New season marks the company’s return to indoor performance at Stavros Niarchos Foundation Cultural Center
Stavros Niarchos Foundation Cultural Center (SNFCC) in Athens, Greece.
Giorgos Koumendakis’ opera The Murderess (2014); a new concert production of Frossini (1868) by Pavlos Carrer, one of the most popular and widely performed composers in 19th-century Greece; a double-bill of opera (Pavlos Carrer’s Despo) and dance (Greek Dances by Nikos Skalkottas); and a performance cycle honoring the late Mikis Theodorakis
Fall season also includes Greek debut of soprano Sonya Yoncheva; family-friendly opera The Magic Pillows by George Dousis and Eugene Trivizas; Tchaikovsky’s The Nutcracker; and a concert of American Revolution-themed film scores
GNO TV premieres three broadcasts including Le Nozze de Figaro, A Shepherdess I Loved…, and the 6th Greek National Opera Online Festival, The Bear and the Baritone on Other Planets
ATHENS, GREECE (SEPTEMBER 20, 2021) — The Greek National Opera (GNO) today announced the programming for its fall 2021 season, which runs from October through December and marks the company’s return to indoor performance at the Stavros Niarchos Foundation Cultural Center (SNFCC). Featuring opera, ballet, dance, and concert performances, much of the fall lineup is dedicated to celebrating 200 years since the Greek revolution began. The fall program is made possible by a grant from the Stavros Niarchos Foundation (SNF) [www.SNF.org] to enhance the Greek National Opera’s artistic outreach and also to create a tribute to the 2021 bicentennial of the Greek Revolution.
The season includes GNO Artistic Director Giorgos Koumendakis’ opera The Murderess (2014), with a libretto by Yannis Svolos based on Alexandros Papadiamantis’ novel of the same title—a modern classic and social commentary on the female experience in 19th-century Greece, and a new concert production of Frossini (1868) by Pavlos Carrer, the preeminent Greek composer of the 19th century. Frossini depicts the real-life story of the Greek socialite and national heroine Kyra Frossini (1773–1800), whose execution by the Ottoman Empire inflamed the revolutionary passions of the Greek people. GNO also celebrates the bicentennial with a new production and double bill of Pavlos Carrer’s 1882 one-act opera Despo and a ballet set to Nikos Skalkottas’ 1936 Greek Dances.
GNO will also present a performance cycle in memoriam of Mikis Theodorakis, who scored Zorba the Greek and Serpico, among other films, over the course of an illustrious career composing for the concert hall, opera house, ballet stage, and more. The cycle begins with Axion Esti (1964), described by the composer as a “people’s oratorio” based on the 1959 magnum opus of Nobel Prize-winning poet Odysseus Elytis.
The fall season also includes the Greek debut of soprano Sonya Yoncheva, who sings Puccini in recital; a family-friendly opera The Magic Pillows by George Dousis and Eugene Trivizas; Tchaikovsky’s The Nutcracker; and a concert of American Revolution-themed film scores by John Corigliano, John Williams, Hans Zimmer, Max Steiner, and Bernard Herrmann, among others, in recognition of America’s role as an example to Greece in its own struggle for independence.
Launched in November 2020 through a grant from the Stavros Niarchos Foundation (SNF), GNO TV, the company’s high-quality digital streaming platform adds three new productions to its online offerings including Mozart’s Le Nozze di Figaro directed by GNO Alternative Stage Artistic Director Alexandros Efklidis and conducted by Vassilis Christopoulos, A Shepherdess I Loved… based on 19th century French musicologist Louis-Albert Bourgault-Ducoudray’s time in Greece, and the 6th Greek National Opera Online Festival titled “The Bear and the Baritone on Other Planets,” comprising three family-friendly productions: The Bear’s Tales, Bridget Planet, and The Baritone’s Shoes.
GNO Artistic Director Giorgos Koumendakis said:
“The Greek National Opera welcomes audiences once again to its venues at the Stavros Niarchos Foundation Cultural Center after the forced pause that was put on live events due to the pandemic. Over the last months, from March 2020, our theater did not stop, not even for one moment, to create and discover new ways to keep the relationship with our audience alive. The launch of GNO TV gave us the chance to continue producing performances, as the high filming quality and digital transmission offered an alternative solution of presenting them to the public, in Greece and abroad. At the same time, we created a series of online festivals of music theater and dance, we presented performances and concerts at archaeological sites across Greece, and organized a series of recitals and galas in unique open air spaces in Athens featuring celebrated opera artists.
“Our return to the stage and our much-awaited in-person reunion with our audiences will signal a new reality that will, hopefully, soon lead us back to normalcy. The October to December 2021 program at the Stavros Niarchos Hall will offer remarkable opera and dance performances, as well as special concerts and galas. At the same time, our new premieres on GNO TV will continue to spread our artistic productions across the world, rendering our art accessible to everyone. On a more personal note, I am happy that my opera The Murderess returns to the stage seven years after its world premiere, with a new cast of exceptional performers.
“The Greek National Opera managed to come out of the pandemic stronger and more creative, and having the great support of the Greek State and the Ministry of Culture and Sports, as well as of the grant from the Stavros Niarchos Foundation, I am certain that the best days are still ahead of us.”