Teatro Greco

24 May

We went to two performances at the Greek Theater in Siricusa. The performance is not only Greek, the theater was built by the Greeks in the 3rd century B.C. We saw Prometheus by Eschilo (image) and the Bacchae of Euripides. I was in the Greek chorus of the Bacchae when I was in college and just did not get it. No wonder.

In this performance the chorus was at the center of the drama. They drove the plot with swirling movements and verbal lamentations that moved even the teenagers in the theater. Yes teenagers. The theater was filled with them.   Groups of young men and women (mind you they were not in couples and not on dates) listening attentively as centuries old theater was performed. I was moved by that audience. Not just gray hairs keeping theater alive but young people listening and applauding with a respect for the tradition.

Siricusa’s Greek theater performance is very formalized and true to the original intent. There are long speeches by individual characters. In this case, the spoken language is Italian. You would think Dana and I would lose interest but quite the opposite was true. The sound of the words, the power of the actors and the theater itself carried the message from the time of the Greeks.

We went to two performances on open seating night. You arrive at 4:45 to get a good seat for a 6:30 performance. The show runs from just before sunset until just after with a soft wind blowing the actors’ costumes and with natural light, stage lighting is minimal. Actors enter from scaffolds towering four stories at the back of the open stage. Costumes are other worldly, devils with wings, undersea creatures with glittering designs over their bodies and faces and special effects like an actress strutting in cows’ feet shoes and Prometheus bound in chains 20 feet above the stage for an entire performance.

For a theater lover this was a luxury that life seldom offers.

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s

%d bloggers like this: