- Please describe the birth and inauguration of Ernesto Ziller’s architectural ornament in the city, the Apollo Municipal Theater. How and by whom its name was defined;It was officially inaugurated as the Municipal Theater of Patras or originally had another name and cultural identity;
The economic development of Patras in the second half of the 19th century,combined with the plans for the reconstruction of Greek cities by the post-liberation governments, led to the construction of neoclassical buildings in the city. Perhaps the most important of these is one of the four theaters, works by Ernst Ziller, our Municipal Theater in the central square. It was a need of the rising wealthy class for a more qualitative cultural life that also financed this construction. From the beginning it was considered as a Municipal Theater, due to the main funding from the municipality, and it bore the inscription “Neon Odeon” initially and later it was called “Apollo”.
Until 1910, when raisin brought great profits, the repertoire was mainly Italian operas and then Greek works began to rise.
- We would like you to mention some of the most important moments of the Apollo Theater in its 150 years of history.
In its 150 years of operation, the Municipal Theater “Apollo” was the center of the most important events of the city, theatrical, cultural, social, professional and political. The first performance of the theater, “the dance of the masqueraders” by J. Verdi is considered the first important station of its operation. Its connection with the Patras Carnival and the hosting of Carnival dances, the “Bourboulia”, is a historical event for the city. Finally, with his concession as the main stage of DIPETHE Patras, he gets another role. The fact is that the theater is the history of our city.
- Since 1989, the Apollo Theater is the permanent home of Municipal Regional Theatre Of Patras, whose you are President. Since then, the identity of the Municipal Theater has also changed. We described this new dimension of the organization and its changing activities;
The role of the Municipal Theater as the most emblematic cultural structure of the city remains constant in its 150 years. However, since it is the main stage of DIPETHE Patras, its role expands and embraces the whole municipality, the region and every social group. The DIPETHE were created to bring the theater to the” arid ” theatrical region and this is also aimed at the DIPETHE Patras with its actions. Since 2015 and the creation of the theater group ARMA THESPIDOS, goal of the municipality and idea of Kostas Kazakos, DIPETHE fulfills its purpose of creation, the theater goes to every neighborhood, village, school and institution throughout the region.The Municipal Theater “Apollon” today is not a theater aimed primarily at a higher social class. It’s theatre for everyone.
- Describe the program of the theater for the year 2023? will it be diverse and in dialogue with other forms of art such as dance and visual arts? do you intend to adopt and promote new technologies in productions and is this possible financially? what actions have you chosen in collaboration with the artistic director Mr. Loukas Thanos? expect the public of Patras and the international public, a rich program for the year 2022-2023,;
The theatrical year for the theater is set from September of one year to September of the next. So, as we have the 150th anniversary of the theater, the choices are largely related to lyrical, musical theater, such as the first performance on 10/10/1872. Our main children’s show is “Mozart” with its music and ballet that hosts for about three months more than 200 schools and the whole family at the holidays. The central performance is the great work of X. Pinter treason to be played after the holidays. The rich program for the 150 years contains the anniversary gala on the tenth of October in collaboration with the Opera and music theater performances icons and the sonata of Moonlight. Our planning for spring new productions and collaborations, such as with ERT music ensembles and the state orchestra, which we hope we will be able to implement. We take into account that the theater is already undergoing a radical renovation program and research studies have begun with a careful and organized cohabitation with the crews of the scholars. At the beginning of 2023 the theater will be given for one month to scholars during the carnival period to complete the studies.
- Apart from the grants of the Ministry of Culture and the municipality of Patras, it is also supported by private initiatives, sponsorships and the love of the public;
The DIPETHE were created as an offer of theatrical education in the province and were subsidized by the Ministry of culture so as not to burden the citizen. Today the grant is symbolic and DIPETHES cannot fulfill their purpose. The DIPETHE Patras has a rich action because it is based on a BRAVE grant from the municipality. At the same time, it is interested in implementing state and European programs, collaborates with local professional bodies that support it in various ways and without interfering with the content of its program. The Patraikos people are waiting for our performances every year because they have confidence in the quality and aesthetics of DIPETHE and fill the theater by supporting the actions with their ticket. However, we claim the state subsidy that befits our activities and is entitled to the taxpayer Patraikos people.
- We would like you to describe to us the vital coexistence of various artistic institutions within the theater as well as your cooperation with both the troupe of DIPETHE Patras as well as the employees of the Municipal Theater of Apollo. It is an experience with peculiarities and surprises;
The artistic organizations that are hosted in the theater and cooperate with us are amazed by our organizational, technical and logistical adequacy. Everything that is presented in our theater has high quality and this leads to a cooperation and coexistence civilized. With our infrastructure we support and host cultural and social institutions of our city and transfer foreign performances and events to be presented at the imposing “Apollo”Theater.
For a non-artist, the need to manage the theater began based on the support of the employees themselves who, with their great experience, know-how and love for the theater, were the partners for the best success of our cause, the offer of quality theater to the public. Over time, the acquaintance with the subject, the study and the association with remarkable artists became a special experience, in the unknown until then world of artists, interesting and magical.