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Sino-Greek drama 'Agamemnon' to premiere in Beijing
Updated: 2019-02-15 15:28:33
( chinadaily.com.cn )

The two theatrical companies hold a news conference at the National Theater of China.[Photo provided to chinadaily.com.cn]

The Sino-Greek bilingual drama Agamemnon, a co-production by the National Theater Company of China (NTCC) and the National Theater of Greece, will see its first round of performances at the National Theater of China in Beijing from Feb 20 to March 2, the two theatrical companies announced at a news conference at the National Theater of China.

The actors are rehearsing.[Photo provided to chinadaily.com.cn]

China and Greece join hands on stage

Agamemnon, directed by Stathis Livathinos, the artistic director of the National Theater of Greece, portrays the first part of the tragic trilogy Oresteia by Aeschylus, considered the father of ancient Greek tragedy. The story involves how King Agamemnon of Argos, in order to attack Troy with the Greek army, was forced to sacrifice his daughter Iphigenia to the goddess Artemis. This infuriated his wife, Clytemnestra, who ultimately kills him.

Luo Tong, a prominent director, producer and Greek translator, made a bilingual version of Agamemnon. The show strives to bring obscure lines in the original script closer to Chinese audiences, so they can better understand the brilliance of ancient Greek culture.

The actors are rehearsing.[Photo provided to chinadaily.com.cn]

Two years ago, with the support and promotion of the Ministry of Culture of China as well as Greece, the NTCC and the National Theater of Greece began collaboration. Four months ago, the Sino-Greek bilingual drama Sacrifice was successfully staged in the National Theater of Greece and won praise as "China's Hamlet" from the Greek Kathimerini.

This time, director Livathinos dedicated the classical Greek tragedy of Agamemnon to Chinese audiences. He said, "This work is a remarkable experiment. It presents a play in both Chinese and Greek, so that audiences can hear two languages and see two genres and two types of actors. It can be a risky attempt."

The actors are rehearsing.[Photo provided to chinadaily.com.cn]

Chinese actors perform a European epic of humanity

In front of Chinese audiences, the work represents a bold and innovative attempt to use a cast dominated by Chinese actors to narrate a centuries-old epic of human nature on the European continent.

"Clytemnestra seems to be a vicious woman who kills her husband, but she is fighting to avenge her daughter against patriarchy and theocracy, which is admirable," said the heroine of Agamemnon Zhao Luokuang, who also cites the play's vivid humanity as its highlight. "Every character has his or her considerations. The play does not make value judgments, but gives the audience room to think".

The classic of Agamemnon gets a modern and international reinterpretation in China, allowing the work to touch the hearts of Chinese audiences. Both Sacrifice and Agamemnon emerged as a result of deep cultural communication and integration between China and Greece, adding profound cultural contributions to the performing arts.

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