Greek Archeological Sites To Host Night Of Music

Musical events range in scope from ancient Greek songs to modern jazz.

By the light of the full moon on Wednesday (Aug. 16), 54 prime archaeological sites across the Greek peninsula will be open to musical artists for an evening of performances.

The goal of the concert event is to "make people familiar with the archaeological sites and monuments, by combining our cultural heritage with cultural events," according to a statement from the Greek Ministry of Hellenic Culture.

Locales range from the southern island of Crete to Thessaloniki in the northern Macedonian state. The archeological sites will be open for extended hours from 9 p.m. to 1 a.m., and admission to all the concerts is free of charge. The more delicate locations, such as the Acropolis in Athens and the sites of Olympia, will be open late but will not host concerts.

The single night of concerts will showcase Greek music, both traditional and modern, and performances from the classical canon.

The scope of the performances of Greek music will reflect the history and diversity of the peninsula.

The Demosthenes Papaoikonomou Group, for example, will present a collection of songs from ancient Byzantium at the Mystras — home to a castle and various fortifications since 1296 — in Sparta.

The Gregoris Kapsalis Group will present a collection of polyphonic songs and music from Epirus, a section of northwest Greece near the Pindus Mountains. They'll perform at the Fortress of Ragion, an ancient colony and military establishment.

Classical performers include pianist Dora Bakopoulou, who is known for performances of Greek composer Manos Hadjidakism and who will give a piano recital at the Roman Agora in Athens. Flutist Stella Gadedi and guitarist Yiorghos Mouloudakis will present works at the Archaeological Museum of Megara, also in Athens. The Romanian Chamber Orchestra will give a concert at the famed fourth-century theater at Delphi.

Contemporary Greek music also will be represented. Antonis Ladopoulos' Jazz Band will perform at the Castle of Naupactos, and Mode Plagal will offer traditional Greek music and jazz at the Kastraki of Arta.