MELPOMENE

Melpomene inspired travel programmes

Melpomene, the ancient muse of tragedy, will bring out the most profound and meaningful emotions, inspiring you with the stories of others. She is the Songstress: ‘melpo: to celebrate with song and dance’. This is also the epithet of the god Dionysus, the god of theatre and patron of dramatic festivals in ancient Athens; the festival of the Dionysia was held every four years, bringing people from all around the world to Athens to watch the performances of the great playwrights in the theatre of Dionysius on the slopes of the Acropolis. The plays combined both dance and song, the realm of Melpomene.

  • Tragic Drama

    Sometimes the saddest topics are the most inspiring…

Sophocles’ Oedipus trilogy

The tragic saga of Oedipus has been immortalised by Sophocles’ dramatic retelling of the story. The city of Thebes provides the setting the mythological for the harrowing tale. Dramatic readings of the play in ancient Greek and English will create an unforgettable experience. Close to Athens, mount Olympus, Delphi and numerous other sites mentioned in the Greek literature and mythology, the significance and impact of the play will become even more profound.

Aeschylus’ Oresteia- The Wrath of Clytemnestra

The setting for the Oresteia in the ancient bronze age settlement of Mycenae provides a magnificent back-drop to this classical piece of tragic drama. Aeschylus’ masterpiece, performed in nearby Athens, brings the characters involved with the Trojan war to life, casting the darkest shadow on the effects of war on humanity. Visits to sites around the Argolid in southern Greece together with Athens and even Troy, if desired, enhances the traveller’s experience.

Jason and Medea

Euripides’ tragic drama has captivated audiences for centuries. Set in ancient Corinth, the background of the play extends as far away as the Black sea, where Jason meets Medea in his epic journey to capture the golden fleece. This unique programme involves attending performances of the play, re-enactments of scenes, visits to places mentioned in the play and within the context of Greek mythology.

Euripides’ Bacchae: The wrath of Dionysos

Euripides’ brutal tale of Pentheus’ punishment at the hands of the powerful god Dionysus has captivated audiences throughout history. The setting is Thebes, but the audience was in Athens when originally performed. Melpomene, the tragic muse, will bring the story to life leading to the actual places mentioned in this masterpiece in Thebes and the surrounding countryside.

Euripides’ Trojan Women

This tragic drama is set somewhere outside of the fallen palace of Troy, soon after the bronze age Greek army had finally penetrated its stately walls. Euripides’s drama brings the legend to life, making the characters real through his theatrical skills. The play was performed in Athens and many other theatres around the Greco-Roman world, yet the setting is ancient Troy in modern-day Turkey. This programme includes the option to include a segment in Troy or to remain in Greece.

Shakespeare’s Othello

Shakespeare’s tragedies were sometimes inspired by classical myths or figures. Sometimes it is the classical spirit, ever-present in Shakespeare’s renaissance mind-set. The tragic drama of Othello and Desdemona set in Venice and Cyprus transports the traveller to Shakespeare’s times as well as to the exotic setting of Othello. Melpomene will inspire you to participate in Shakespeare’s creative process as well actually bring you to the places brought alive in the scenes of this magnificent play.

Shakespeare’s Romeo and Juliet

Romeo and Juliet, one the most famous plays written by Shakespeare, set in Verona, Italy, continues to inspire readers and audiences all around the world. Take this opportunity to visit the beautiful, Italian city where this play takes place. Explore the cultural and historical background of the city, dating back to the Roman and pre-Roman times, including its operating amphitheatre, presently used to present operas. Your experience can begin or end with attending a performance of the play in London or Stratford upon the Avon, depending on the timing of your visit.

Shakespeare’s Julius Caesar

The figure of Julius Caesar has captured the imagination for over two thousand years, dating back to the fateful day, 15 March, 44 BCE, one the Ides of March. The events of that day and the background to his murderous assassination have been immortalised by Shakespeare in his powerful drama written in 1599. Our programme will transport you to the actual setting of the play, in the ancient city of Rome, retracing Caesar’s steps as depicted in the play. An option for the most dedicated is to travel to Phillipi, near Thessaloniki, Greece, the setting of Shakespeare’s final act of the play, where, in 42 BCE, Antony and Octavius defeated the armies of Brutus and Cassius, the chief conspirators in Caesar’s assassination. Other ancient sources will be consulted to contrast the drama with the historical event.