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Mystery 35 | AESCHYLUS project^: The legacy project, dedicated to the great Eleusinian tragedian was completed

02.08.2022

The Open Theater of the Old Olive Mill was packed for two days, with more than 4,000 people celebrating Aeschylus’ The Persians, directed by Dimitris Karantzas, and featuring a sensational performance by Reni Pittaki.

2023 Eleusis European Capital of Culture inaugurated Mystery 35 | AESCHYLUS project^, presenting two original performance projects, based exclusively on the works of the great Eleusinian tragedian. The aim of the action is to institute a rare dialogue on Aeschylus Drama in the context of the European Capital of Culture, which will continue after the end of the title year.

In the first edition of Mystery 35 | AESCHYLUS project ^, 2023 Eleusis European Capital of Culture presented two works of the great tragedian: the world premiere of Klytaimnḗstra, (based on Agamemnon) by the renowned Belgian group tg STAN, and The Persians,directed by Dimitris Karantzas, coproduced by the Athens Epidaurus Festival and the Company “The Theater.”

Credits: John Stathis

Aeschylus’ The Persians, a collaborative initiative of 2023 Eleusis European Capital of Culture and the Athens Epidaurus Festival,directed by Dimitris Karantzas,was presented on July 30 & 31 at the Old Olive Mill Open Theater,with the participation of 34 volunteers from Elefsina, the Thriassian Plain and Athens, coproduced by the Athens Epidaurus Festival and the Company “The Theater.” Staffed by a team of excellent actors (Christos Loulis, Giorgos Gallos, Michalis Economou, Alexia Kaltsiki, Theodora Tzimou, Giannis Klinis, Aeneas Tsamatis, Elias Moulas, Manos Petrakis, Tasos Karachalios, Vasilis Panagiotopoulos),  premiered by Reni Pittaki, the performance by Dimitris Karantzas raises crucial questions about what constitutes “society,” what is meant by the persistent adherence to power and the need for faith in a guide, human or divine, in a broken world.

Credits: John Stathis

Written in 472 BC., Aeschylus’ tragedy is perhaps the oldest theatrical record in Greek history. Events that took place in the waters just outside where you are now standing. As as a tragedy of humanity, as a microsystem reflecting on issues of existence and coexistence, unresolved over the centuries, becomes, under the direction of Karantzas, a common ground for a conversation that indirectly illuminates the multiple global challenges of today. The theater is the public space, the Church of the Municipality, the City. The Persian Chorus, the “society”, begins with faith and obedience, ending, after annihilation, in an anarchic crowd without a guide or point of reference. The performance premiers at the Ancient Theater of Epidaurus, with more than 14,000 spectators (July 15 & 16, 2022), while it attracted more than 4,000 spectators in Elefsina.

Credits: John Stathis

Klytaimnḗstra, by the renowned Belgian group tg STAN, which opened the dialogue on Aeschylus on July 23 & 24 at the Old Olive Mill Open Theater, is based on an idea by Jolente De Keersmaeker, and approaches the three different versions of the first part of Oresteia in an unexpected way: it connects the astonishing poetic power of the original work by Aeschylus with the skillful translation into English by Ted Hughes, and “injects” it with Austrian author Gustav Ernst’s Blood Bath, a work of raw and dismembered poetry. With three Greek actors, Maria Skoula, Antonis Antonopoulos and Eleni Moleski, three Belgian actors, Sara  Haeck, Stijn Van Opstal and young Adriana Bakker, two dancers, Synne Enoksen from Norway and Joshua Serafin from the Philippines, tg STAN’s Klytaimnḗstra creates an unexpected polyphonic ensemble. By combining speech and dance, aligned with the Greek choral tradition, the performance emphatically highlights an important paradox: women who were silent in the real world in antiquity gained a public function in the works of the great tragedians: the freedom to put their feelings, thoughts and motives into words. Find out more here: https://2023eleusis.eu/mystirio-35_aischyloy-project-klytaimnistra-a/

Contributors

Translation Panagiotis Moullas
Direction Dimitris Karantzas
Adaptation Dimitries Karantzas – Gelly Kalambaka
Collaboration in dramaturgy – Photographs – Visual Composition – Video Gelly Kalambaka
Stage design Kleio Boboti
Costume design Ioanna Tsami
Movement Tasos Karachalios
Musical composition – live performance Giorgos Poulios
Vocal preparation – composition Henri Kergomard
Lighting Dimitris Kasimatis
Assistant director Marissa Farmaki
Assistant stage designer Filanthi Bougatsou
Assistant costume designer Ifigenia Daountaki

Performers: Christos Loulis, Giorgos Gallos, Michalis Economou, Alexia Kaltsiki, Theodora Tzimou, Giannis Klinis, Aeneas Tsamatis, Elias Moulas, Manos Petrakis, Tasos Karachalios, Vasilis Panagiotopoulos, Giorgos Poulios

With the participation of the volunteers from Elefsina and the wider region: Katerina Adam, Charalambos Ilias Annis, Zanina Vassi, Vassiliki Vichou, Xenia Gourova, Christina Griva, Evangelos Grivas, Marina Datseri, Konstantina Kaya, Maria Karelou, Konstantinos Kladis, Magdaleni Koosteri, Efthimia Loukogiannakis, Natassa Meni, Isidora – Ekaterini Trivella, Margarita Tselikis, Salvation of Tsigou, Nikolaos Tsolakidis, Areti Tsoumani, Anastasia Gabriel, Angelos Magnisalis, Dimitra Hatzipanagiotou, Antonios Lymberis, Sotirios Sidiropoulos, Spyridon Sideris, Dimitra Gennimata, Marina Kousta