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July 14, 2010
nikos

Press Release

 

OPERA

Aida Opera in four acts

Music Giuseppe Verdi

Libretto Antonio Ghislanzoni

Based on a scenario by Auguste Mariette

 

HERODES ATTICUS ODEON

July 23, 24, 28 2010 (3 performances)

The performances begin at 21.00

IN COLLABORATION WITH THE CITY OF ATHENS

 

The Greek National Opera presents its second production (after Norma) this summer at the Herodes Atticus Odeon: Aida, one of Giuseppe Verdi’s most popular operas, in a production based on Dino Yannopoulos’s historic mise-en-scène of 1991.

The premiere will take place on Friday, 23 July 2010.

The cast comprises internationally acclaimed foreign and Greek performers.

 

 

 

A 2010 GNO PRODUCTION

Conductor Lukas Karytinos

Stage Adaptation Panaghis Pagoulatos

Set and Costume Adaptation Tota Pritsa

Choreography Adaptation Irina Akrioti-Kolioubakina

Lighting Nikos Ergazakis

Band Conductor George Aravidis

 

Orchestra, Chorus and Ballet at the Greek National Opera

Chorus Master Nikos Vassiliou

 

 

1991 GNO PRODUCTION

Director Dino Yannopoulos

Sets Yannis Karydis

Costumes Lisa Zaimi

Choreography Yannis Metsis

 

 

CAST

Aida Tiziana Caruso (23 & 28/7), Hui He (24/7)

Amneris Elena Cassian (23 & 28/7), Chariklia Mavropoulou (24/7)

Radames Stuart Neill (23 & 24/7), Badri Maisuradze (28/7)

Amonasro Yannis Yannissis (23/7), Dimitris Platanias (24 & 28/7)

Ramfis Dimitris Kavrakos (23 & 28/7), Christophoros Stamboglis (24/7)

The King of Egypt Dimitris Kassioumis (23 & 28/7), Tassos Apostolou (24/7)

Messenger Dimitris Sigalos (23 & 28/7), Nikos Stefanou (24/7)

Priestess Artemis Bogri (23 & 28/7), Ines Zikou (24/7)

 

The opera Aida is a landmark not just in the history of Italian opera, but in the history of international music as well. Widely known for the wonderful grand march of victory in Act II, it focuses equally on the emotions of the protagonists: the brave Radames and the two passionate women who seek his favours, Aida and Amneris.

 

The libretto for the four-act opera was penned by Antonio Ghislanzoni, based on a scenario by Frenchman Auguste Mariette. The story is set in Egypt, specifically in Memphis and Thebes, during the reign of the mighty pharaohs. Aida, daughter of the king of Ethiopia, is the slave of Amneris, daughter of the king of Egypt. Both women are in love with Radames, the commander of the Egyptian army, who returns victoriously from his campaign against Ethiopia. Bowing to pressure from her father, Aida lures Radames into divulging a strategic secret. Infuriated by his betrayal, Amneris accuses him of treason. She later tries to save him, but to no avail. Radames is convicted by the council of priests to be buried alive in an underground crypt. Knowing the fate of Radames, Aida has snuck into the crypt in order to die in the arms of her beloved.

 

Giuseppe Verdi, the most popular composer of the Italian Romantic period, was born in Le Roncole in northern Italy in 1813 and died in Milan in 1901. He studied music in the provincial town of Busseto and later in Milan. His early works were influenced by the revolutionary spirit that prevailed across Italy, and they echoed the struggle for independence of Italian city states from Austrian rule and their unification into one sovereign country. Verdi’s political activism soon elevated him to the status of a national symbol and in 1861 he was elected a member of the first Italian Chamber of Deputies.

His most famous operas are: Nabucco (1842), Rigoletto (1851), Il trovatore (1853), La traviata (1853), La forza del destino (1862), Aida (1871), Otello (1887) and Falstaff (1893).

 

Aida premiered at the Cairo Opera on December 24, 1871, and was conducted by the composer and double bass virtuoso Giovanni Bottesini. On February 8, 1872, the Teatro alla Scala in Milan staged the opera’s European premiere. The Greek National Opera presented its first production of Aida in 1958 for the inauguration of the present-day Olympia Theatre.

 

 

Tickets go on sale: Thursday, July 1, 2010

At the box office of the OLYMPIA THEATRE, 59-61 Academias, Athens

Daily 9.00–21.00 / tel 210 3662 100, 210 3612 461, 210 3643 725

www.nationalopera.gr

 

AND from the ATHENS FESTIVAL box office, Pesmazoglou Arcade, 39 Panepistimiou, Athens

Monday to Friday 8.30–16.00 / Saturday 9.00-14.30

www.greekfestival.gr

 

Ticket prices

Lower tiers €100, €85, €65, €55, €45

Upper tiers €30 / Children, students €15


July 13, 2010
nikos

Following on from the recent success of Norma at the Odeon of Herodes Atticus Theatre, which we managed to achieve thanks to the major turnout from the public and the contribution of both management and employees of the Greek National Opera, we remain firmly committed to our new vision of an opera that stages performances all year round, and thus we have decided to stage Giuseppe Verdi’s opera Aida at the Odeon of Herodes Atticus Theatre on Friday 23, Saturday 24 and Wednesday 28 July at 21:00 hours.

 

This opera, which is a milestone in Italian and international musical history, is one of the composer’s most popular works and is renowned for its wonderful arias and melodies and for its triumphal march which is highly popular with fans of music and the public in general. Sitting in the shadow of the Acropolis, this Ancient Roman Odeon will be the backdrop for a dazzling host of performers (musicians, chorists, dancers, extras and soloists) who will give the very best they have to offer as they flawlessly stage this popular opera.

 

The 2010 version of Aida is based on the GNO’s historical production from 1991 which was directed back then by Dinos Giannopoulos, with sets by Giannis Karydis, costumes by Liza Zaimi and choreography by Giannis Metsis. Panagis Pagoulatos has undertaken the task of bringing those old stage directions up to date. Sets and costumes are been revised by Tota Pritsa and the choreography has been undertaken by Irina Akrioti. Loukas Karytinos who conducted the original GNO Orchestra back then will conduct it again now. The performance will feature an international cast of soloists: Aida (Hui He and Tiziana Caruso), Amneris (Elena Kassian / Hariklia Mavropoulou), Radames (Stewart Neil / Badri Maisuratze), Amonasro (Giannis Giannissis / Dimitris Platanias), Ramfis (Dimitris Kavrakos / Christoforos Stamboglis), and King of Egypt (Dimitris Kasioumis / Tassos Apostolou). The director of the GNO Chorus is Nikos Vasiliou.

 

Aida at the Odeon of Herodes Atticus Theatre is for all of us a sign of hope, and spiritual elevation, in a time when such things are more than needed. For all those working on this grandiose production, it is something more; a major challenge that we know that we can rise to with your presence at the Odeon of Herodes Atticus Theatre.

 

For your convenience, the ticket reservation service can be contacted at the above phone and fax numbers (Ticket prices: Lower tier €65, €55, €45, Prime Circle € 100 & €85, Upper Tier €30, Group Tickets Lower Tier €50 & €35 and Upper Tier € 25).

For your convenience, the ticket reservation service can be contacted at the above phone and fax numbers.

 

Thank you in advance and I look forward to seeing you at the Odeon of Herodes Atticus Theatre.

 

Best regards

Chairman and Managing Director of the GNO

 

Nikos Mourkogiannis


June 27, 2010
nikos

Athens, 4 June 2010

Today, at 11:30am, Culture and Tourism Minister Pavlos Geroulanos had an extended work session with the Chairman of the Board of Directors of the Greek National Opera, Mr. Nikos Mourkogiannis.

Mr. Geroulanos warmly congratulated Mr. Mourkogiannis and the entire GNO staff on the significant steps towards restructuring which were made during the past 65 days, i.e. since the day the new Board of Directors assumed its duties.

The measures, which were swiftly taken, constitute the first phase of the restructuring program and have resulted in, among other things, reducing the operating costs of the GNO by 37.5%, i.e. 12 million euros. This is a considerable amount, given that the GNO’s fixed cost expenditure up until April 1st, 2010 was around 25 million euros per annum, while financing from the Culture and Tourism Ministry has been de facto limited to 17.1 million euros per annum.

In the light of this achievement and the implementation of further measures, such as the crystallization of a viable Artistic Vision and the effort to turn the GNO into a model organization, the Culture and Tourism Minister decided to postpone taking a decision concerning the future of the Greek National Opera until August. The Minister’s decision as to whether or not the existing organization will continue to operate depends in large part on the results of the second phase of the GNO’s restructuring, i.e. the decisions of the Board of Directors that have already been taken, and especially the ones that concern:

1. The reduction of operating costs and the renegotiation and settlement of the GNO’s owed debts which, otherwise, will have to be managed with a special bankruptcy law, with adverse repercussions for all concerned.
2. Taking complete control of the contracts of employment and other actions that have caused the GNO’s financial problems, and ascribing responsibility to the full extent of the law.
3. The introduction of a system of continuous evaluation of the GNO’s entire staff with a view to further improving the quality of its performances and increasing the professionalism of its employees.
4. The development of a Flow Chart and the enactment of the GNO’s Statutes and Regulations according to international standards, with an aim to render the Greek National Opera capable of undertaking the project of moving to the Faliron Delta in 2015.
5. The possibility of amending the GNO’s Collective Business Contract of Employment to the benefit of the organization.

For his part, the Chairman of the GNO’s Board of Directors, Mr. Mourkogiannis, informed the Minister of the following:
1. Despite the drastic cuts in expenses which have been implemented over the past month and a half, the GNO is unable to cover its salary expense beyond September 1, 2010, due to the expenses of the previous period. Therefore, in order to continue operating, the National Opera must receive 6 million euros in financing within the month of August.
2. The renegotiation of the GNO’s 15 million euro debt is not possible now, nor will it be in the future, without the Government’s assistance.
3. A strategic issue faced by the Greek National Opera is the payment of large rents. Unlike its sister organizations, the Athens Concert Hall, the National Theater, et al., the GNO lacks the use of a self-owned building and will continue to do so until it moves to its new venue. Providing the National Opera with a self-owned building could put an end to all its financial problems.



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Nikos Mourkogiannis
Nikos is one of the world’s leading experts in the field of Strategic Leadership. With over 25 years experience at the highest levels of industry and strategy consulting, Nikos is an independent consultant who has created an elite global network of alliance partners specializing in Strategic Leadership, Purpose Led Transformation and Human Capital...
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