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The 6th Online Festival of the Greek National Opera is Now Streaming

The three new music theatre video productions for the whole family will be available to stream for free.

The 6th Online Festival of the Greek National Opera is Now Streaming

The 6th Online Festival of the Greek National Opera, curated by Giorgos Koumendakis, premieres on GNO TV in the Christmas holiday season and takes children -and not only- on three unique journeys into the world of imagination. The three new music theatre video productions for the whole family will be available to stream for free on nationalopera.gr/GNOTV/en.

Tales of a Bear premieres on 23 December, Bridget Planet on 27 December and The Baritone's Shoes on 3 January. GNO TV is part of a new strand of programming of the Greek National Opera made possible by a grant from the Stavros Niarchos Foundation (SNF) [www.SNF.org] to enhance the Greek National Opera's artistic outreach.

- Tales of a Bear The squirrel who made a forest disappear

Premiere: Thursday 23 December 2021 | It will remain online until 30/4/2022

A squirrel, the darkness-woman and a walking tree meet up in an original music fairy tale about diversity. Stop motion animation and contemporary music create a magic forest of sounds and images, inspired by Sofia Gubaidulina's work Musical Toys (1969).

Where is the darkest place in the world? Perhaps there, where we hide our hatred, our fear and anger. In the fairy tale "The squirrel who made a forest disappear" the central figure, the Squirrel, is found trapped in exactly this place. He is all alone. His only companion is Darkness, a woman wrapped up in a strange tree that walks. There he comes face to face with the animosity, the fear and the anger aroused in him by the creatures that are different than him. That is, more or less, every creature there is. It is completely his fault that he is there, since he pressed the mysterious red button that makes any being he doesn't like disappear. The annoying woodpecker with the big nose, the inferior mouse who dares to spread rumours that the two of them are related, the loudmouth wolf, the silly butterflies, the centenarian tortoise from Kathmandu who speaks a broken language, the boring ants and many other forest creatures. He knew very well that all it takes to make them disappear is the pressing of one button. And he did press it. In other words, the Squirrel preferred to be all alone than to share the forest with animals that were different than him. Only that things didn't go exactly as expected. Because this way, without him realising it, he chose nothingness. And one can never know what hides in nothingness. Will Darkness really manage to teach the Squirrel that diversity makes the world more beautiful?

Music curation (musical collage, improvisation), piano, keyboard, mechanical-clockwork toys: Ann-Kristin Sofroniou / Original story, libretto, English translation: Andriana Minou / Illustration, animation: Christina Spanou / Narration, singing, vocal improvisation: Maria Katrivesi / Sound recording, editing: Kostas Bokos - Studio 19

- Bridget Planet A story for preschool children

Premiere: Monday 27 December 2021 | It will remain online until 31/7/2022

Bridget Planet creates a world from zero. It describes the life of lonely people. Their everyday life seems tediously repetitive. Extreme weather conditions, environmental pollution and loneliness compose a world in which the characters seem to be trapped. Redemption can only come through music, which awakens children's imagination and builds the bridges that will connect everything that is isolated and in pieces together.

In a dreamy, black and white environment, Bridget Planet tells the story of a universe that consists of planets, which are cut off from each other, imperfect, and "stricken". On each planet there lives a small creature that tries to cross over, so as to come in contact with some other living being. Yet, these efforts are in vain and, despite their great persistence, the little heroes do not manage to reach another planet; they stay alone and miserable. In the second part of the story these little creatures are still alone and sad. They try to perform movements-actions reminiscent of "contact". They hug themselves, they kiss their own hands, they caress their own hair. One of them starts whistling a melody. Then a colourful note pops out of its mouth. In the beginning the creature is startled but then it finds the strength to continue whistling. In a magical way the colourful notes coming out of its mouth become a bridge. When the rest of the creatures that live alone on the other planets see that, they also start whistling and producing colourful notes, which then turn into bridges. "The planets are different but the gaze stays the same", notes the composer. And in this case the "gaze" is music. Music for sure can build bridges regardless of the planet each of us lives on. Yorgos Tamiolakis draws inspiration from the sketches of J.J. Grandeville's book Un autre monde.

Artistic curator: Margarita Geroyanni / Animation: Mariniki Bakali / Music: Yorgos Tamiolakis / Music ensemble Sibílima: Lefteris Andriotis (Cretan lyre), Calliope Mitropoulou (violin), Haralambos Karassavidis (violin), Stelios Papanastassis (viola), Yorgos Tamiolakis (cello) / Sound recording: Minos Koutedakis

- The Baritone's Shoes by Dimitris Baslam

Premiere: Monday 3 January 2022 | It will remain online until 31/7/2022

The Baritone's Shoes is a musical video-performance for children and grown-ups, based on Dimitris Baslam's book of the same title.

Mr Charitone was a Baritone, not a cook or a tailor or a butler or a furniture-maker; he was a well-preserved, courteous and always well-dressed Baritone. "Charitone Fuchs, it's a pleasure to meet you!" he used to say, with a hint of pomposity when he introduced himself, while also taking, of course, the appropriate bow. "Lyric Baritone", he would add. "Not melodic, lyric!" he would insist, emphasising the difference between them, if anyone asked him: "Seriously, what's the difference, Mr Charitone?". Then he would answer: "It's just a matter of repertoire!". To Mr Charitone, of course, it was just a matter of precision... A narrator, a dancer and three performers-musicians are on stage portraying all of the work's characters. They move, communicate, and dance to eventually become Mr Charitone Fuchs, the Baritone.

Screenplay - Director - Music: Dimitris Baslam / Choreography: Ermis Malkotsis / Sets, costumes: Martha Foka / Sound recording, editing: Kostas Bokos - Studio 19 / Sound design: Dimitris Baslam, Kostas Bokos / Editing: Thodoris Popeskou / Charitone Fuchs: Ermis Malkotsis / Narrator, Mr Lavrentis, Mr Select, Hebe, Mr Ambiguous, Mrs Rita: Michalis Valasoglou / Broadcaster: Dimitris Baslam / Musicians: Fotis Siotas (violin, viola) / Despina Spanou (cello) / Orestis Benekas (rhodes) / Tasos Mysirlis (cello) / Dimitris Baslam (guitar, synthesizer) / Directors of photography: Michalis Asthenidis, Fotis Zygouris, Grigoris Panopoulos / English subtitles: Angeliki Boura



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