and Epidaurus Festival. A play that has become emblematic of resistance to power, Antigone examines young Antigone’s fatal decision to bury her dead brother, Polynices, in violation of the king’s rules. The ten roles of…
PLUTUS by Aristophanes – Ancient Theatre of EpidaurusWhere: Ancient Theatre of EpidaurusWhen: 13 & 14 July 2018Why Go: An ancient Greek comedy for modern times
This presentation of Plutus forms part of the Athens and Epidaurus festival programme for 2018. From Aristophanes’ time to now, Plutus (Greek for “wealth”) is invariably the most powerful deity on the face of the earth and the driving force behind everything. This ancient Greek comedy aims to point to today’s inequality of wealth distribution…
ELECTRA by Sophocles – Ancient Theatre of EpidaurusWhere: Ancient Theatre of EpidaurusWhen: 20 & 21 July 2018Why Go: See Electra performed at an iconic ancient Greek theatre
This presentation of Electra forms part of the Athens and Epidaurus festival programme for 2018. Written in the shadow of the Peloponnesian War, Electra is one of Sophocles’ most brutal plays. From the very first scene, the return of matricide Orestes, to the final scene with the victorious battle cries of the chorus, the entire play is…
THESMOPHORIAZUSAE by Aristophanes – Ancient Theatre of EpidaurusWhere: Ancient Theatre of EpidaurusWhen: 27 & 28 July 2018Why Go: Power and politics come to life on this ancient stage
This presentation of Thesmophoriazusae forms part of the Athens and Epidaurus festival programme for 2018. Thesmophoriazusae is one of Aristophanes’ three female plays, written in 411 BC, at a time when democracy was overthrown and replaced by Oligarchy, women called for political stability. Nowadays, women are no longer in the same difficult position. They are no…
CARMEN at the Odeon of Herodes AtticusWhere: Odeon of Herodes AtticusWhen: 27, 28, 29, 31 July 2018Why Go: See a modernised version of this classic opera
Symbolizing love and liberty, the most popular opera in the French repertoire, Carmen, is brought back to the Odeon of Herodes Atticus for this years Athens and Epidaurus Festival. Presented by the Greek National Opera, the four night season in July 2018 is directed by acclaimed British director, Steven Langridge who is currently artistic director of the…
ORESTES by Euripides – Ancient Theatre of EpidaurusWhere: Ancient Theatre of EpidaurusWhen: 3 & 4 August 2018Why Go: See Euripides’ ancient tragedy
This presentation of Orestes forms part of the Athens and Epidaurus festival programme for 2018. To what extent can a society caught up in a vicious cycle of crime, find a way out? Three young people, Orestes, Electra, and Pylades are entangled in a spiral of blood and violence. Gods and humans have spun an…
THE FROGS by Aristophanes – Ancient Theatre of EpidaurusWhere: Ancient Theatre of EpidaurusWhen: 10 & 11 August 2018Why Go: See this famous ancient Greek comedy live
This presentation of The Frogs forms part of the Athens and Epidaurus festival programme for 2018. Aristophanes attempts a phantasmagorical descent to the underworld. Much like Odysseus, he seeks a path to his utopian Ithaca. One can only fulfil one’s life by discovering the true meaning of death. The polis must come to terms with its…
OEDIPUS AT COLONUS by Sophocles – Ancient Theatre of EpidaurusWhere: Ancient Theatre of EpidaurusWhen: 17 & 18 August 2018Why Go: See Sophocles’ last tragedy
This presentation of Oedipus at Colonus forms part of the Athens and Epidaurus festival programme for 2018. As Sophocles’ final tragedy, this play is at once a meditation on human fate and a tribute to his favourite city, Athens. A tragedy about physical and metaphysical borders, about the mystery of human freedom in the face…
ATHENS EVENTS – SEPTEMBER & OCTOBERWhere: Various locations in AthensWhen: Throughout Sept & Oct 2018Why Go: For live music & theatre
As the summer season comes to an end, the cultural agenda runs high as Athenians return from their summer vacations. From touring musicians, to home-grown talent, Athens presents a full and exciting calendar of live music and theatre, at some of the best venues in the city during September and October. Shows for this period…
With a vibrant cultural scene all year round, Athens events include an impressive mix of both local and international musicians, artists and dance groups. The city comes alive in the summer months where cinema screens move outdoors and plateias or neighbourhood squares are buzzing with music and festivities. From June-August every year, the Athens & Epidaurus Festival is in full swing with an abundance of events held at various iconic Athenian venues including Odeon of Herodes Atticus theatre, located at the base of the southern slopes of the Acropolis.
The Athens events we list have been chosen to appeal to an international audience passing through Athens and we select events accordingly.
Events in Athens
The Megaron Athens Concert Hall and Greek National Theatre are two of the major modern day venues in Athens. In peak season and where possible, we recommend you pre-purchase your tickets or ask your hotel to assist you with this. We provide you with the venue address in English and Greek to overcome any language barriers with taxi drivers. We also provide the nearest metro station to an event, along with a map to assist with your travel arrangements.
Athens & Epidaurus Festival
This is by far the crown jewel in the annual events calendar in Athens. Running now for more than 60 years, it presents local and international productions of Ancient Greek drama that celebrates the city’s cultural heritage. Athens is blessed with a network of ancient amphitheatres including Odeon of Herodes Atticus, Aristotle’s Lyceum and Lycabettus Theatre. Extending beyond Athens to the Attica region, performances can also be found at the Ancient Theatre of Delphi and the infamous Epidaurus Theatre. Check out our travel tips of getting to Epidaurus.
August Full Moon Festival
Every August on the night of the full moon, musical performances are held at key historic venues, including the Acropolis, the Roman Agora and other sites around Greece. Be sure to watch this space for updates.