Skip to main content Skip to footer site map

Greek National Opera Announces 2022-23 Season Featuring World Premiere of New GNO Production of Verdi's FALSTAFF

New productions include Cherubini’s Médée directed by David McVicar, Offenbach’s Les Contes d'Hoffmann directed by Krzysztof Warlikowski and more.

Greek National Opera Announces 2022-23 Season Featuring World Premiere of New GNO Production of Verdi's FALSTAFF

The Greek National Opera's 2022-23 season curated by GNO Artistic Director Giorgos Koumendakis will feature ten new opera and ballet productions, one newly commissioned opera, five revivals of past productions, music concerts, major co-productions with some of the world's foremost opera houses, collaborations with leading directors and acclaimed conductors, and the debuts of top-tier opera singers in new roles. The season is presented in Stavros Niarchos Hall at the Stavros Niarchos Foundation Cultural Center and in the outdoor amphitheater, the Odeon of Herodes Atticus, in Athens. With the new season program the GNO-the only opera company in Greece-continues to forge important international partnerships while also celebrating and honoring Greek artists. The 2022-23 season, which runs from September 2022 through July 2023, is made possible by a grant from the Stavros Niarchos Foundation (SNF) to enhance the GNO's artistic outreach.

This season the GNO presents co-productions with a global network of major opera houses including the Metropolitan Opera, the Canadian Opera Company, the Lyric Opera of Chicago, the Opéra Comique (Paris), La Monnaie (Brussels), Göteborg Opera, and the Royal Danish Opera. Internationally acclaimed opera directors include John Fulljames, Stephen Langridge, David McVicar, Laurent Pelly, Olivier Py, and Krzysztof Warlikowski alongside esteemed Greek directors Themelis Glynatsis and Natasha Triantafylli.

"Long-standing plans to expand the Greek National Opera's repertoire have now been realized to form a core strand of our recent programming that has borne exceptional fruit and resonated deeply with audiences," says Giorgos Koumendakis. "With this 2022-23 season, the GNO is emerging as a dynamic and enterprising member of an international network of opera houses."

New productions include Cherubini's Médée directed by David McVicar, Offenbach's Les Contes d'Hoffmann directed by Krzysztof Warlikowski and Le Voyage dans la Lune directed by Laurent Pelly, Verdi's Falstaff directed by Stephen Langridge, Bartók's Bluebeard's Castle directed by Themelis Glynatsis, Mozart's Don Giovanni directed by John Fulljames, and Puccini's Madama Butterfly directed by Olivier Py for the first time.

"In the wake of some 90 works commissioned in recent years from Greek composers for our two stages, and for our online festivals, this year sees yet another original production staged inside the Stavros Niarchos Hall: Andrei," says Koumendakis.

Andrei: A Requiem in Eight Scenes, by Dimitra Trypani about the influential and internationally revered Soviet filmmaker Andrei Tarkovsky, will have its world premiere in September. The GNO Ballet presents two new productions: the classic ballet Don Quixote and another production to be announced.

Revivals of past productions include Massenet's Werther presented in honor of the late director and former GNO Artistic Director and President Spyros Evangelatos; Verdi's Nabucco directed by Leo Muscato; The Magic Pillows by George Dousis and Eugene Trivizas; the 3 ROOMS dance triptych comprising choreographies by Jiří Kylián, Ohad Naharin and Konstantinos Rigos; and Puccini's Gianni Schicchi directed by John Fulljames. Gianni Schicchi features on a double bill with Bartók's Bluebeard's Castle acknowledging that the two distinctly different operas premiered in the same year (1918).

This season's productions will be conducted by Greek and international maestros including Philippe Auguin, Paolo Carignani, Vassilis Christopoulos, Lukas Karytinos, Jacques Lacombe, Pier Giorgio Morandi, Ondrej Olos, Stathis Soulis, Nicolas Vassiliou, and Elias Voudouris. They will lead casts featuring Greek and international soloists including Tassos Apostolou, Nicole Chevalier, Yannis Christopoulos, Tassis Christoyannis, Cellia Costea, Francesco Demuro, Vassiliki Karayanni, Vassilis Kavayas, Michèle Lozier, Petros Magoulas, Marisia Papalexiou, Dimitri Platanias, Adam Smith, Dionysios Sourbis, and Christophoros Stamboglis among others. Two major international opera singers perform iconic roles for the first time: the leading mezzo-soprano Anita Rachvelishvili as Charlotte in Werther and celebrated Italian soprano Anna Pirozzi as the title character in Médée.

"Incisive contemporary reappraisals of masterpieces of the opera canon bring the genre into the public discourse by posing questions and seeking out answers," says Koumendakis. "This year, more than any other, directors on the vanguard of opera worldwide will be putting their own stamp on major operatic works. As in previous seasons, the GNO is celebrating Greek lead soloists once more, providing them with major opportunities to develop and spotlight their talents and merit. Alongside them, we are also featuring select, top-flight International Artists to help give our output even greater prominence on the world stage."

The company's ongoing Mikis Theodorakis tribute cycle continues into the new season with performances of his Symphony No. 2, as well as his March of the Spirit set alongside a selection of his songs.

The 2022-23 season is a continuation of the work that began five years ago when the company-founded in Athens in 1939-relocated to the Stavros Niarchos Foundation Cultural Center that includes its main stage venue, the custom-built Renzo Piano-designed 1,400-seat Stavros Niarchos Hall. Supported by a grant from the Stavros Niarchos Foundation (SNF) [www.SNF.org], the GNO's vision is to be one of Europe's most innovative opera houses with a unique artistic identity that engages global talent and inspires large and diverse audiences.

"Without the extraordinary support provided by a grant from the Stavros Niarchos Foundation (SNF), and the personal care and attention invested by its Co-President, Andreas Dracopoulos, the GNO would never have been in the position to present such a program, to enter into such co-production partnerships, and to be acknowledged as an opera house that sits at the very heart of Europe rather than on its margins," says Koumendakis. "I would also like to take this opportunity to thank Greece's Minister of Culture and Sports, Lina Mendoni, for the unequivocal support she has shown our work, and her Ministry staff for our ever-excellent working relationship."

Andreas Dracopoulos, Stavros Niarchos Foundation (SNF) Co-President, says:

"A few years ago, when we decided to join the Greek National Opera's efforts to develop its artistic outreach program, we firmly believed that it had all the qualities, the potential, and the people it needed-and, of course, the vision and guidance of Artistic Director Giorgos Koumendakis-to make a splash all over the world, from New York to Paris, and Denmark to Canada. Today, not only is the GNO's name widely recognized, but its work will be proudly performed at the world's most important opera houses, including the Metropolitan Opera and the Opéra Comique in Paris. What we believed from the beginning is now common knowledge: the Greek National Opera may be a national institution, but it has now also assumed its rightful role in the international art scene, deepening its work and expanding its audience. We are confident that Giorgos Koumendakis and the entire GNO family will continue to move us, surprise us, and make us proud, whether at their home base in Greece or at any other opera house in the world."

Tickets for the September-December 2022 productions go on sale July 29, 2022, and can be purchased from the GNO Box Office and online via ticketservices.gr/en.



GREEK NATIONAL OPERA
2022-23 SEASON CALENDAR

Music Theater • GNO commission • New production


Andrei: A Requiem in Eight Scenes


Dimitra Trypani
September 25, 27, 28, 2022
Starts at: 7:30 p.m. (Sunday at 6:30 p.m.)
Stavros Niarchos Hall of the Greek National Opera - SNFCC
Concept, composition, music instruction, director, conductor: Dimitra Trypani
Original libretto: Pantelis Boukalas
Sets: Elena Stavropoulou • Costumes: Nikos Kokkalis • Choreography: Ermira Goro • Lighting: Valentina Tamiolaki • Sound design: Konstantinos Bokos
With (in alphabetical order): Iro Bezou, Irini Bilini-Moraiti, Thanasis Dovris, Valia Karagiorga, Giorgos Kasavetis, Marianna Kavallieratos, Dimitra Kokkinopoulou, Nandia Kontogeorgi, Hara Kotsali, Christina Maxouri, Giorgos Nikopoulos, Alexandros Psihramis, Kalliopi Simou, Fotis Siotas, Aliki Siousti, Christos Thanos, Savina Yannatou, Fanis Zachopoulos, and Nikos Ziaziaris.
With the participation of a nine-piece music ensemble

Andrei: A Requiem in Eight Scenes, a work by Dimitra Trypani, is a contemporary funeral liturgy for the celebrated Soviet filmmaker Andrei Tarkovsky (1932-1986). The work is described by the composer as a "sound performance" with sound serving as the overarching narrative mode. Major "roles" are played by chromatic heterophonic and polyphonic structures, polystylistic approaches, and body percussion. The libretto, written by Pantelis Boukalas, uses the German text of the Lutheran Requiem Mass in dialogue with fragments drawn from Tarkovsky's seven feature films.

Commissioned by the GNO, the work is presented in eight parts: an introductory scene followed by another seven scenes that correspond to the seven sections of the German Requiem Mass text and to the seven feature films Tarkovsky made during the course of his short life. Nineteen actors, dancers, and musicians perform as various versions of Tarkovsky, as well as non-fictional people and key imaginary characters from his films. Trypani notes: "The entire work is a Tarkovskian dream, since the real and unreal are interwoven through the music of the requiem that inundates the space."

Based in Athens, Trypani is engaged in the creation of interdisciplinary music performances, using strictly structured polyrhythmic forms and heterophonic patterns in her approach to composing both music and speech. She has worked with numerous renowned orchestras, ensembles, and soloists, both in Greece and beyond. She is an associate professor in Music Theory and Composition with Interdisciplinary Practices at the Ionian University's Department of Music.

Concerts • Mikis Theodorakis tribute cycle


Symphony No. 2: The Song of the Earth
Mikis Theodorakis
October 2, 2022
Starts at: 6:30 p.m.
Stavros Niarchos Hall of the Greek National Opera - SNFCC
Conductor: Elias Voudouris
Soloist: Titos Gouvelis
Children's chorus mistress: Konstantina Pitsiakou
With the GNO Orchestra and Children's Chorus

March of the Spirit and Songs by Mikis Theodorakis
October 5, 2022
Starts at: 7:30 p.m.
Stavros Niarchos Hall of the Greek National Opera - SNFCC
Conductor: Stathis Soulis
Orchestration: Yannis Belonis, Yannis Samprovalakis, Alexandros Livitsanos
Chorus master: Agathangelos Georgakatos
Soloists: Maria Farantouri, Tassos Apostolou, Thodoris Voutsikakis
With the GNO Orchestra and Chorus

The GNO's Mikis Theodorakis (1925-2021) tribute cycle continues with two major concerts featuring the GNO Orchestra and celebrated soloists. In the first concert, to be held on October 2, 2022 at the Stavros Niarchos Hall, the GNO Orchestra and Children's Chorus-conducted by Elias Voudouris-perform Symphony No. 2: The Song of the Earth, a work that marked Theodorakis' return to more "highbrow" music in 1980. For the creation of this particular symphony, Theodorakis drew source material from two works written during his 1954-1960 period: Suite No. 1 (1957), and the ballet Antigone (1957-58). In the work's third part, the Children's Chorus perform The Song of the Earth (with lyrics by Giannis Theodorakis), a short poetic piece that incorporates elements of the composer's traumatic experiences of war, exile, and persecution.

On October 5, 2022, the Greek singer Maria Farantouri, well known for her collaborations with Theodorakis, performs March of the Spirit with GNO bass soloist Tassos Apostolou, alongside a selection of songs by Theodorakis with Thodoris Voutsikakis, conducted by Stathis Soulis and with the participation of the GNO Orchestra and Chorus. Following Axion Esti, March of the Spirit is Theodorakis' second laïkó ("popular"-as in, 'of the people'-or "folk") oratorio, composed in 1969 in the village of Zatouna in Arcadia, where he had been banished and placed under house arrest by the Greek dictatorship of the time. Championing melodic simplicity and the use of folk instruments, and based on a patriotic poem by Angelos Sikelianos, the piece sought to send a clear message of opposition to the regime. The second part of the concert features the performance of a series of Theodorakis' most popular songs orchestrated for a large symphony orchestra. Songs include "Streets of Old", "The Song of Songs," "The Laughing Boy," "Marina," "The Beautiful City" and "Dawn is Breaking."

With the kind support of My Market

Opera • New production


Don Giovanni


W. A. Mozart
October 21, 23, 25, 27, 29, 2022
Starts at: 7:30 p.m.
Stavros Niarchos Hall of the Greek National Opera - SNFCC
In co-production with the Göteborg Opera (Sweden) and the Royal Danish Opera
Conductor: Ondrej Olos
Director: John Fulljames
Revival director: Aylin Bozok
Sets: Dick Bird • Costumes: Annemarie Woods
Choreography: Maxine Braham
Lighting: Fabiana Piccioli • Lighting revival: Neill Brinkworth
Video design: Will Duke
Video programming: Dan Trenchard
Chorus master: Agathangelos Georgakatos
Lead cast: Dionysios Sourbis, Vassilis Kavayas, Petros Magoulas, Cellia Costea, Yanni Yannissis, Nikos Kotenidis, and others
With the Orchestra, Chorus, and Soloists of the Greek National Opera

This international GNO co-production with the Göteborg Opera and Royal Danish Opera was filmed inside the Stavros Niarchos Hall in December 2021 without an audience and received its world premiere on the Greek National Opera's online television channel (GNO TV). Now, following its Copenhagen presentation at the Royal Danish Opera, Don Giovanni returns to Athens for its Greek premiere before a live audience. The production is directed by acclaimed opera director and Artistic Director of the Royal Danish Opera, John Fulljames. This production is made possible by a grant from the Stavros Niarchos Foundation (SNF) to enhance the GNO's artistic outreach.

In Don Giovanni-a seminal work in the opera repertoire-Mozart imbued his music with every possible perspective on the path chosen by a man who decides to defy God and take his fate firmly into his own hands.

Fulljames sets the action in a modern-day hotel-a city in microcosm and a temporary meeting place where what's private is made public, and your stay is strictly limited. The director notes:

"Don Giovanni is an enduring opera because it has so many aspects; there is broad humor and great theatrical set pieces, all in a dark thriller about a seducer who must be stopped. It is about how we live together in society and, as ever with opera, about how we face death. The climax is the long-awaited death of Don Giovanni himself as he chooses death, hell even, over denying who he is. His death is an expression of order reasserting itself over the unrestrained liberty he represents."

Production sponsor: Alpha Bank

Opera for all the family • Revival


The Magic Pillows


George Dousis / Eugene Trivizas
November 11, 12, 13, 20, 30 & December 1, 2022
Matinée performances at 11:00 a.m. / Evening performances at 6:30 p.m.
Stavros Niarchos Hall of the Greek National Opera - SNFCC
Conductor: Nicolas Vassiliou
Director: Natasha Triantafylli
Sets: Tina Tzoka • Costumes: Ioanna Tsami
Movement director: Dimitra Mitropoulou • Lighting: Giorgos Tellos
Children's chorus mistress: Konstantina Pitsiakou
Lead cast: the soloists Nicolas Maraziotis, Nikos Kotenidis, Dionisios Melogiannidis, Vangelis Maniatis, George Mattheakakis, Kostis Rassidakis, Yannis Kavouras, and members of the GNO Children's Chorus
With a small orchestral and choral ensemble, and with the participation of the GNO Children's Chorus (as part of its educational mission)

"No matter what they take from you / there always still will be / something they can never touch / something yours to keep! / In times of woe and sorrow / your dreams shall ever be / a pot of gold, a hope to hold / your place of sanctuary!"

GNO's The Magic Pillows, a two-act, family-friendly opera by composer George Dousis and children's writer Eugene Trivizas returns to Stavros Niarchos Hall. The libretto is Mr. Trivizas' own adaptation of his famous, much-translated and award-winning children's story.

The hopeful, moving, and meaningful fairy tale by Trivizas tells the story of children at an unloved school and their inspiring teacher, who together take a stand against the greedy King Glorious the Omnificent, determined to reclaim their lost dreams. This production is made possible by a grant from the Stavros Niarchos Foundation (SNF) to enhance the GNO's artistic outreach.

As the director herself notes:

"The Magic Pillows is a story that shows us anew what stuff we are made of-courage and high spirits and zest for life. Stuff that sits, secret and eternal, deep inside us and can never be wiped out by the injustices of the world. Stuff that makes you gaze up at the sky and realize you are great, no matter how small! Such stuff as dreams are made of!"

Ballet • New production


Don Quixote


Thiago Bordin, Marius Petipa / Ludwig Minkus
November 26, 27 & December 4, 23, 24, 30, 31, 2022
Starts at: 7:30 (Sunday & 31/12 at: 6:30)
Stavros Niarchos Hall of the Greek National Opera - SNFCC
Choreography: Thiago Bordin, based on the original choreography by Marius Petipa
Conductor: Stathis Soulis
Sets: George Souglides
Costumes: Mary Katrantzou
Lighting: Christos Tziogkas
Animation: Eirini Vianelli
With the Orchestra, Principal Dancers, Soloists, Demi-Soloists, and Corps de ballet of the Greek National Opera

The GNO Ballet presents a new production of Ludwig Minkus' Don Quixote, one of the most celebrated ballets ever created. The choreography by Thiago Bordin is based on the classic original choreography by Marius Petipa, first presented in 1869 at the Bolshoi. The performances will be conducted by Stathis Soulis with sets by George Souglides and costumes by Mary Katrantzou. This production is made possible by a grant from the Stavros Niarchos Foundation (SNF) to enhance the GNO's artistic outreach.

Don Quixote is one of the most important and popular works in the classical ballet repertoire. Guided by the singular music of Minkus, the choreography tells a story imbued with the lofty ideals of knighthood and chivalry, touching audiences with its skillful mix of comedy and romance. Don Quixote is based on episodes drawn from the renowned novel by Miguel de Cervantes (1547-1616) and published across two tomes, in 1605 and 1615 respectively. The ballet's plot, which mainly draws from the latter tome, focuses on the tempestuous love affair between Kiteria-Kitri in the ballet-and Basilio. The adventures of Don Quixote and his squire Sancho Panza, meanwhile, are treated here as secondary to the action.

For the creation of this new Don Quixote production, GNO Ballet Director Konstantinos Rigos sought out and selected artists of global renown including the choreographer Thiago Bordin to revive the classic original choreography by Petipa, internationally acclaimed Greek set designer George Souglides, and celebrated Greek fashion designer Mary Katrantzou for the costumes. Working alongside them are the animator Eirini Vianelli, and lighting designer Christos Tziogkas.

Production sponsor: Eurobank

Opera • New production


Les Contes d'Hoffmann


Jacques Offenbach
December 18, 20, 22, 28, 29, 2022 & January 4, 5, 8, 2023
Starts at: 7:30 p.m. (Sunday at 6:30 p.m.)
Stavros Niarchos Hall of the Greek National Opera - SNFCC
In co-production with La Monnaie (Brussels)
Conductor: Lukas Karytinos
Director: Krzysztof Warlikowski
Sets, costumes: Małgorzata Szczęśniak
Lighting: Felice Ross • Video design: Denis Guéguin
Choreography: Claude Bardouil • Dramaturgy: Christian Longchamp
Chorus master: Agathangelos Georgakatos
Lead cast: Adam Smith, Yannis Christopoulos, Nicole Chevalier, Vassiliki Karayanni, Michèle Lozier, Marisia Papalexiou, Tassos Apostolou, Petros Magoulas, Christophoros Stamboglis, Yanni Yannissis, Christos Kechris, Yannis Kalyvas, and others
With the Orchestra, Chorus, and Soloists of the Greek National Opera

Les Contes d'Hoffmann is the highly anticipated new Greek National Opera co-production with La Monnaie in Brussels, directed by renowned Polish opera and theater director Krzysztof Warlikowski, who takes on the challenge of revealing the essence of a work in which time and space are merely the remnants of a crumbled mosaic. This production is made possible by a grant from the Stavros Niarchos Foundation (SNF) to enhance the GNO's artistic outreach.

Les Contes d'Hoffmann has endured as one of the most popular of all French operas, standing alongside Carmen, Faust, and Manon. The libretto by Jules Barbier is based on stories written by the multi-talented E.T.A. Hoffman, whom Barbier made the opera's protagonist. Three female figures-the soulless automaton Olympia, the critically ill singer Antonia, and the courtesan Giulietta-each display certain characteristics that together make up the prima donna Stella, the woman Hoffmann has fallen for. The love he feels for each of them is wrecked in each instance by an older man-three separate personas: Coppélius, Dr Miracle, and Dapertutto-whose various characteristics are revealed in composite by the wealthy Lindorf, with whom Stella departs at the opera's end, leaving Hoffmann in despair.

Offenbach passed away shortly prior to completing the opera. With its score completed by the composer Ernest Guiraud, the work met with enormous success. There have followed numerous painstaking attempts to reconstruct Offenbach's score over many years, as new sections from the composer's manuscripts containing valuable musical material continue to be discovered in various places, even in recent times. The GNO is presenting the opera as it appears in the most recent critical edition of the work, prepared by Michael Kaye and Jean-Christophe Keck.

Warlikowski's staging is driven by the fact that Les Contes d'Hoffmann has a particularly complex narrative, and by the realization that both score and libretto are without stable structure. These elements provide the director, and audiences, with the sense that the work is open to reinterpretation and redefinition. In an evolution of his signature directorial style, Warlikowski peers at the story of this opera through the prism of film, drawing inspiration from such cinematic works as A Star Is Born, The Shining, and Inland Empire, and even features an Academy Awards ceremony.

Production sponsors: Mytilineos - Eurobank

Opera • New production


Falstaff


Giuseppe Verdi
January 26, 29 & February 1, 4, 7, 10, 2023
Starts at: 7:30 p.m. (Sunday at 6:30 p.m.)
Stavros Niarchos Hall of the Greek National Opera - SNFCC
Conductor: Pier Giorgio Morandi
Director: Stephen Langridge
Sets, costumes: George Souglides
Movement director: Dan O'Neill • Lighting: Peter Mumford
Chorus master: Agathangelos Georgakatos
Children's chorus mistress: Konstantina Pitsiakou
Lead cast: Dimitri Platanias, Tassis Christoyannis, Vassilis Kavayas, Cellia Costea, Anna Agathonos, and others
With the Orchestra, Chorus, Children's Chorus, and Soloists of the Greek National Opera

The GNO presents the world premiere of a new production of Verdi's Falstaff, conducted by Pier Giorgio Morandi and directed by the acclaimed director, and Artistic Director of the UK's renowned Glyndebourne Opera Festival, Stephen Langridge. This much-anticipated new production heralds the first performances of Falstaff in Athens since the GNO's 1993 production directed by the late Spyros Evangelatos. This production is made possible by a grant from the Stavros Niarchos Foundation (SNF) to enhance the GNO's artistic outreach.

Following his adaptation of the plays Macbeth and Othello, Verdi turned to Shakespeare one final time for a comedy: The Merry Wives of Windsor for what was to be-at the age of 80-his final opera. Central to the action is the washed-up old knight Sir John Falstaff, whose romantic misadventures make him a laughingstock in the provincial society of his small town. In the end, after a series of tragicomic situations have unfolded, all the work's characters sing the following refrain together: "All the world's a jest... but whoever laughs last, laughs best." The opera has been called a masterpiece of the genre for its expressive economy and concise form and for its composer's ability to encapsulate entire characters and situations with a single musical phrase.

Following his successful staging of Carmen at the Odeon of Herodes Atticus presented in 2016 and 2018, Langridge returns to the GNO to create this new production. He says:

"Falstaff is a comedy in the deepest sense-often farcical, but also offering a window into the hearts of the characters. At the center of it all is Verdi and Shakespeare's most loveable rogue: Falstaff himself. A liar, a cheat, a trickster; sensuous, vain, old-fashioned... We ought to disapprove, but we adore him in all his flawed humanity. Our production is set in England in the 1930s. A time between the wars (Falstaff was an old soldier), with a scandalous Prince of Wales (like Hal in Henry IV) who will briefly become King Edward VIII, and a time when the hierarchies are rigid, with social class more respected than money. Falstaff is based on Shakespeare's only fully English comedy, but the end is pure Verdi / Boito. "Tutta nel mondo è burla" [all the world's a jest] is their conclusion-and when we look around us at today's chaotic world we can only agree, and then perhaps head off to the pub for a pint of warm ale and a laugh with Sir John!"

Production sponsor: Alpha Bank

Dance • Revival


3 ROOMS


Dance triptych with choreographies by Jiří Kylián, Ohad Naharin and Konstantinos Rigos
Greek National Opera Ballet
February 15, 16, 18, 19, 2023
Starts at: 7:30 p.m. (Sunday at: 6:30 p.m.)
Stavros Niarchos Hall of the Greek National Opera - SNFCC

The GNO Ballet reprises its successful dance production 3 ROOMS, in which GNO Ballet Director Konstantinos Rigos enters into creative discourse on contemporary movement vocabularies with two of the dance world's luminaries-the great Czech choreographer Jiří Kylián and the internationally acclaimed Israeli choreographer Ohad Naharin. This production is made possible by a grant from the Stavros Niarchos Foundation (SNF) to enhance the GNO's artistic outreach.

The Pedal Tone for a Child, a new choreography by Konstantinos Rigos set to music by GNO Artistic Director Giorgos Koumendakis, here encounters Jiří Kylián's iconic Petite mort and Ohad Naharin's celebrated Minus 16 in what is an opportunity for the dancers of the GNO Ballet to pit themselves against the particular performative challenges of these three works. Joining the dancers of the GNO Ballet on stage for the choreography by Rigos are student performers from the GNO Professional Dance School and the Greek National School of Dance (KSOT).

The Pedal Tone for a Child


Choreography, set: Konstantinos Rigos
Music: Giorgos Koumendakis
Costumes: Giorgos Segredakis • Associate architect: Mary Tsagari
Lighting: Eleftheria Deko
GNO Ballet Director Konstantinos Rigos presents a new choreography for a piece by Giorgos Koumendakis, The Pedal Tone for a Child. The work, inspired by Byzantine music, explores the world of nature and of tradition, transporting the audience into a dystopian and forsaken black-and-white world where an abandoned advertising billboard stands like a scarecrow on the far horizon.

Petite mort


Choreography, sets and light designs: Jiří Kylián
Music: W. A. Mozart
Costumes: Joke Visser
The celebrated Jiří Kylián, who served as Artistic Director of the Nederlands Dans Theater from 1975 to 1999, first presented this choreography in Salzburg to mark the bicentennial of Mozart's death, setting the work to slow movements taken from two of Mozart's most popular Piano Concertos, Nos. 21 and 23.

Minus 16
Choreography, costumes: Ohad Naharin
Lighting: Avi Yona Bueno (Bambi)
Using music that ranges from Dean Martin to mambo, and from techno to traditional Israeli melodies, the current House Choreographer and former Artistic Director (1990 to 2019) of the renowned Batsheva Dance Company, Ohad Naharin, created Minus 16, a piece that eliminates the barrier between its dancers and the audience in unique and unpredictable ways.

Opera double bill


Bluebeard's Castle - Béla Bartók & Gianni Schicchi - Giacomo Puccini


March 9, 12, 19, 24, 2023
Starts at: 7:30 p.m. (Sunday at: 6:30 p.m.)
Stavros Niarchos Hall of the Greek National Opera - SNFCC
Conductor: Vassilis Christopoulos
With the Orchestra and Soloists of the Greek National Opera

The GNO presents a double bill of two one-act operas that premiered in the same year (1918) in Budapest and New York respectively: one dramatic - Bluebeard's Castle in a new production with staging by Themelis Glynatsis; the other comic - Gianni Schicchi directed by John Fulljames. The evening opens with Bartók's brooding and bloody masterpiece, and closes with Puccini's dark comedy, a light-hearted farce considered the most radiant and joyous work in the composer's oeuvre. This production is made possible by a grant from the Stavros Niarchos Foundation (SNF) to enhance the GNO's artistic outreach.

Bluebeard's Castle - Béla Bartók • New production


Director: Themelis Glynatsis
Sets, costumes: Leslie Travers
Projection design: Marios Gampierakis, Chrysoula Korovesi
Sound design: Tasos Tsigkas
Soloists: Tassos Apostolou, Violetta Lousta

Bluebeard's Castle by the Hungarian composer Béla Bartók is based on the folktale La Barbe bleue by Charles Perrault, published in 1697. A rare work of crisp concision, Bartók's opera has just two characters-Bluebeard and his most recent wife, Judith. Wishing to learn more about her husband's past, Judith opens the seven doors inside Bluebeard's castle, one after the other. Behind each she finds a different world, untold riches, the glory and heroism of her husband-but also pain, tears, and blood. The symbolist text written by Béla Balázs gave Bartók the opportunity to compose one of his most impressive scores, one that makes full use of the timbres offered up by an exceptionally large orchestra-including the imposing tones of a church organ-to delineate each of the work's images with incredible power.

The work's director, Themelis Glynatsis, notes:

"The Bluebeard folktale, one of the bloodiest stories in the western canon, tells of an aristocrat who marries young women only to murder them when they defy his command forbidding them to explore his castle. Bartók transforms the Bluebeard story into a contemporary operatic thriller, one deeply mystical, suffused with symbolism, and marked by an uncommon psychological lucidity and emotional intensity. Bluebeard's Castle, the only opera the Hungarian composer ever wrote, is seen as one of the most important operatic works of the 20th century due to its ground-breaking music and dramaturgical approach. The work functions as a symbolist anatomy of a human relationship, and as a descent into the labyrinthine psyche that lies hidden inside the mysterious blue-bearded duke. This production takes a conscious step away from the serial killer lore that usually trails the work to focus instead on a man and a woman on their wedding night, sinking gradually ever deeper into a universe consisting of multiple realities and psychological trauma, repressed memories and unfamiliar spaces."

Gianni Schicchi - Giacomo Puccini • Revival


Director: John Fulljames
Sets, costumes: Richard Hudson
In the title role: Dionysios Sourbis

The second part of this double bill-a polar opposite to the evening's first work-brings a dark, borderline grotesque comedy to the stage. The libretto by Giovacchino Forzano is based on an episode that appears in Dante's Divine Comedy. Following the death of a rich man, the wily Gianni Schicchi helps the relatives of the departed-and himself-to pocket his substantial estate. The similarities between Gianni Schicchi and the equally comic Falstaff are obvious but, in contrast to Verdi, Puccini does not portray specific, individualized characters with his music but rather renders stock character types in the manner of the commedia dell'arte tradition. On its first presentation in Rome the work was considered the composer's most sparkling and, as such, considerably welcome in the bleak moments following the First World War. With expressive economy and only the most essential of musical strokes, Puccini creates portraits capturing each of the many relatives, and naturally the protagonist too. The opera is also famous for its short aria "O mio babbino caro" ("O my dear papa"), which Maria Callas regularly performed at her recitals.

The GNO is reviving one of its most Popular Productions, directed by John Fulljames, that was programmed by its then Artistic Director Stefanos Lazaridis to premiere during the 2007-08 season at the Olympia Theatre.

Opera • Revival


Werther


Jules Massenet
March 23, 26, 28, 31 & April 2, 4, 2023
Starts at: 7:30 p.m. (Sunday at: 6:30 p.m.)
Stavros Niarchos Hall of the Greek National Opera - SNFCC
Conductor: Jacques Lacombe
Director: Spyros Evangelatos
Sets, costumes: Giorgos Patsas
Children's chorus mistress: Konstantina Pitsiakou
In the role of Werther: Francesco Demuro
Debuting in the role of Charlotte: Anita Rachvelishvili
With the Orchestra, Children's Chorus, and Soloists of the Greek National Opera

This production of Werther, first presented by the GNO in 2014 at the Olympia Theatre, was the last opera to be directed by Spyros Evangelatos (1940-2017), a legendary figure of Greece's theater and opera scene. Evangelatos served as the GNO's Artistic Director and Chair of the Board for many years and, alongside his extensive work in the theater, directed a series of popular operas by Verdi, Bizet, Puccini, Rossini, Mozart, Britten, and others to great success. This revival is presented in tribute to him. Conducted by Jacques Lacombe with sets and costumes by Giorgos Patsas, this production features the debut of leading mezzo-soprano Anita Rachvelishvili in the role of Charlotte. Performing the title role is Italian tenor Francesco Demuro, who recently thrilled audiences in the GNO's production of Rigoletto at the Odeon of Herodes Atticus directed by Katerina Evangelatos. This production is made possible by a grant from the Stavros Niarchos Foundation (SNF) to enhance the GNO's artistic outreach.

Werther, written around a century after the epistolary novel by Goethe upon which it is based, tells the story of a doomed love affair between the young Werther and Charlotte. Once Werther realizes there is no hope for their love, he takes his own life. Charlotte, who has realized the urgency of the situation, rushes to be by his side, reaching him just before he dies. As with Goethe's Faust (which in opera form became best known in the version by Gounod), Werther also won over the opera world. Massenet's opera-which skillfully captures both the poetic nature of the idealistic Werther and the prisoner to social convention that is Charlotte-enjoyed huge success in its own time. The opera departs from the original text in crucial ways: while it retains the theme of challenging social hierarchies and received convention, it dispenses in large part with the work's philosophical musings. The fate of Goethe's hero inspired Massenet to pen a score of immense lyricism and remarkable sensitivity that does not lack for powerful dramatic outbursts.


Concert • Mikis Theodorakis tribute cycle


Mikis Theodorakis: Tracing His Footsteps through Time
Pallini Music High School
March 30, 2023
Starts at: 7:30 p.m.
Stavros Niarchos Hall of the Greek National Opera - SNFCC
With the participation of the Pallini Music High School's music ensembles

The Pallini Music High School, in partnership with the Greek National Opera, presents a concert performance featuring its music ensembles in Stavros Niarchos Hall for an evening dedicated to the life and work of Greek composer Mikis Theodorakis.

The school's chamber orchestra, philharmonic orchestra, and chorus highlights the varied relationships between Theodorakis' music and Greek musical traditions including éntekhno (Greek art song) and Greek poetry. The school's laïkó (Greek folk) orchestra performs some of his best-known songs and melodies and traditional musicians shall marry the Byzantine east with the literary west.

The Pallini Music High School, founded in 1988, was the first such state music school in Greece. In addition to its regular curriculum, the school has introduced a number of annual music and educational events held at the school itself and at other venues, in partnership with a range of institutions that include the National and Kapodistrian University of Athens, the Goethe-Institut Athen, L'Institut français de Grèce, Onassis Stegi, Megaron - The Athens Concert Hall, the Odeon of Herodes Atticus, and the Pallas Theatre.

Opera • New production


Médée


Luigi Cherubini
April 25, 28, 30 & May 3, 9, 14, 2023
Starts at: 7:30 p.m. (Sunday at: 6:30 p.m.)
Stavros Niarchos Hall of the Greek National Opera - SNFCC
In co-production with the Metropolitan Opera in New York City, the Canadian Opera Company, and the Lyric Opera of Chicago
Conductor: Philippe Auguin
Director, sets: David McVicar
Costumes: Doey Lüthi
Lighting: Paule Constable
Projection design: S. Katy Tucker
Movement director: Jo Meredith
Debuting in the title role: Anna Pirozzi
With the Orchestra, Chorus, and Soloists of the Greek National Opera

Cherubini's Médée is the Greek National Opera's first major co-production with three leading North American opera houses: the Metropolitan Opera, the Canadian Opera Company, and the Lyric Opera of Chicago. The production, staged by the celebrated opera director David McVicar, opens the Met's 2022-23 season before being presented at the Stavros Niarchos Hall in April-May 2023, followed by performances in Montreal and Chicago. This production is made possible by a grant from the Stavros Niarchos Foundation (SNF) to enhance the GNO's artistic outreach.

First presented in Paris in 1797 but overlooked for many decades, Médée was brought back into the limelight when Maria Callas first performed the title role in 1953 at the Florence May Festival. The revival was met with great success and, thanks to Callas' extraordinary musical and acting abilities, the music world rediscovered a thrilling work so unfairly forgotten. The Greek diva went on to perform the role of Médée on numerous other stages, culminating in her historic 1961 appearance with the Greek National Opera at the Ancient Theatre of Epidaurus, directed by Alexis Minotis and with sets and costumes by Yannis Tsarouchis.

This rarely performed masterpiece with a libretto based on Euripides' Medea, is to be presented in a monumental new production-classic and atmospheric, contemporary but for the ages- directed and with sets by David McVicar, one of the great British stage directors. Costumes are by Doey Lüthi and lighting is by Paule Constable, with projection design by S. Katy Tucker and movement direction by Jo Meredith. Debuting in the exceptionally demanding title role in Athens is the internationally acclaimed Italian soprano, Anna Pirozzi.




More Hot Stories For You


Made-for-TV Opera Miniseries To Premiere On ALL ARTS This FallMade-for-TV Opera Miniseries To Premiere On ALL ARTS This Fall
August 18, 2022

​​​​​​​ALL ARTS, the New York Emmy-winning multimedia streaming platform dedicated to the arts, will present the world premiere of Experiments in Opera’s made-for-TV opera Everything for Dawn this fall. 

Resonance Works Announces Genre-Defying 10th Anniversary SeasonResonance Works Announces Genre-Defying 10th Anniversary Season
August 18, 2022

Resonance Works will celebrate its tenth anniversary season with four powerful, intimate productions that showcase the depth and range of classical music performance, including two world premieres, orchestral favorites, awe-inspiring masterworks, and an evocative new opera. 

Opera Orlando to Present Mozart's THE MAGIC FLUTE at Dr. Phillips CenterOpera Orlando to Present Mozart's THE MAGIC FLUTE at Dr. Phillips Center
August 17, 2022

To open the Opera on the MainStage series, Opera Orlando presents Mozart's The Magic Flute (Die Zauberflöte). Bring the family to this enchanting and whimsical tale about love and light, sacrifice and darkness, and finding one's place in the world.

Christopher Cano Joins Washington National Opera As The Director Of The Cafritz Young Artists And American Opera InitiativeChristopher Cano Joins Washington National Opera As The Director Of The Cafritz Young Artists And American Opera Initiative
August 17, 2022

Christopher Cano will join Washington National Opera (WNO) as the Director of the Cafritz Young Artists (CYA) and American Opera Initiative (AOI) in September ahead of the WNO's 2022–2023 season. Cano will work closely with General Director Timothy O'Leary and Artistic Director Francesca Zambello to lead the two nationally recognized programs dedicated to advancing opera by training and giving voice to the next generation of singers, pianists/coaches, composers, and librettists.

Opera At Florham Presents 2023 International Vocal CompetitionOpera At Florham Presents 2023 International Vocal Competition
August 17, 2022

Opera at Florham will present its 33rd Annual International Vocal Competition on Sunday, May 21, 2023 at 3 p.m.