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Greek Community of New South Wales Presents Greek Bicentennial Program

Sydney’s  Greek Orthodox Community of New South Wales will present a full slate of events celebrating the bicentennial of modern Greece in 2021. The bicentennial, commemorating Greece’s triumphant release from the bonds of centuries of Ottoman rule, will be a gala event celebrated by the diaspora and philhellenes around the globe.

Events will include concerts, lectures, recitals, parades, art shows, discussion panels and even the launch of a new magazine highlighting the achievements of the Greek diaspora.

More than twenty events have been organized thus far and even more will be added in the coming weeks and months. Prominent members of the Greek community in New South Wales in charge of organizing the events include Historian Leonard Janisewski from Macquarie University; journalist Efthymios Kallos; Professor Vrasidas Karalis from the University of Sydney; and Dr. Helen Vatsikopoulos, Journalist who also teaches at University of Technology in Sydney.

Harry Danalis, the President of the Greek Orthodox Community of NSW, stated in a press release “2021 marks the anniversary of a momentous year in Greek history and we are glad to be able to present a series of events that acknowledges and celebrates this.

“It has been important to us to engage artists and coordinate events that truly appreciate and commemorate the significance of this moment in our history.”

The following activities are on the slate of the Greek Bicentennial events planned so far by the NSW organizers.

  • “200 Years of Greek Freedom” Concert to be performed by a 40-piece orchestra under the direction of conductor George Ellis. Works which pay tribute to the songs of the revolution and liberation and empowerment by Manos Hatzidakis, Stavros Xarchakos, Mikis Theodorakis and Vassilis Tsitsanis will be featured. The concert will be performed from May 7 to June 8, 2021.
  • A lecture by Dr. Panayota Nazou entitled “The women of the Greek Revolution,”  University of Sydney.
  • The recital of the Greek National Anthem in full by prominent Greek-Australians, accompanied by a symphony orchestra at the Great Hall, University of Sydney, March 25, 2021.
  • The annual 25th of March celebration will take place at Martin Place and the Sydney Opera House forecourt, presented by the Greek Orthodox Archdiocese of Australia and the Greek Orthodox Community of NSW. There will be a parade, followed by speeches and poetry recitals, as well as Greek music and dance performances.
  • Spyros Melas’ play Papaflessas will be performed by Hellenic Art Theatre, directed by Stavros Economidis, during March 2021.
  • A children’s performance of the play “I was a child in my twenties with Theodoros Kolokotronis” will also be performed by the Hellenic Art Theatre in March of 2021.
  • An exhibition by artists Philip George and Margarita Georgiadis will be shown at the Parliament of NSW, made possible by the Australian Members of Parliament and Greek diplomats.
  • A lecture by Dr. Alfred Vincent will also be given in March on the works of writer, political thinker and revolutionary Rigas Feraios, accompanied by a musical performance.
  • The launch of the publication of Greeks of the Diaspora, a new journal with articles written by local and international academics, printed by Greek-Australian Newspaper O Kosmos. The new journal will be edited by journalist Dr. Helen Vatsikopoulos.
  • A panel discussion on the relationship between the Greek and Turkish people, chaired by Dr. Helen Vatsikopoulos will take place at the University of Technology in Sydney.
  • A lecture that will shed light on the non-Greeks who participated in the Revolution, including the minority groups in Greece as well as the Philhellenes of Europe, who provided support.
  • The 28th Annual Greek Film Festival will present a selection of films within its annual program which will focus on the Greek Revolution and events directly influenced by it.
  • A lecture by Professor Vrasidas Karalis will be given on the Greek Revolution in European Art at the Art Gallery of NSW.
  • Capodistria, a three-act tragedy in verse by Nikos Kazantzakis, will be performed as a series of readings, directed by Professor Vrasidas Karalis.

These and many other events will be on tap for the gala festivities surrounding the Greek bicentennial in March and ongoing throughout 2021.

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