I had the great pleasure to go to the opening night performance of The Suppliants by Aeschylus (Le Supplici by Eschilo) while in Syracuse (Siracusa). The annual Greek Theatre festival is from mid-May to the end of June each year, the plays are in the ancient theatre (Teatro Greco) that dates back to the 5th century BCE and the plays are ancient Greek. I highly recommend that you see one of these shows if you’re in Sicily during that time period.
Thanks to my friend Gianni, who appeared in The Suppliants, I was able to get a seat for opening night of the show. I also spent some time in the cast area before the show, where the energy in the air was palpable given that it was the first night of the new season and for some of the cast members, their first performance. Before the play started, I read the English version (it’s free via the Kindle) so that I could follow the plot (since the play is in Sicilian).
Overall the show was fantastic! As there was a lot of music and big choreographed numbers, it was pretty easy for me to follow the action as it was occurring from having just read the play. There were some changes and additions for this performance as the original text was part of a series where the rest is missing. And as I was told later, apparently some additions made to make it a more Sicilian version. Well I could tell there were changes, with the addition of a narrator-like character, but as I didn’t know what he was saying I merely enjoyed the singing way that he said things.
The music was great, the singing and dance numbers were excellent, the performances were very enjoyable. The setting was truly unbeatable. Overall I thought it was a truly joyous evening. The history of watching a play from 463 BCE in a theatre from the 5th century BCE is pretty amazing. This very play was likely performed in this theatre over 2,000 years ago. Imagine all the actors, and honored guests, that have been there before. It was excellent!
As luck would have it, I was even able to get a seat in the first row! So my view was spectacular. And after the show, I went to the backstage outdoor area and joined in the festivities with the large crowd of cast and crew for the shows plus their supporters. I met lots of great people, Gianni introduced me to a lot of the people involved. A truly great experience both culturally and just a lot of enjoyment. It really was a true joy to see. Days like these are why I’m living this nomad travel lifestyle.
And for the casts of the upcoming performances: Merde, Merde, Merde!
I took a lot of photos from my vantage point, so here they are:
Bravo! What an evening!