The tragic opera Lucia di Lammermoor, one of the masterpieces of the romantic Bel Canto period, will be in Athens at the new Greek National Opera for eight performances, in a co-production with the Royal Opera House, London, subversively directed and with an excellent cast. Lucia di Lammermoor is one of Donizetti's most performed operas; it was composed at the peak of his fame and is based on Salvatore Cammarano's libretti, which was an adaptation of the Scottish historical novel "The Bride of Lammermoor" by author Sir Walter Scott.
The Plot and the Director Katie Mitchell’s Point of View
Scott's Lucia is a romantic, emotionally weak girl who despite this is vigorous in her resist when put between the long-standing feud of her family, and her beloved’s family. Through the actions and views of the protagonist, the story offers particular insight into the social status of women in the 19th century. Katie Mitchell has been directing operas since 2000, at some of the world's leading opera houses; she has already received popular acclaim from Greek audiences for her direction in Strindberg's "Miss Julie", staged at the 2012 Athens Festival. In this Lammermoor, Mitchell’s interesting and genuine “voice,” sheds light on the snapshots of female life, while creating an air and style similar to Emily and Charlotte Bronte.
The particularly demanding lead role, which was once performed by Maria Callas and Joan Sutherland, will be performed by Christina Poulitsi and Vasiliki Karayianni. The production will be conducted by Giorgos Petrou, together with the Greek National Opera’s current Artistic Director, Zoi Tsokanou. Premiere: March 14, 2018. Performances: March 14, 16, 17, 18, 21, 23, 24, 28, 2018.
MOZART'S THE MAGIC FLUTE AT THE NATIONAL GREEK OPERA – A KOMISCHE OPER BERLIN PRODUCTION
The Magic Flute is one of the most interesting operas in history, which captures Mozart's genius and his creative coexistence with the writer of the libretto, his friend, and singer, Schikaneder. Performed at the new location of the Greek National Opera, in an impressive production by Komishe Oper Berlin, the opera is expected to fascinate audiences by the production's sheer imagination, light directing, and emphasis on highlighting the content and its meaning; as well as the precision with which the artists perform, and all of the presentational elements needed for an impressive spectacle.
The Opera, Music, and Writing
Good and evil, their disguises, first impressions and the subsequent revelations, the power of love, the dark and the bright side of our personalities and actions, are all major themes in The Magic Flute, which still remains a difficult to interpret work; however, the result is delightful. Mozart uses different music genres – lyrical arias, coloratura arias, dramatic recitatives, ritual music, choral, Italian musical opera – which tie the meaning of the opera, that feels much like a fairytale, and imply a path to ultimate happiness, as perceived by Mozart and Schikaneder.
The Magic Flute is directed by Barrie Kosky, the Australian artistic director of the Komische Oper Berlin. Working with the British "1927" theatre company, Kosky used animation to produce opera in an experimental style, while preserving its essential ingredients: fairytale, joy, inventive turns, contrast, and optimism. There are distinctive references ranging from Buster Keaton and silent films, to Louise Brooks and Terry Gilliam. Christina Poulitsi, Vasiliki Karayanni and Dimitra Kotidou play the Queen of the Night; Zoi Tsokanou and Giorgos Balatsinos are the conductors.
The Radio France Philharmonic Orchestra will perform for the first time at the Athens Concert Hall, with two acclaimed and award winning piano soloists, Khatia Buniatishvili and George-Emmanuel Lazaridis. The performance of these two piano virtuosos is considered a major musical event in the world of classical music, while the works that will be presented are extremely appealing to the general public.
The Radio France Philharmonic Orchestra has been active for 80 years and has had a continuous artistic career with classical music performances from romantic to contemporary compositions, while its collaborations have been with the world’s greatest conductors. This exceptional event at the Athens Concert Hall is particularly satisfying for classical music connoisseurs globally.
Superstar pianist Buniatishvili enchants her audiences with effortless performances, characteristic ease and beautiful appearance. With her mother as a teacher, Buniatishvili began playing the piano when she was 3 years old, and gave her first piano recital - alongside with her sister who is also a talented pianist – at just 6 years of age. By the age of 10, Buniatishvili had already performed in Europe and the USA. Born in Georgia, she graduated from the Tbilisi Central Music School; in 2006 she completed her piano studies at the University of Music and Performing Arts, Vienna with Oleg Maizenberg as her professor. Buniatishvili made her debut as a professional in 2008 at Carnegie Hall, and has literally performed all over the world. She has an exclusive cooperation with SONY Classical and has received some of the world’s most prestigious classical music awards. Buniatishvili speaks 5 languages fluently including Georgian, French, German, English, and Russian.
Born in Thessaloniki in 1978, pianist and composer George-Emmanuel Lazaridis studied piano on scholarship from the Onassis, Leventi, Hattori and Queen Elizabeth II foundations. During the 25 years of his professional career, Lazaridis has performed at music centers all over the world including Royal Albert Hall, Carnegie Hall, Wiener Musikverein, as well as dozens of international festivals, accompanied by top philharmonic orchestras and exceptional conductors. Lazaridis has delivered countless seminars at renowned music universities, while – according to the most prestigious music magazines – his recordings are considered among the best of all time. His compositional work includes choral, dance and theatrical music, and he has been the Artistic Director of the Thessaloniki Concert Hall since 2010.
The two pianists will perform Debussy, Rachmaninoff, Sibelius, Berlioz, Ravel, and Frank on March 7th and 8th.
One of the most important choreographers on the contemporary dance scene worldwide and an outstanding performer is once again coming to the OCC in Athens to present the world premiere of his new work bearing the Greek title of ‘XENOS’ (meaning ‘foreigner’ or ‘stranger’). Accompanied by five musicians on stage, Khan will take the audience on a journey into enticing contemporary dance, rousing rhythms of his own creation and his own universe that includes the classical Indian Kathak blended with modern dance.
The son of immigrants, he conquered London and the world
Khan was born in London to parents from Bangladesh. He began to study the traditional South Asian dance form, Kathak, when he was 7 and at 13 took part in Peter Brook’s Mahabharata. He was responsible for staging part of the Opening Ceremony for the London 2012 Olympic Games and has worked with renowned actors, dancers and choreographers, earning a number of international awards. This will be his third appearance at OCC. He has said that he is no longer able to perform major solo roles and plans to limit himself to choreography and smaller roles in future. But for now, let’s enjoy him.
The Penthesilea of erotic desire, adoration, obsession and imperious behaviour, Kleist’s Penthesilea, talks about love and war, passion and power, and the battle between the sexes that never stops. It opens 14 February to coincide with a more romantic version of love, with a powerful cast: Vicky Volioti, Thanos Tokakis, Argyris Xafis, Syrmo Keke and Iro Bezou; Penthesilea promises to be fascinating, if not tempestuous, just like the life of the author himself.
One of the greatest German playwrights and poets of the 19th century
Kleist (October 1777-November 1811), descended from an aristocratic family of military officers, attempted to follow a secure military career, but ultimately the only thing he pursued was his need to experiment, push past limits and take risks. He lived in various places around Europe —France, Switzerland and Prussia— swept along by a sense of adventure. He worked with Goethe to produce the great comedy, The Broken Jug, and, aside from Penthesilea, wrote The Schroffenstein Family and the better known Prince of Homburg. He published a magazine and a newspaper, along with short stories and essays. Marked by tragedy to the end, he committed suicide after helping a woman friend die.
Pantelis Dentakis’ Penthesilea
Penthesilea has been the object of directorial experimentation for dozens of acclaimed directors both in Greece and abroad. Actor and director Pantelis Dentakis graduated from the Greek National Theatre Drama School and has worked with numerous prominent theatrical companies and groups as a director and with important directors as an actor.