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Assessing the Hellenic Festival December 6, 2006

Posted by grhomeboy in Hellenic Athens Festival.

A good attendance rate was noted this summer, both at the usual venues but also at the new ones.

Ariane Mnouchkine’s Theatre du Soleil shows were very popular.

The information recently provided by the Hellenic Festival regarding all of last summer’s activities was very striking, yet insufficient. The data covered all of the festival’s 11 venues, including the Ancient Theater of Epidaurus, the Little Theater of Epidaurus and more.

It was announced that the overall proceeds from all of the events amounted to 3,823,943 euros and that, on the whole, 195,000 people attended the shows. The attendance rate for the Athens Festival was high, with an average of 75.61 percent and even 100 percent for most of the performances held at the Athens Festival’s new venue, 260 Pireos street. Ariane Mnouchkine’s performances at the Olympic Tae Kwon Do stadium in Faliron marked a 98 percent attendance, with 3,500 tickets.

The Hellenic Festival’s review mentioned the overall proceeds and the profits each theater made, but made no reference to substantial information, namely the budget and the final cost. The number of tickets sold for each performance was not announced either, although in the end, upon request, indexes with the proceeds, but not the number of tickets, from each show were sent out.

The festival announcement pointed out that the public, especially young people, responded very well, embracing all the shows and filling the venues. It added that the festival, under the direction of Giorgos Loukos, exceeded all expectations and presented an entirely renewed image with groups performing in Greece for the very first time. such as Mnouchkine, Sasha Waltz, Rachid Ouramdane and many others. It mentioned that most of the works were contemporary or older ones seen in a modern perspective and added that Athens was different this summer, with a great interest in cultural happenings and young people participating and discussing. It ended with the promise that the program of the 2007 festival, which will kick off on June 1, will be made public in January.

Regarding the Ancient Theater of Epidaurus, Lefteris Vogiatzis’s take on Sophocles’ tragedy “Antigone” ranked first with 375,690 euros, followed by Sotiris Hadzakis’s “Thesmophoriazussae” (275,830 euros) and the National Theater’s “Persians” (directed by Lydia Koniordou, 266,990 euros). At the Herod Atticus Theater, Liza Minnelli came in first (278,139 euros), followed by Sylvie Guillem (246,805 euros), the tribute to Sofia Vembo (223,180 euros), the Hadjidakis concert (179,145 euros) and Diana Krall (who, in just one night, made 165,072 euros). At 260 Pireos, the Schaubuehne Theater, the Pina Bausch, the Compagnie Maguy Marin and other performances were very successful. An equally good attendance was noted at the Athens Concert Hall (with Sasha Waltz and the opera “Les Paladins”), the Scholeion (with Marivaux’s “L’Heureux Stratageme” and more), at the Lycabettus Theater (mostly the Thanassis Papaconstantinou concert) and the Little Theater of Epidaurus (Nikos Mastorakis’s take on “Midsummer Night’s Dream,” the Nikos Xydakis concert and more).

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