Saturday, July 30, 2011

A Standing Ovation at Epidaurus - The Theatre of Theatres - for Kevin Spacey in Shakespeare's Richard III

Epidaurus - the Theatre of Theatres

Now is the winter of our discontent
Made glorious summer by this sun of York;
And all the clouds that lour'd upon our house
In the deep bosom of the ocean buried.
Now are our brows bound with victorious wreaths;
Our bruised arms hung up for monuments;
Our stern alarums changed to merry meetings,
Our dreadful marches to delightful measures.
Grim-visaged war hath smooth'd his wrinkled front;
And now, instead of mounting barded steeds
To fright the souls of fearful adversaries,
He capers nimbly in a lady's chamber
To the lascivious pleasing of a lute.
But I, that am not shaped for sportive tricks,
Nor made to court an amorous looking-glass;
I, that am rudely stamp'd, and want love's majesty
To strut before a wanton ambling nymph;
I, that am curtail'd of this fair proportion,
Cheated of feature by dissembling nature,
Deformed, unfinish'd, sent before my time
Into this breathing world, scarce half made up,
And that so lamely and unfashionable
That dogs bark at me as I halt by them;
Why, I, in this weak piping time of peace,
Have no delight to pass away the time,
Unless to spy my shadow in the sun
And descant on mine own deformity:
And therefore, since I cannot prove a lover,
To entertain these fair well-spoken days,
I am determined to prove a villain
And hate the idle pleasures of these days.
Plots have I laid, inductions dangerous,
By drunken prophecies, libels and dreams,
To set my brother Clarence and the king
In deadly hate the one against the other:
And if King Edward be as true and just
As I am subtle, false and treacherous,
This day should Clarence closely be mew'd up,
About a prophecy, which says that 'G'
Of Edward's heirs the murderer shall be.
Dive, thoughts, down to my soul: here
Clarence comes.
Richard III - William Shakespeare

With this well-known Shakesperean soliloquy in the world's most famous ancient theatre, Epidaurus - the Theatre of Theatres, last night, actor/director Kevin Spacey opened his sold out Epidaurus season in what promises to be THE highlight of the annual Athens and Epidaurus Festival this year.

Spellbound and mesmerised by his Richard III, at the end of an impressive and riveting performance the audience rewarded him with a standing ovation.


(The standing ovation was well-deserved we're told. We couldn't experience the magic firsthand despite it being my favourite Shakespeare... unfortunately we didn't make it in time to get tickets, but if you are interested, Greece and Epidaurus, are the first stop of an international tour. You can find out more about The Bridge Project by clicking here   )

Kevin Spacey as the much maligned Shakespearean anti-hero Richard III, 
deformed not just in body but also in soul...

Photo source: The Greek Festival

Reunited for the first time since the Bafta and Academy Award-winning American Beauty, Sam Mendes returned to the stage to direct his old friend, Old Vic Artistic Director Kevin Spacey in the title role of Richard III in the final season of The Bridge Project. 

Mendes is no stranger to Epidaurus, he directed Ethan Hawke in another sold out performance in Epidaurus, his 2009 production of Shakespeare's A Winter's Tale... 

Kevin Spacey is the latest in a long line of world class performers, Greek and non-Greek alike, who have taken the hallowed stage at this magnificent ancient theatre where even a whisper centre stage is audible to all...

Epidaurus - the Theatre of Theatres

World class performers such as  Maria Callas, Rudolf Nureyev, Margot Fonteyn, Jose Carreras, Montserrat Caballe, Katina Paxinou, Dame Helen Mirren, Melina Mercouri, Mikis Theodorakis, Manos Hadjidakis, Alexis Solomos, Kostas Kazakos, Tzeni Karezi, Dimitri Mitropoulos have considered it an honour and the highlight of their careers to perform at Epidaurus - The Theatre of Theatres, along with many many other greats such as directors Peter Hall, Peter Stein, Karolos Koun...

 Maria Callas takes a bow with Maestro Tulio Serafin 
at the end of her performance of Bellini's Norma - Epidaurus 1960.
In 1961 she was once again at Epidaurus, impressive as the fiery Medea...

 Dame Helen Mirren as Phedre in Epidaurus 2009

Friday, July 29, 2011

And the Gold Medal goes to.... GREECE!!! Women's Water Polo World Champions 2011

Hellas!!!! Hellas! Hellas!!!
Photo Source: Gazzetta.GR

Solid gold for Greece's National Women's Water Polo Team in Shanghai earlier today!!! 

After the Silver Medal in the Athens 2004 Olympic Games, and the second placing in the European Championships in Zagreb last year, Greece's National Women's Water Polo Team has made history, beating China with a  9 - 8 win and bringing its first ever gold medal home to Greece !!!

Photo Source: Ta Nea

A great victory for the team  and a wonderful shot in the arm for Greece right now! 

As Greece's National Anthem was being played  at the other end of the world there wasn't a dry eye in the house... just the tonic we needed to keep our morale high and bring back the smiles for all of us! 

A great team from a little country with a lot of heart, a country with a population of 11 million took on a country of 1 billion and won... no mean achievement at all!

Bravo and thank you, ladies!

Wherever we are in the Global Greek World, you've done us proud! 

Μπράβο κορίτσια - πάντα τέτοια!!! 

Ο Ελληνισμός, όπου κι'αν βρισκόμαστε, σας ευχαριστεί πολύ - μας κάνατε περήφανους!!!


Sunday, July 17, 2011

Welcoming US Secretary of State Hillary Clinton to Greece - 17 and 18 July 2011

We welcome US Secretary of State, Hillary Clinton to Athens today, the start of her official visit to Greece, and wish her every success.

As the First Lady of the USA Hillary Clinton has been to Greece several times but this is her first as Secretary of State, and comes at a critical moment in Greece's recent history.

Greece's economic crisis dominates every discussion at the moment but there are several issues which remain of great concern and which need resolution, so we are taking this opportunity to endorse the letter  the American Hellenic Institute (AHI) sent to  Secretary Clinton prior to her travel to Turkey and Greece, released on  July 12, 2011. 

The American Hellenic Institute is a Washington based, non-profit Greek American public policy center that works to strengthen relations between the United States and Greece and Cyprus, and within the Greek American community regularly taking significant initiatives to enhance the bilateral relationship.

The letter written by AHI President and COO, Nick Larigakis, raises issues of great concern to the Greek American community (and to the Global Greek Community, we would add) :

issues that exist in southeast Europe and the eastern Mediterranean and which are problematic in the context of the Greek American relationship;

issues which are based within the universally accepted principles of the rule of law and international law, including U.S. laws;

issues which include Turkey's Occupation of Cyprus, the suppression of religious freedom and violation of the minority communities, as well as FYROM's continuing intransigence and irredentism which makes resolution of the name issue a near impossibility...

 The first page of AHI's 9 page letter to Secretary Clinton

We were pleased to see that Secretary Clinton's schedule included a visit to the Patriarchate in Istanbul (Constantinople). Photos below are from an independent blog on Hillary Clinton

Secretary of State Hillary Clinton meets with Greek Orthodox Ecumenical Patriarch Bartholomew I
at The Patriarchate, Fanari, July 16, 2011.
REUTERS/Ahmet Dumanli/Anatolian

Wednesday, July 13, 2011

The Greek Reality Today...Maintaining Our Sense of Humour

Global Greek Humour:
Summing up The Reality in Greece 
Brilliant cartoonist Kostas Mitropoulos for daily newspaper Ta Nea 
(Thanks Viv V NZ for passing it on )

I have a Georgian helper for Yiayia
A lady from Albania for the house
A guy from Pakistan for the garden
My doctor is Syrian
My plumber Polish
My electrician Bulgarian
My creditors German
This way I am keeping the whole of Europe going
As well as the Middle East...
What more do they want?

Who said we Greeks couldn't laugh at ourselves? After all we invented satire and laughing at  yourself  is an art... Greek satirists have done it brilliantly for centuries...

Sunday, July 10, 2011

♥ ♥ That's GREECE ♥ ♥ Rebuilding Our Myth:Yes We CAN!!!

The Athens Academy
One of Greece's most beautiful classical buildings, it forms part of the Athenian Trilogy 
The central frieze above the entrance  is complemented by the
 statues of Athena on the left and Apollo on the right 

We Greeks know all about myths... in fact our ancestors created the whole concept and built up the brand name!

Now at one of the critical crossroads in her long and glorious history, Greece, along with the rest of us who love this country, inside and outside the country, has started the process of debunking some of the myths that have been circulating in the last few months and rebuilding her own incredible Greek Myth.

In today's strictly commercial terms, this is called rebuilding a brand and that brand is none other than Greece!

Let's all do our bit to help rebuild brand GREECE - for us and the future generations.

Spread the word! 
NOT Greece vs Greece 

A great little video put together for the British Hellenic Chamber of Commerce's 9th Annual London Conference on Hellas, on 28 June 2011 

♥ ♥ ♥ ♥ That's GREECE ♥ ♥ ♥ ♥


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