Olive press hosts cultural events
Karen Mills: July 2011
Olive press hosts cultural events on Lesvos.
Holidaymakers on Lesvos can drop into a series of cultural events at the end of July to mark the centenary of the birth of Nobel Literature Prize-winning poet Odysseas Elytis. Elytis, born Odysseas Alepoudelis in 1911 in Heraklion, Crete, is a descendant of Lesvos island's eminent Alepoudelis family and a major exponent of poetic modernism in Greece. He was awarded the Nobel Prize for Literature in 1979 for his works 'Axion Esti'.
To mark the centenary, 2011 has been declared 'Elytis Year' by Greece's Culture and Tourism Ministry.
And events on July 29-31 take place in the historic Vrana traditional Oil Press on Lesvos, formerly owned by Elytis' family.
The olive press opened as an industrial museum in 2009 after major restoration work.
The Vrana Olive Oil Press, found in Papados village, in the Bay of Yera, was one of the first steam-powered factories on Lesvos and dates from 19th century.
The stone and marble olive press belonged to Elytis' grandfather, and was still operating in the early 1970s.
Celebration events on July 29th include an exhibition titled 'Elytis' Lesvos' which will be on permanent display at the museum.
Also planned is the world premiere of music composed by George Kouroupos specifically for the centenary celebration, based on Elytis' poem 'The Moon of Mytilene'.
The first performance is by invitation only but the following day is free to the public including visitors taking a holiday on Lesvos.
Singers Spyros Sakkas and Daphne Panourgia will join the performance of poems by Elytis which will be read out by the late poet's companion and poet Ioulita Eliopoulou.
Another free concert will be held on Sunday, July 21st, in the museum's courtyard, when singer Alkistis Protopsalti will perform pieces from Elytis' first poetry collection 'Prosanatolismoi' put to music by Elias Andriopoulos.