Spinalonga's proposition for Unesco’s World Heritage Sites

The Municipality of Agios Nikolaos, in the framework of the actions of the proposition of Spinalonga for Unesco’s World Heritage Sites List and in cooperation with the Ministry of Culture and the Lassithi Ephorate of Antiquities, organizes on July 18th a great musical event on the island. The presentation of this original artistic work is expected to make a major contribution to the promotion of the proposition, and generally to the effort made to achieve the above goal. In this context, the Municipality of Agios Nikolaos assigned to the composer Nikos Xydakis and the poet Dionysis Kapsalis to create an original artistic work which will be included in the nomination of the monument. Source of inspiration is Spinalonga, an emblematical topos, a symbol of pain, isolation and martyrdom. At the same time this island highlightes the greatness of the human soul and Man’s struggle for survival. In this small and barren rock inhabited for centuries human communities with very different social and racial elements. From the 16th to the 20th century Spinalonga was a Venetian fortress, an Ottoman fortress and a settlement, and finally a place of exile for the lepers. Three times it was "evacuated" in a tragic way and was re-inhabited by people who had no common element with the previous ones. The musical work of Nikos Xydakis, "Apokopos or Spinalonga", was created for two voices and a set of classical and traditional instruments, in which narrative parts alternate with lyrical and organic intermedia with songs. The narrative canvas created by Dionysis Kapsalis follows the "katabasis to Adis (the land of the dead)" of a patient in Spinalonga, along with other stories, images and incidents from the lives of the incarcerated, and refferences at the same time to Epaminondas Remondakis’ Autobiography, the myth of Orpheus and Eurydice and Bergadi’s Apokopos. A production of the Municipality of Agios Nikolaos, which takes place in collaboration with the Ministry of Culture, the Lassithi Ephorate of Antiquities and the support of the Region of Crete. By: Ellen Rouben