Alternative Stage

Udo Zimmermann 

Weisse Rose

Contemporary repertoire opera

Greek premiere

3, 4, 8, 10, 11, 15, 17, 18 November 2018

Greek National Opera Alternative Stage
Stavros Niarchos Foundation Cultural Center

Starts at: 20.30

Conductor Nicolas Vassiliou 
Director Themelis Glynatsis
Set-Costume designer Alexia Theodoraki
Lighting design Stella Kaltsou
Video Marios Gabierakis, Chrysoula Korovesi

Sophie Scholl Aphrodite Patoulidou
Hans Scholl Christos Kechris

Antonis Gritsis actor
With the participation of Irini-Anastasia Vougiouka

With the participation of a 15-member music ensemble 

   Founding Donor of the Alternative Stage:   

Ticket prices: €15, €20
Students, children: €10

Ticket prices: €15, €20
Students, children: €15 



  • © Andreas Simopoulos

  • © Andreas Simopoulos

  • © Andreas Simopoulos

  • © Andreas Simopoulos

Τhe famous opera Weisse Rose (1986) by the great German composer Udo Zimmermann receives its first national premiere at the GNO Alternative Stage, conducted by Nicolas Vassiliou and directed by Themelis Glynatsis, one of the most outstanding directors of his generation.

“We will not remain silent, we are your bad conscience, the White Rose will not leave you in peace…” These are the closing words of the fourth manifesto of the anti-nazi student group named “The White Rose” (Die Weisse Rose), formed at the University of Munich. This particular manifesto was the cause for the arrest of the group’s leaders, Hans Scholl and his sister Sophie. After a long-hour interrogation by Gestapo, the siblings were executed by guillotine on 22 February 1943.

This is the historical framework surrounding Udo Zimmermann’s opera Die weisse Rose, whose first version was written in 1967. However, the composer reworked his material in 1986. In the new version, titled Weisse Rose, the action is no longer linear, and the characters are limited to the two Scholl siblings. Centred around the wait before their execution, Zimmermann creates a musical theatre work, where historical re-enactment gives its place to a heart-wrenching, deeply personal exploration of morality, death and political responsibility.

The play’s core is an “architectural” dramaturgy, during which, the stage becomes the construction site of a detention cell, and at the same time, the place where the prison is demolished through the near-death, poetic reverie of the two characters. In the end, a new, hidden landscape of emotion, freedom and disobedience is revealed.

“At the heart of the performance lies the solitude of the two characters, which does not allow the audience to decide whether they really coexist in the same vast space, or whether they communicate in another, more mystical way. Solitude, which imposes a second reality between memory and religious vision, leads to the need for redemption, and at the same time, to political aggression”, notes the director Themelis Glynatsis.


Nicolas Vassiliou

Pianist, conductor and composer, born in Athens. He studied piano and theory in Athens and New York, as well as conducting at the Royal Scottish Academy of Music and Drama (RSAMD) (Athens Academy scholarship). He taught music in schools; piano and chorus direction at the National Conservatory of Athens. Director of the “Manolis Kalomiris” Children’s Chorus (1992-2000), he has collaborated, among others, with the Greek National Opera, Athens Festival, Athens Concert Hall. Since 1994, as a chorepetitor he has participated in the musical preparation of more than sixty GNO productions. GNO Chorus master (2005/11), head of the GNO Studio Opera (2012/15) and conductor of the Contemporary Opera since 2010, with plenty Greek premieres in his career. Music consultant of the Athens Festival (2017/18). He has conducted, among others, the GNO Orchestra, Athens State Orchestra, Hellenic Broadcasting Corporation Orchestra, City of Athens Orchestra.

Themelis Glynatsis

Born in Athens, he studied comparative literature, ancient theatre and theatre in the UK. He has directed works by H. Müller, S. Mallarmé, Sophocles, B. M. Koltès, among others. In 2014 he directed the work Y los peces salieron a combatir contra los hombres by A. Liddell (Athens Festival) and the opera Cendrillon by P. Viardot. In 2015, he directed Romanticism (Onassis Cultural Center) and Bérénice by Racine (Athens Festival). In the same year, he directed Schubert’s Winterreise (Art Theatre, Athens), and Salome by O. Wilde (Cyclades Street Theatre). In 2016, he directed G. F. Handel’s Alcina and Koumendakis’ 57 (Cyclades Street Theatre), while in 2017 he adapted and directed E.T.A. Hoffmann’s novella The Sandman (Skrow Theatre). Co-founder and head of the theatre artistic programming of the KNOT Gallery (2010/13).

Alexia Theodoraki
Sets, costumes

Set and costume designer, she was born in Athens where she studied classical guitar at the Apollonio Conservatory, as well as design and art, next to artist G. Bournazakis. After completing her studies at the Institut Français d’Athènes translation department, she continued her studies in Venice, graduating from the sets-costumes department of the Fine Arts Academy. She has worked as a set and costume designer in the theatre, opera, music theatre, cinema, in Greek and foreign productions. She has collaborated, among others, with Th. Gkonis, T. Rantzos, A. Efklidis, A. Karazisis, Th. Glynatsis, R. Gaitanou, M. Gyparaki, F. Baxevani, D. Sklavos, K. Flessas, T. Touliatos, D. Piatas, A. Papadatou, S. Livathinos, P. Voulgaris, G. Sakaridis, A. Sidiropoulou, K. Arvanitaki, E. Fezollari. Her collaborations also include the NTNG, Municipal and Regional Theatres of Kavala, Serres, Agrinio and Kozani, Athens and Epidaurus Festival, Thessaloniki Opera, GNO, Teatro Verdi (Trieste) and Rafi Music Theatre Company. Weisse Rose is her fourth collaboration with Th. Glynatsis and her ninth with the GNO.

Stella Kaltsou

Born in Thessaloniki, she studied theatre lighting, sets and theatre theory at the Fine Arts sector of the AUTH Theatre department, graduating in 2009. She worked next to George Tellos as a lighting design assistant (2011/13). Collaborator of the Lighting Art and member of the Hellenic Film Academy. She has designed the lighting for operas, dance performances and concerts at the Hong Kong Opera, Lisbon Opera, Handel Festival, Ópera de Oviedo, GNO, Onassis Cultural Center, Athens Concert Hall, Thessaloniki Concert Hall, Festival of the Aegean (Syros). She has designed lighting for various productions at the National Theatre, Epidaurus Theatre, NTNG, Üsküdar Theatre, Art Theatre (Athens), Odeon of Herodes Atticus, Cyclades Street Theatre, Municipal Theatre of Piraeus, etc. She has collaborated with directors A. Bernard, R. Zanella, Y. Houvardas, N. Mastorakis, M. Kalbari, K. Rigos, G. Petrou, P. Tiboris, Th. Glynatsis, etc. She was art director in three movies (most recent D. Athanitis’ Invisible).

Marios Gabierakis,
Chrysoula Korovesi Video

Marios Gabierakis and Chrysoula Korovesi run together the artistic office “Mavra Gidia” (Black Goats). Since 2014 they are into graphic arts, illustration, animation and digital picture. They have designed projections for children’s performances that were staged at the Acropol Theatre, Municipal Theatre of Piraeus, Gloria Theatre, and for the plays Enter Sandman (dir. Themelis Glynatsis, SCROW Theatre, 2017), Arrival (dir. Io Voulgaraki, Little Theatre of Ancient Epidaurus, Athens Festival 2017), και Fahrenheit 451 (dir. Th. Moschopoulos, Athens Festival 2018).

Antonis Gritsis

He studied classical philology in Crete and acting at the Art Theatre, Athens. He has collaborated with M. Kalbari, Ath. Karayannopoulou, Ap. Papadamaki, D. Degaiti, V. Myrianthopoulos, D. Fragkioglou, D. Adamis, K. Spanou, A. Brouskou, G. Angelopoulos, D. Vergados, E. Georgopoulou, V. Noula, D. Giannoulatou, Th. Glynatsis, Il. Ellinikioti, G. Skourletis. He has performed in short films and in television series. He attended Takis Sinopoulos’ Poetry Workshop, he tutors high school students in philology, he has worked at the Metropolis bookstore and has written articles in literature magazines. For the production My neighbour Napoleon Lapathiotis he received the Queer Theatre Award in acting (2017). His last appearance was in the work Bolivar, based on the poem of the same name by Nikos Engonopoulos, presented at the Neos Kosmos Theatre.

Christos Kechris
Hans Scholl

Tenor, he has been collaborating with the GNO since 2008. He studied classical guitar under I. Kolanian and he is a graduate of the Faculty of Theatre Studies (University of Athens). He has interpreted, among others, Don Ottavio (Don Giovanni), Tamino / Monostatos (Die Zauberflöte), Polidoro (La finta semplice), Conte Eugenio (L’amante di tutte), Beppe (Pagliacci), Goro (Madama Butterfly), Remendado (Carmen), Janek (The Makropulos Affair), Tanzmeister (Ariadne auf Naxos), Young servant (Elektra), Cricket (Z), Orestes (Oresteia). He has also interpreted oratorios by Lully, Charpentier, Goldberg, Händel, Haydn and Mozart. As a soloist he collaborated with orchestras and theatres in Switzerland, Germany, Austria, Italy, Slovenia, Turkey, France, Croatia. He has worked with the Athens Symphony Orchestra, Armonia Atenea, Hellenic Broadcasting Corporation Orchestra, Latinitas Nostra, Athens Municipality Symphony Orchestra, National Theatre, Athens Festival, Athens and Thessaloniki Concert Halls, Onassis Cultural Center, Greek Composers’ Union, etc.

Aphrodite Patoulidou
Sophie Scholl

Soprano, she was born in 1992 in Thessaloniki. She studied at the University of Macedonia, Greece, at the Flemish Royal Conservatory of Brussels, at the Berlin University of Arts, and spent a long time in Paris. She studies with Aris Argyris and is a member of Equilibrium Young Artists. She has performed in many European festivals and as an actress in short films. Among her roles are Elle (Poulenc’s La Voix humaine), Rosina (Il barbiere di Siviglia), Lucy (Menotti’s The Telephone), Goddess Aphrodite (world premiere of Abazis’ opera Hera), Single mother (Daigger’s MiniBar). She has interpreted symphonic works, has studied contemporary and traditional singing and plays the guitar and the piano. She is into poetry, composition and photography. Her first illustrated poetry collection under the title 17.5 almost 18 received the 1st Pan-Hellenic prize of poetry. She likes snow and comics. Not necessarily combined.