Enjoy an unforgettable evening at the magnificent open-air theater of Odeon Herodes Atticus, just below the Acropolis. The 10 performances you should not miss in 2021.
The shows for 2021 are over. Click here for the Odeon of Herodes Atticus 2023 events.
How would you like the idea of watching a show in a 2,000-year-old theater, under the night sky of Athens?
Of course, I am talking about the Odeon of Herodes Atticus, built by the Athenian benefactor Herodes Atticus in 161 AD, in memory of his wife.
Today, two millennia later, Herodeion continues to welcome spectators, hosting theatrical, musical, and dance shows.
As I love theater and concerts, I have attended several performances around the world.
However, believe me, the experience of watching one here is truly unique.
The place’s vibes seem to have a magical effect on the artists, making them give their best.
So, in the following lines, you will find the ten shows you should watch in 2021. Keep in mind that in none of them do you need to speak or understand Greek.
In any case, note that due to the ongoing pandemic, all performance dates are subject to change.
If you are looking for more unique ideas for your stay, make sure you read the Hidden Gems In Athens guide.
Odeon of Herodes Atticus: 10 best performances in chronological order
1) Friday 02.07.2021 – Monteverdi Choir, English Baroque Soloists, John Eliot Gardiner
John Eliot Gardiner is one of the most brilliant and widely acclaimed conductors active today. He has worked extensively on Renaissance music and the historical revival of Baroque works. During last spring’s lockdown, two of the ensembles founded and conducted by Sir John, namely the Monteverdi Choir and the English Baroque Soloists, decided to pay a great tribute to Bach’s church cantatas. So they broadcasted a recording from their famous Bach Cantata Pilgrimage for every feast day in the Lutheran church calendar. As they continue to explore the significant composer’s oeuvre, they will now present St John Passion (1724) at the Odeon of Herodes Atticus. It’s a work composed by Bach to be explicitly performed at the Good Friday Vespers.
Saturday 03.07.2021 – Jan Garbarek Group [postponed due to Covid-19]
The performance was postponed due to the travel restrictions of the pandemic. We will get back with the new dates as soon as we have an update.
Norwegian saxophonist, Jan Garbarek’s name is almost synonymous with European jazz. Furthermore, he is the signature sound of ECM, the recording company that has released nearly all his albums. Garbarek’s sound has left its mark on the work of several other significant musicians, from Keith Jarrett to Eleni Karaindrou. It covers a wide range of musical styles, from jazz to world music and even classical music. At the Odeon, Garbarek will be joined by the Indian master of the drums and a member of the Jan Garbarek Group, Trilok Gurtu.
3) Tuesday 06.07.2021 – Max Cooper
If you love electronic music, this summer you will have the chance to watch live one of the most innovative electronic musicians of our time. It is the techno producer Max Cooper, celebrated by his many fans worldwide thanks to his unique music and spectacular audio-visual shows. His complex, intricate compositions are inspired by his scientific background in genetics, encompassing subtle, recurring elements culminating in an abstract narrative that emotionally moves audiences. His much-anticipated concert at the Odeon will come complete with breathtaking, visually arresting projections.
4) Wednesday 07.07.2021 – Woodkid
Prolific, multifaceted French artist Woodkid introduces his much-anticipated, newest recording album on a world tour. This tour includes a gig at the Odeon of Herodes Atticus for his Greek fans. Having a background in animation studies, Woodkid went on to have a brilliant career as a music video director, graphic designer, and composer. He worked together with illustrious film directors and directed music videos for famous artists, including Drake ft. Rihanna (“Take Care”), Moby (“Mistake”), Katy Perry (“Teenage Dream”) and Lana Del Rey (“Born to Die” and “Blue Jeans”), and garnered Grammy Award nominations for his songs ‘Run Boy Run’, ‘I Love You’ and ‘Goliath’. Moreover, he has developed a fan following in his capacity as an electro-acoustic musician and singer. His latest album, which has been in the making for five years, is a genuinely breathtaking audio-visual spectacle.
5) Saturday & Sunday 28-29.08.2021 – Best of Verdi, Puccini, Gounod & Tchaikovsky with the Soloists of Bolshoi Opera of Moscow
A musical performance in which a lot of renowned tenors and sopranos will take part. Among them, you can find Elena Zelenskaya, Svetlana Shilova, Oleg Dolgov, Andrei Grigoriev, etc., from the Bolshoi Opera of Moscow. During the show, you will be able to enjoy excerpts from the operas of Arensky, Puccini, Sain-Saens, Cilea, Verdi, Offenbach, Gounod, Tchaikovsky, and Mozart.
6) Friday & Saturday 10-11.09.2021 – Led Zeppelin Symphonic
The concerts “Led Zeppelin Symphonic, The Music of Led Zeppelin-A Rock Celebration” were scheduled for 25 & 26 September 2020. However, due to measures for COVID 19, they were postponed for 10 & 11 September 2021. Most importantly, tickets are still available! The show focuses on the legendary band’s greatest hits, including a rock band, Symphony Orchestra, and big stars of the British music scene. The concert will present all the great hits of Led Zeppelin, including the favorites Whole Lotta Love, Black Dog, Kashmir, Rock & Roll, Dazed & Confused, and – of course – Stairway To Heaven.
7) Monday & Tuesday 13-14.09.2021 – Gala Jonas Kaufmann
Concert of the internationally renowned tenor Jonas Kaufmann, who will collaborate with the orchestra of the Greek National Opera. Together they will present arias from operas and orchestral interludes. Jonas Kaufmann is best known for his performances in spinto roles; such as Don José in Carmen, Cavaradossi in Tosca, Maurizio in Adriana Lecouvreur, and the title role in Don Carlos. He has also sung leading tenor roles in the operas of Richard Wagner in Germany and abroad, most notably at the Metropolitan Opera in New York.
8) Saturday, 18.09.2021 – Tango vs Flamenco Passion
The tango of the two meets the inner struggle of the lonely flamenco in the magical Odeon of Herodes Atticus. Two countries and two cultures complement each other but also fight dancing through their shared passion. Ariel Perez choreographs, and Konstantinos Famis directs 17 leading dancers of the original Tango and Flamenco “Compania Solea”. The dancers alternate in a unique performance full of symbols, improvisation, and endless figures. Well-known and beloved Tangos, Flamenco & Boleros, are intertwined and come to life on stage by the unique voice of Savina Giannatou, the world-famous singer Alfredo Tejada from Granada Spain, but also by Cuarteto Tango with Genius Romano.
9) Monday, 27.09.2021 – Yann Tiersen live at Herodeion
Yann Tiersen is a French musician and composer. He started learning piano at the age of four and took up the violin at six. He continued by receiving classical training at musical academies in Rennes, Nantes, and Boulogne. Then, at the age of 13, he chose to alter his destiny. He broke his violin into pieces, bought a guitar, and formed a rock band. Today his music incorporates various classical and contemporary instruments, primarily the electric guitar, the piano, synthesizers, and the violin.
10) Thursday, 07.10.2021 – Pink Martini
On October 7th, the Odeon of Herodes Atticus attendees will enjoy a concert by the band of the lounge-jazz music scene Pink Martini. The team includes the singer China Forbes, the pianist and composer Thomas Lauderdale, and 14 musicians under the artistic direction of Nergis Sinan. Pink Martini is a band that the pianist Thomas Lauderdale formed in 1994 in Portland, Oregon. Group members call it a little orchestra that crosses several styles, such as classical, traditional pop, latin, and jazz.
You can find tickets for the performances on the official page of the Athens Epidaurus Festival and at www.ticketservices.gr. Finally, if you are looking for more unique ideas for your stay, make sure you read the Hidden Gems In Athens guide.
Make Your Trip Easier
I always book my accommodation with a reliable service like Booking.com. Besides their price guarantee, you can rest assured that you will have 24/7 support in the event of any problems with your hotel. Always make sure you read reviews from other guests before booking.
If you want to get to and from Athens Airport with peace of mind, I recommend pre-booking your taxi with Welcome Pickups. Their flat rate is a few euros more expensive than random taxis, but they are totally worth it. They use local English-speaking drivers, wait for you at the arranged meeting point, even if your arrival is delayed, and introduce you to the city along the way.
Don’t forget to use Skyscanner before booking your flights as it compares different airlines to provide the cheapest and fastest solutions. Moreover, you can save a lot of money if you are flexible with your dates.
Nobody wants to think about all the things that could go wrong on a trip. However, these things can happen, so do not miss taking out travel insurance: SafetyWing is the one I use, as its plans are affordable and can save you a lot of trouble.
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