This text is part of the article “And the Living is A-Z”, published in Greece-Is Athens, Summer 2018 Edition. By Louisa Arkoumanea
In the summer, the cobbled street of Dionysiou Areopagitou is filled with a sweet, neighborly feeling, reminiscent of old Athens: families strolling along, street musicians playing cheerful tunes, vendors selling roasted nuts, and cicadas singing their hypnotizing song.
Upon reaching the entrance to the Odeon of Herodes Atticus, the visitor climbs up a set of marble stones and is faced with the imposing façade of a monument nineteen centuries old. Located on the southwest slope of the Acropolis, the theatre was restored for public use in the 1950s. Since then, it has been a popular venue for the Athens & Epidaurus Festival, which runs from June to August and features a variety of acclaimed Greek as well as international performers.
The Odeon seats 5,000, but spectators never feel crowded, and its acoustics are perfect. Moreover, the energy of the place is unique and watching a concert, play, ballet or opera here is a treasured experience, especially on those evenings when the Parthenon, which towers majestically above the structure, is bathed in moonlight.
A great opportunity to enjoy the Odeon this summer is the Greek National Opera’s upcoming production of Bizet’s “Carmen,” staged by the famous British director Steven Langridge (July 27, 28, 29 and 31). If you prefer a combination of classical and jazz music, then try to book a ticket for Nigel Kennedy: this top violinist will perform “Bach meets Kennedy meets Gershwin,” creating his own “dialogue” between the two famed composers (July 17).