Enjoy an unforgettable evening at the magnificent open-air theater of Odeon Herodes Atticus, just below the Acropolis. The 15 shows you should not miss in 2022.
Last updated: 13 April 2023
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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.
Concerts Right Under the Acropolis
After two “strange” years due to the pandemic, where many performances were postponed or canceled, in the summer of 2022, it seems that normalcy will return.
So, you have a great opportunity to watch a show right under the Acropolis and live an unforgettable experience.
As I love theater and concerts, I have attended several performances around the world.
However, believe me, the experience of watching one on the Odeon of Herodes Atticus is truly unique.
The place’s vibes seem to have a magical effect on the artists, making them give their best.
In the following lines, you will find the fifteen shows you should watch in 2022. Keep in mind that you don’t need to speak or understand Greek in any of them.
Odeon of Herodes Atticus 2022; 15 best Events in chronological order
1) 2/5/8/11 June 2022 [Opera] – Greek National Opera – Lukas Karytinos – Katerina Evangelatos; Rigoletto by Giuseppe Verdi
The first big Greek National Opera production in 2022 is Rigoletto, Giuseppe Verdi’s dark masterpiece, conducted by Lukas Karytinos and directed by the Athens Epidaurus Festival Artistic Director Katerina Evangelatos.
Postponed twice due to the pandemic, the long-anticipated GNO production will premiere this June.
Since its premiere in Venice in 1851, Rigoletto has been applauded by thousands of opera lovers worldwide and is rightly considered one of the most popular operas of all time.
The court jester Rigoletto, a man on the fringes of society, takes center stage, as Verdi employs his music to explore all the aspects of this character’s complex personality.
Katerina Evangelatos will give her spin on this beloved work, marking her second collaboration with the GNO.
2) 14 June 2022 [Classical Music] – English Baroque Soloists – Monteverdi Choir – John Eliot Gardiner; Works by Bach, Schütz, Schein
Renowned conductor Sir John Eliot Gardiner, founder and artistic director of the Monteverdi Choir and the English Baroque Soloists, is a pioneer in early music revival and historically informed performances.
His recent work with the Monteverdi Choir includes award-winning interpretations of Bach, Berlioz, and Verdi, among others, in concerts around the world.
In the Odeon, he will direct the choir and the orchestra in these monumental works by Bach and his predecessors, Schütz and Schein, which draw inspiration from their composers’ experiences of grief and its cathartic power.
The choir will be accompanied by the rich sound of early brass instruments in the works of Schütz and Schein.
3) 21 June 2022 [Classical Music] – ERT National Symphony Orchestra – Michalis Economou – Guy Braunstein; FÊTE DE LA MUSIQUE
Every year, on 21 June, the ERT National Symphony Orchestra celebrates the Fête de la Musique (World Music Day), inviting audiences to a big concert at the Odeon of Herodes Atticus.
The glamorous orchestra will participate in this established tradition under the baton of conductor Michalis Economou.
Specifically, it will present two highly beloved melodic symphonic works; Antonín Dvořák’s Symphony No. 8 and Johannes Brahms’ Violin Concerto.
Special guest Guy Braunstein, former concertmaster of Berliner Philarmoniker for ten years, will serve as violin soloist.
4) 22 June 2022 [Jazz Sessions] – Jan Garbarek Group featuring Trilok Gurtu
Norwegian saxophonist Jan Garbarek’s name is almost synonymous with European jazz music and the signature sound of ECM, the recording company that has released almost all his albums.
His music is noted for his lyrical and poetic qualities.
For the last fifty years or so, his rich body of work covers a wide musical range, from jazz to world and classical music.
The Jan Garbarek Group is an important chapter in his career.
It also consists of Garbarek’s longtime main collaborator, German pianist Rainer Brüninghaus, Brazilian bassist Yuri Daniel, and the Indian master of the drums Trilok Gurtu.
5) 25 June 2022 [Contemporary Music] – Patti Smith
The high priestess of punk rock, New York City’s eternally romantic artist, spiritual heir to Rimbaud, Bolaño, Ginsberg, and the Beat generation, will merge music and poetry in her unparalleled way for a dazzling concert at the Odeon.
Having made her mark on the global music scene with anthems such as “Because the Night” and having received literary accolades (National Book Award winner for her memoir Just Kids), the prolific musician, author, visual artist, and activist will inspire us, move us, and make us believe once again that we have the power to change the world: “People have the power!”
6) 29 June 2022 [Contemporary Music] – Max Richter
Award-winning composer Max Richter, one of the most celebrated European composers of the last twenty years, makes his Odeon of Herodes Atticus debut in 2022.
Boasting a large fanbase from diverse music genres, Richter is considered a pioneer of contemporary orchestral neo-classical music.
He has worked with important artistic organizations, and some of his best-known and most beloved compositions have been included in numerous film soundtracks.
At the Roman Odeon, Richter presents two of his recorded albums: Infra (2010) and The Blue Notebooks (2004).
According to The Guardian, both are considered instant classics of the 21st century.
Infra is an ambitious endeavor that came about through Richter’s collaboration with choreographer Wayne McGregor and visual artist Julian Opie, rendered timeless thanks to T.S. Eliot’s poetry and Schubert’s influences.
The Blue Notebooks is a musical meditation on violence and war; it was composed in 2003 against the backdrop of the invasion in Iraq.
A capstone of Richter’s minimalistic mastery, this work invites us into a well-orchestrated chamber music ambience, punctuated with excerpts by Kafka, originally recorded with Tilda Swinton’s voice.
7) 30 June 2022 [Jazz Sessions] – Diana Krall
Beloved jazz singer and pianist Diana Krall is a recipient of numerous Grammy Awards for her performances and rich discography.
Now she returns to the Athens Epidaurus Festival for a single concert at the Odeon of Herodes Atticus in 2022.
Encouraged by her husband, Elvis Costello, Krall writes her lyrics.
She has also been incorporating pop references and musical influences from Brazil.
Her concert at the 2022 Festival is held by the “Aurora – Together Against Hematological Diseases” charity.
8) 12 July 2022 [Electronica] – Jeff Mills; Tomorrow Comes the Harvest
Jeff Mills, the seminal artist of the American techno scene, presents live – for the first time before the Athenian audience – his ground-breaking project Tomorrow Comes the Harvest.
It’s an improvisational concept he created in 2018 with Afrojazz legend and Fela Kuti’s drummer, Tony Allen.
It is not an overstatement to say that without Jeff Mills, electronic music would have been very different today.
With a career span from the 1980s Detroit underground clubs to global avant-garde venues, including collaborations with symphony orchestras and performances in art fairs and fashion shows, Mills has undeniably built a much sought-after and idiosyncratic artistic path.
At the Roman Odeon, he will perform a new take on the project alongside his long-time partner, keyboardist Jean-Phi Dary.
On this occasion, he is joined by bass player Divinity Roxx and flutist Rasheeda Ali.
9) 18 July 2022 [Classical Music] – Athens State Orchestra – Lukas Karytinos; Gioconda’s Smile – The Birds by Manos Hadjidakis
The year 2022 marks the 80th anniversary since the founding of the Athens State Orchestra, the oldest Greek symphonic ensemble.
In the context of this celebration, the Orchestra pays tribute to the late and great Manos Hadjidakis, presenting two of his most famous works.
Hadjidakis’ symphonic work defined post-WWII music; however, it also bears mentioning that the composer had close ties with the Athens State Orchestra, having served as its director in the period 1976-1982.
10) 28–31 July 2022 [Opera] – Greek National Opera – Philippe Auguin – Hugo de Ana; Tosca by Giacomo Puccini
Tosca: an opera diva, insanely jealous of her lover.
Scarpia: a powerful man taking pleasure in the pain of his victims.
Noble patriot Mario Cavaradossi is caught in the middle and led to his death: not on account of his ideas, but because he has won over the heart of Tosca, the woman Scarpia lusts after.
In Giacomo Puccini’s extremely popular operatic thriller, the exceptionally suggestive music accentuates the mad passions.
Audiences will enjoy a thrilling and highly dramatic version of Tosca, faithful to the composer’s spirit, the revival of the successful production originally presented in 2012 under the helm of famous Argentinean director Hugo de Ana.
Acclaimed chief conductor Philippe Auguin serves as conductor, with the participation of world-renowned opera singers.
11) 8 September 2022 [Dance] – Natalia Osipova – Carmen reimagined
Carmen’s timeless story of love, passion, and murder comes on the stage again.
In a new contemporary adaptation, it merges the iconic classical ballet with the real lives of the dancers.
Natalia Osipova premiered Carmen in Edinburgh and London’s Southbank in 2022, starring herself and a cast of international dance superstars.
Now they are coming to Athens, at the Odeon of Herodes Atticus, for a unique performance, on Thursday, September 8, at 21:00, as part of their world tour.
Carmen reimagined through the eyes of acclaimed Dutch choreographer Didy Veldman allows the audience to see the play’s characters – Carmen, Don José, and Escamillo – not only in front but also behind the lights, where the dancers develop their relationships alongside those of the roles they play.
12) 18-19 September 2022 [Dance] – Ballet Nacional De Espana – Invocacion
The National Ballet of Spain, under the direction of the leading choreographer and new artistic director Rubén Olmo, presents for the first time in Greece on September 18 and 19, the show Invocacion.
For two nights, the heart of Spanish culture and Andalusian temperament will beat just below the Acropolis.
From passionate flamenco and traditional bolero to charming contemporary dance and classical ballet, Invocacion presents all genres and trends of Spanish dance.
It is a great celebration of emotions and creative contrasts, with unexpected choreography changes, impressive costumes, and original live music.
A journey to the most beautiful landscapes of the Iberian Peninsula, for lovers of dance and Spanish culture, with music and dance as a vehicle.
Its guides, the 60 top dancers, and the 15 virtuoso musicians, who will be on the Herodion stage.
13) 22 September 2022 [Contemporary Music] – Asaf Avidan
Can you imagine Herodion blooming?
You don’t have to imagine it. You can live it.
Asaf Avidan comes to the world-known theatre on September 22, 2022, and brings a musical world that is earthy, real, full of ordinary life, and therefore unreal magical.
With stories and lyrics that are entirely personal, poetic, and abstract, it opens up a musical world free to identify with and fit your own stories.
14) 27 September 2022 [Pop Music] – Eros Ramazzotti
On Tuesday, September 27, Eros Ramazzotti will give a unique concert at the Odeon of Herodes Atticus that rises to the top of the list of the year’s most exciting and seductive musical moments.
The Italian artist will visit Greece during his World Tour Premiere.
He will perform at five enchanting and unique appearances in important historical sites of incomparable beauty and unsurpassed aesthetics in Europe and Israel.
Thus we will have the opportunity to enjoy a rare appearance of Eros Ramazzotti in the shadow of the Acropolis.
Moreover, we will glance at his latest album, Battito Infinito, which will be available on all platforms from September 16, 2022.
15) September 28 2022 [Contemporary Music] – Shigeru Umebayashi
The composer of the masterpiece music of the films “2046”, “House of Flying Daggers”, “In the Mood for Love”, “Curse of the Golden Flower”, and “Hannibal: Rising”, in a unique appearance, shares the ultimate musical aesthetic experience.
His arrival in Greece on September 28, 2022, with the performance at the Odeon of Herodes Atticus, is already an extraordinary event as Shigeru Umebayashi rarely appears.
His music will be performed at the Herodion by the 40-member Athens Philharmonia Orchestra with the participation of the Alex Drakos Ensemble, under the direction of the famous Belgian conductor, Dirk Brossé.
Where to Stay Near Odeon of Herodes Atticus in 2022
Staying close to the Odeon of Herodes Atticus is a great choice, as it’s located right in the heart of Athens.
Its surrounding area, called Koukaki, is also full of affordable bars, cafes, and locals!
Moreover, it is also next to the Acropolis, the Acropolis Museum, and tons of other historic sites.
Don’t miss the Where to Stay in Athens guide for more reliable neighborhoods.
Tickets and more shows
Keep in mind that there will be a future announcement for any performances for which ticket booking is not activated yet.
In addition, organizers will likely announce more events in the coming months.
For every important addition, I will update the list of must-watch shows.
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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