Skip to main content Skip to footer site map

VIDEO: Greek National Opera's Anastasia Kotsali Sings 'Canzonetta spirituale sopra alla nanna'


A female voice and two wind instruments explore baroque shadings and modern dynamics.

Canzonetta spirituale sopra alla nanna by Italian composer, organist and violinist of the early baroque era Tarquinio Merula (1595-1665) is a moving song about the fear of death, hope and love. Tarquinio Merula, an exuberant figure, promiscuous, and with a rebellious spirit, produced cutting-edge compositions, that surprise even modern-day audiences with their boldness and originality.

In Tarquinio Merula's Canzonetta sopra alla nanna, time is linear; it fades away and begins again, like a fairy tale that has no end. The concern about the inevitable future, the healing power of music, expectation and hope. This 16th-century lullaby, with its unadorned, minimalistic form, converses with modern music.

A female voice and two wind instruments explore baroque shadings and modern dynamics, plunging into the palimpsest of female emotions. Multiphonics and improvisations bridge Tarquinio Merula's audacious -and extremely bold for his time- take on composition with the aesthetic of modern music, in an absolutely original approach to orchestration.

The video follows Greek and foreign female figures, walking around rooms of historic buildings in the city, ballrooms and interwar lounges. It focuses on their silent, personal narrative. Labyrinthine paths of an urban tale, heart-breaking experiences hidden behind glances, tapestries, and fabrics. The hybrid aspect of Athens becomes the fascinating canvas for real-life stories of pain, toil and hope.

Director: Elias Madouros

Free translation of prose into Greek: Anastasia Kotsali, Guido de Flaviis

Director of photography: Nikolas Karanikolas

Performers: Anastasia Kotsali (mezzo-soprano), Guido de Flaviis (saxophone), Spyros Tzekos (clarinet)

Narrators: Guido de Flaviis, Spyros Tzekos

With the participation of: Margarita Amarantidi (actress-director), Maria Arvaniti (biologist), Miketa Arvaniti (IT consultant), Katy Giouvanou (pensioner), Nana Dimakou (lawyer), Iris Karayan (choreographer), Eleni Katsama (author), Eleni Kechayoglou (editor), Ioanna Kokolopoulou (jewelry designer), Natalia Manta (visual artist), Anahí Riquelme (educator), Eleni Stamidou (opera singer), Saynabou Thiang (freelancer)

More info here:

This programme is part of the 3rd Greek National Opera Online Festival, "The Music of Language" curated by Giorgos Koumendakis and features five unique short stories.

The video will premiere on Wednesday, 23 December 2020 at 21.30 [GMT+3], on, the GNO Facebook page and YouTube channel, and and will remain available online until 23/01.

The Festival is made possible by a grant from the Stavros Niarchos Foundation (SNF) [] to enhance the Greek National Opera's artistic outreach.

Related Articles View More Greece Stories

Featured on Stage Door

Shoutouts, Classes & More

More Hot Stories For You