The Greek National Opera Announces Full Scale Live Productions in October-December 2020 Season

The Greek National Opera will resume full scale, fully staged live performances this autumn in the Stavros Niarchos Hall at SNFCC, with an exciting season from October to December featuring a revival of Hugo de Ana’s acclaimed 2017 Madama Butterfly for 12 performances from 11 October, a special one-off piano recital in the Stravros Niarchos Hall as part of the Greek National Opera Alternative Stage Piano Festival which this year marks 250 years since the birth of Beethoven and is presented by some of the country’s finest soloists under the baton of Ondrej Olos on the 05 November, a new production of Don Quixote by the Greek National Opera Ballet directed by celebrated choreographer Thiago Bordin for 8 performances from 21 November and the world premiere of a new international co-production of Don Giovanni, directed by Royal Danish Opera Artistic Director John Fulljames and co-produced with the Göteborg Opera and the Royal Danish Opera will open for 8 performances from 11 December.

With coronavirus having virtually wiped out live performance in Europe since March, and opera particularly badly affected due to the cost of productions and size of houses, many of Europe’s top opera houses are keeping doors shut for the rest of 2020.

However, the Greek National Opera’s decision to re-open, with public health and safety as top priority and driven chiefly by Greece’s pragmatic and widely praised handling of the pandemic, is symbolic of its flourishing role as one of the continent’s most ambitious opera houses.

Prior to lockdown the Greek National Opera was riding high on the back of Olivier Py’s acclaimed production of Wozzeck and preparing to host Yorgos Lanthimos’s new project in collaboration with NEON, The Seven Deaths of Maria Callas with Marina Abramović, Anita Rachvelishvili’s debut in the role of Charlotte in Werther, and a new Rigoletto at the Odeon of Herodes Atticus.

During lockdown, the GNO streamed a series of historic performances and as the nation re-opened, played an integral role in the nationwide festival All of Greece, one culture, including a live-streamed concert with an exclusive performance by Anita Rachvelishvili at the Roman Agora in the shadow of the Acropolis which was watched online by over 1 million people.

In the autumn the GNO will announce the 2021 programme, with which they will celebrate the 200th anniversary of the Greek Revolution of 1821. The Stavros Niarchos Foundation supports the GNO artistic program of the Bicentennial Anniversary from the Greek Revolution of 1821.

The 2021 programme features an ambitious operatic co-production of the GNO and the Bavarian State Opera, the Berlin State Opera, the Maggio Musicale Fiorentino and the Opera National de Paris, postponed from this year, The Seven Deaths of Maria Callas by Marina Abramovic.

Beyond the anniversary season the Greek National Opera can also announce a grand concert by Jonas Kaufman, sponsored by Rolex, which will see the ‘king of tenors’ performing at the Odeon of Herodes Atticus for the first time ever in September 2021.

Greek National Opera Artistic Director Giorgos Koumendakis said:

The past four months have not been easy for anyone in the cultural sector, and opera has been struck particularly hard. Given that we were in the midst of our most artistically and internationally ambitious season ever, and on the verge of announcing an even bigger season to mark the 200th anniversary of the Greek revolution in 2021, we are more determined than ever to resume staging world class productions.

The productions we announce today bring together the finest talent in Greece and a host of collaborators from around the world, to create world class, highly original and artistically adventurous interpretations of our finest operas and ballets.”

The Greek National Opera continues to develop and expand its artistic outreach policy, which the Stavros Niarchos Foundation (SNF) so generously supports through its four-year-long grant of 20,000,000 euros.

Please see Autumn programme here:

Autumn Programme

Please find here the full GNO season programme here:

GNO Season Programme

Greek National Opera October – December Programme

Madama Butterfly

Giacomo Puccini

11, 14, 16, 18, 20, 23, 25, 30 October 2020

1, 8, 15, 22 November 2020 [Starts at 20.00 | Sundays 18.30]

GNO Stavros Niarchos Hall – Stavros Niarchos Foundation Cultural Center

  • Conductor: Lucas Karytinos
  • Director, sets, costumes: Hugo de Ana
  • Video projection designer: Ideogamma – Sergio Metalli
  • Lighting designer: Vinicio Cheli
  • Chorus master: Agathangelos Georgakatos
  • Cio-Cio-San: Ermonela Jaho, Cellia Costea, Kristīne Opolais
  • Suzuki: Olesya Petrova, Chryssanthi Spitadi
  • Pinkerton: Gianluca Terranova, Dimitris Paksoglou
  • Sharpless: Dionysios Sourbis, Nikos Kοtenidis
  • Goro: Nicholas Stefanou, Yannis Kalyvas
  • Bonze: Yanni Yannissis, Dimitris Kassioumis
  • With the Orchestra, Chorus and Soloists of the GNO

Giacomo Puccini’s Madama Butterfly is a milestone work for the Greek National Opera, since this October marks the 80th anniversary of Butterfly’s historic GNO premiere on the 25 October 1940, just after the company had been founded and three days prior to the declaration of the Greco-Italian war. That historic premiere, held on the National Theatre’s main stage, was attended by the composer’s son, Antonio Puccini and the Italian Ambassador in Athens, Emanuele Grazzi who only a few hours later, would deliver to the Greek government the Italian ultimatum threatening war.

Madama Butterfly returns to GNO’s new home at the Stavros Niarchos Foundation Cultural Center, is a significant one, not only to celebrate this historic anniversary but to signal GNO’s return after the pandemic and to show that art and culture not only survive in the most adverse conditions, but provide a driving force to society.

This impressive new version of Hugo de Ana’s revival, first premiered at the Herodeion in 2017, and will be specifically tailored to the stage of the Stavros Niarchos Hall with traditional Japanese costumes and sets, as well as video projections that offer a spectacular backdrop of the country of the rising sun.

Leading the celebrated cast and sharing the lead role is soprano Ermonela Jaho, once described by the Economist as “the world’s most acclaimed soprano”, internationally renowned soprano Kristīne Opolais, whom the Greek audience had the chance to see 12 years ago in the role of Tosca and the Greek National Opera’s leading singer, Cellia Costea. The cast is completed with Gianluca Terranova, Dimitris Paksoglou, Dionysios Sourbis, Nikos Kotenidis, Olesya Petrova, Chryssanthi Spitadi, Nicholas Stefanou, Yannis Kalyvas, Yanni Yannissis and Dimitris Kassioumis.

The production is achieved thanks to the grant from the Stavros Niarchos Foundation (SNF) for the enhancement of Greek National Opera’s artistic outreach. Ticket prices: €15, €20, €30, €35, €42, €50, €55, €70 | Students, children: €12 | Limited visibility seats: €10

Ticket presale starts at the beginning of September.

Piano recital

250 years of Beethoven

As part of the 2020 GNO Alternative Stage Piano Festival

5 November 2020 [Starts at 20.00]

  • GNO Stavros Niarchos Hall – Stavros Niarchos Foundation Cultural Center
  • Conductor: Ondrej Olos
  • Soloists: Christos Papageorgiou, Vassilis Varvaresos, Haralambos Angelopoulos (piano), Iasonas Keramidis (violin), Angelos Liakakis (violoncello)
  • Chorus master: Agathangelos Georgakatos
  • With the GNO Orchestra and Chorus

The 2020 Greek National Opera Alternative Stage Piano Festival reaches its pinnacle with a very special concert to celebrate 250 years since the great composer Beethoven’s birth, that will be held at the Stavros Niarchos Hall in the Stavros Niarchos Foundation Cultural Center. The GNO Orchestra and Chorus join forces with acclaimed soloists; Christos Papageorgiou, Vassilis Varvaresos, Haralambos Angelopoulos (piano), Iasonas Keramidis (violin) and Angelos Liakakis (violoncello), who will perform three popular repertoire works: Concerto for piano and orchestra in D major, op. 61a; Triple concerto for violin, cello, piano and orchestra in C major, op. 56; Choral fantasy for piano, chorus and orchestra in C minor, op. 80.

The festival is organized in collaboration with the Thessaloniki Piano Festival and its Artistic curator Haralambos Angelopoulos.

Ticket prices: €10, €15, €20, €25 | Students, children: €10 | Limited visibility seats: €10

Ticket presale starts in September

Don Quixote

Ludwig Minkus

21, 29 November 2020

6, 19, 24, 26, 30, 31 December 2020 [Starts at 20.00 | Sundays 18.30]

GNO Stavros Niarchos Hall – Stavros Niarchos Foundation Cultural Center

  • Conductor: Stathis Soulis
  • Choreographer: Thiago Bordin
  • Sets: George Souglides
  • Costumes: Mary Katrantzou
  • Animation: Eirini Vianelli
  • Lighting: Christos Tziogas

The Greek National Opera Ballet opens the new season with an ambitious production of one of the much-loved 19th-century classics and popular ballet repertoire works; Ludwig Minkus’s Don Quixote. With Marius Petipa’s classical choreography: the definitive balletic adaptation of Cervantes’ genre defining novel had been scheduled for March this year but had to be postponed due to the pandemic.

Petipa’s masterpiece, which first premiered at the Bolshoi Theatre in 1869, draws direct influence from the colours, iconography and traditional music of Spain and is renowned for its technicality and complexity. Through Minkus’s unique music, the choreography tells an enduringly and moving story with warmth and romance in this energetic and witty ballet.

For this new production, the Director of the GNO Ballet, Konstantinos Rigos has chosen an ensemble of world-class creatives: choreographer Thiago Bordin, the set design by internationally acclaimed Greek designer George Souglides, alongside the animator Eirini Vianelli, the costumes are designed by the celebrated Greek fashion designer Mary Katrantzou and lighting designer Christos Tziogas.

Konstantinos Rigos said;“As classical ballet is the focus of the GNO Ballet, from the moment I became its director, I had wanted to present a classical Don Quixote. It is a work I love and believe that our team can perform it to a very high level. Of course, my idea of classical has nothing to do with dusty paper sets and mothball-smelling costumes. That is why from the very beginning I looked for creatives that have an exciting take on things and a unique aesthetic. For the creative revival of Petipa’s choreography we invited the distinguished choreographer and dancer of the Hamburg Ballet and the Nederlands Dans Theater, Thiago Bordin. Τhe set is designed by our highly inspired set designer George Souglides, who excels at Europe’s opera houses, along with animator Eirini Vianelli. For the costumes we have the pleasure to bring for the first time to the Greek National Opera, the top Greek fashion designer with the unique international career Mary Katrantzou, who redefines in an exceptional way the meaning of the ballet costume. Along with the Orchestra, conducted by Stathis Soulis, and the unique dancers of the Greek National Opera’s Corps de ballet, I am certain that we will create a Don Quixote which is both classical and contemporary.”

The GNO Orchestra will be conducted by the talented conductor Stathis Soulis, with the participation of the Principal Dancers, Soloists, Demi-Soloists, and the Corps de Ballet of the GNO.

The production is achieved thanks to the support from the Stavros Niarchos Foundation’s grant for the enhancement of Greek National Opera’s artistic outreach.

Ticket prices: €15, €20, €30, €35, €40, €45, €50, €70 | Students, children: €12 | Limited visibility seats: €10

Ticket presale starts in September

Don Giovanni

Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart

A co-production of the Greek National Opera with the Göteborg Opera (Sweden) and the Royal Danish Opera

11, 13, 16, 18, 20, 22, 27, 29 December 2020 [Starts at 19.30 | Sundays 18.30]

GNO Stavros Niarchos Hall – Stavros Niarchos Foundation Cultural Center

  • Conductor: Daniel Smith
  • Director: John Fulljames
  • Collaborating director: Aylin Bozok
  • Sets: Dick Bird
  • Costumes: Annemarie Woods
  • Lighting designer: Fabiana Piccioli
  • Chorus master: Agathangelos Georgakatos
  • Don Giovanni: Tassis Christoyannis, Dionysios Sourbis
  • Donna Anna: Vassiliki Karayanni, T.B.A.
  • Don Ottavio: Yannis Christopoulos, Vassilis Kavayas
  • Il Commendatore: Petros Magoulas, Alexandros Stavrakakis
  • Donna Elvira: Anna Stylianaki, Artemis Bogri
  • Leporello: Tassos Apostolou, Haris Andrianos
  • Masetto: George Mattheakakis
  • Zerlina: Chrissa Maliamani, Miranda Makrynioti

This new production of Mozart’s Don Giovanni is an international co-production of the Greek National Opera with two major North-European opera houses, the Göteborg Opera, and the Royal Danish Opera. This production will be directed by distinguished director and artistic director of the Royal Danish Opera, John Fulljames, and will premiere in Athens and then be presented in both Göteborg and Copenhagen.

Mozart’s opera about the unscrupulous nobleman Don Giovanni is one of the darkest operas. Its comic moments, well-observed female characters, and complex lead character place it firmly among the greatest operas of all time. Fulljames has set his production in an elegant hotel where the rich and jaded live the high life while the staff sweep away the evidence of their excesses and the outrageous behaviour of this arrogant young man.

As the director John Fulljames notes, “Don Giovanni is an enduring opera because it has so many aspects; there is a lot of humour 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.”

In Don Giovanni – one of the milestones of the operatic repertoire – Mozart portrays through his music all the aspects of the trajectory of a man who fights with God and takes his fate into his own hands.

The main roles are performed by distinguished soloists; Tassis Christoyannis, Dionysios Sourbis, Vassiliki Karayanni, Yannis Christopoulos, Vassilis Kavayas, Tassos Apostolou, Haris Andrianos, Petros Magoulas, Alexandros Stavrakakis, Anna Stylianaki, Artemis Bogri

Acclaimed European-based, Australian Daniel Smith conducts.

The production is realized thanks to the grant from the Stavros Niarchos Foundation (SNF) for the enhancement of the Greek National Opera’s artistic outreach.

Ticket prices: €15, €20, €35, €40, €50, €55, €60, €80 | Students, children: €15 | Limited visibility: €10

Ticket presale starts in September

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