For the second consecutive year, together with my wife we flew to Syracuse to enjoy the excitement of Greek theatre. A 5-day trip in which we touched Syracuse, Noto, Ragusa Ibla and Baroque Sicily. The real goal, however, was to return to the Greek theatre of Syracursa to see Sette versus Thebes.
On the way to Syracuse
Sicily is a region that I personally love in a special way. A land full of contradictions, but beautiful where history, cuisine, architecture and landscapes clash with the difficulty of the locals to know how to enhance them.
For the second year we decided to go to the western part of the island for a little tour including a visit to Ortigia, the Baroque Sicily of Noto and Ragusa, a little bit of sea, but the main reason was to return to see a classical performance at the Greek Theatre of Syracuse.
We found a very cheap flight from Pisa to Catania, about 60 euro round trip. Arrived in Catania we rented a car (Read also: Noleggiare una macchina: Trucchi e raccomandazioni) and from there we started our tour staying in Bed and Breakfast in Ortigia and Note.
Sette against Tebe
In 2016 during a stay at a friend’s house we were invited to see the Edipo Re, what is considered the tragedy masterpiece written by Sofocle.
Although I love art in all its forms (most of our travels are based on art) I was a bit prejudiced, believing that I would be bored to death; I also thought about not going to spend my time in the wonderful Note.
My wife, on the other hand, convinced me that it could be an opportunity to see something new to mark in our personal experience notebook. She was right!
It was a beautiful experience for me, I could never have understood without it. The amosphere, the theatre itself, the performance, the actors. An experience that I advise everyone to have at least once in their life. Here we are again!
We chose this time to see the representation of Sette versus Thebes of Eschilo since we thought its relevance to the previous tragedy seen.
Eteocles and Polynices, sons of Oedipus, made an agreement that they would reign one year each, alternating on the throne of Thebes.
Eteocles, however, at the end of their mandate, does not want to return the kingdom to Polynices, who arms six warriors of Argos, with him seven, and places them in front of the gates of Thebes to declare war on their brother.
Eteocles sets seven other warriors against him, including himself, placing them at the seven gates of the city. After the battle, the messenger informs us that Eteocles and Polynices clashed and fell, giving each other death.
In order to have a saving on the price of tickets, which on most dates are quite expensive depending on the sector you choose, we have opted for a single-seat midweek date designed by Fondazione Inda which organizes the festival to bring students and locals closer to the ancient theatre.
If from the point of view of cost we were happy (we paid 20 euros per person), when we arrived more than 90 minutes early at the theatre we had a surprise seeing the thousands of young people already waiting for the gates to open.
I would never have thought such a crowd, but armed with patience we entered the river of people waiting for them to let us in.
I realized that I was not in perfect physical shape from the fact that from the entrance gates of the archaeological area to the actual theatre there are about 700 metres and to get the best seats I had to compete with the students, a modern day Abebe Bikila. I lost! Anyway we got a very central high place from which we were able to enjoy the shows perfectly.
The atmosphere is magical, the ancient Greek theatre dating back to the 5th century BC is recognizable in all its magnificence. The performance starts at 18:30, the sun begins to set, the light changes and its epilogue takes place at dusk; all elements that contribute to amplify the emotions.
Many of the students seemed not to appreciate, perhaps like all of us have lived the experiences made at school as constraints to bear instead of opportunities to remember. Luckily we grow up and for occasions like these we need more than the hormonal storms of youth.
Citizens of Cadmus, he must say what the moment demands of the one who at the proppa of the city watches over the common good and the helm directs without ever drowsing his eyelids to sleep. If it goes well, a god will be the cause; but if in reverse – oh don’t happen! – Enemy fate will touch us, Eteocles only for the whole city from adverse murmur of preludes and from hiccups celebrated will be: but Zeus truly distorts both of these evils to the city of the Cadmei.
As for the previous tragedy, two hours literally flew by and at the end of the performance the emotion was strong. The skill of the actors, the emotion of the place, the strength of the story made me feel strange at the end.
I think it is an experience to try at least once, you will certainly be pleasantly surprised as I was.
Greek Theatre of Syracuse
The 2018 season of the Greek Theatre of Inda will start on 10 May 2018 and will end on 8 July.
The three performances will be: Eracle, Edipo a Colono and I Cavalieri.
Consult the calendar QUI