STAVROS NIARCHOS FOUNDATION
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Conductor: Nikos Tsouchlos
Director: Costas Athousakis
Screenplay: Calliope Bredologou
Director of photography: Yiannis Karabatsos
Costumes: Assi Dimitroulopoulou
Montage: Dimitris Polidoropoulos
Studio Recordings-Mixing: Kostas Bokos
Sound Recordist: Stefanos Efthymiou
Narration, Performance, Choreography: Elena Topalidou
Singer: Rosa Poulimenou-Cappon, mezzo-soprano
Musicians: Yannis Sambrovalakis(clarinet), Iris Louka(viola),Korina Vougiouka (guitar)
Dancers: Chrysoula Dimaki, Loukas Theodosopoulos, Marita Nikolitsa, Anastasia Pattelaki, Michalis Pinos, Stathis Tzouvaras
In collaboration with the Department of Music Studies of the Ionian University
Starts at: 21.30 |
The video will remain available online until 6/1
The Festival is made possible by a grant from the Stavros Niarchos Foundation (SNF) [www.SNF.org] to enhance the Greek National Opera’s artistic outreach
A dramatic monologue for mezzo-soprano, narrator, clarinet, viola and guitar, The Lady in the Moonlight (1977) is, from both the technical and the expressive point of view, one of the greatest achievements in the invaluable oeuvre of Yorgo Sicilianos(1920-2005), undoubtedly one of the most serious representatives of the Greek post-war musical avant-garde.
Based on the poem The Moonlight Sonata from Yannis Ritsos’ collection The Fourth Dimension, The Lady in the Moonlight consists of the “useless confession” of an aged woman, dressed in black, addressed to a silent, callous young man in an old room flooded with moonlight – as well as a shattering treatment of the passage of time, of decay, desire and narcissistic fantasy. At the apex of his aesthetic and intellectual maturity, Sicilianos poetically transmutes Ritsos’ text into a rigorously worked out fusion of melodic lyricism and speech-like enunciation, combining the arsenal of serial music with a deep, brooding romanticism – and also, in the background, the discreet (though theatrically irresistible) recollection of Beethoven’s Moonlight Sonata.
Using the original title of Beethoven’s Moonlight Sonata (“Sonata quasi una fantasia”) as a starting point, Costas Athousakis’ direction and Calliope Bredologou’s script follow the structure of Sicilianos’ work and the heartrending, often delirious monologue of Ritsos’ heroine, using the tools of cinema to capture the memories, unrequited desires and fantasies of the Woman in Black.
The film’s wager is a mix of naturalistic observation and absurdism, using as setting the exterior of a dilapidated villa by the sea in full daylight. There, the heroine engages in “introspection exercises” with the cooperation of six dancers, inviting the viewer to sort out the images flooding her discourse “in the manner of a fantasy”.
An intimate confession, an account of a life lived away from life, with an echoing phrase as its refrain: “Let me come with you…”.
MINISTRY OF CULTURE AND SPORTS
3rd GREEK NATIONAL OPERA ONLINE FESTIVAL
The Music of Language
9 December 2020 – 6January 2021
The Greek National Opera presents its 3rd Online Festival, titled The Music of Language. The Festival is curated by Giorgos Koumendakis and features five unique short stories. The Festival’s videos will be streamed online from 9 December 2020 to 6 January 2021 and will remain available to the public for 30 days after their premiere. The videos will be streamed online at nationalopera.gr/en, on GNO’s Facebook page and YouTube channel, as well as on the website of the Ministry of Culture and Sports digitalculture.gov.gr. The Festival is made possible by a grant from the Stavros Niarchos Foundation (SNF) [www.SNF.org] to enhance the Greek National Opera’s artistic outreach.
The five short films that will be screened as part of GNO’s 3rd Online Festival combine the art of the image with the power of music and narrative language through new readings of music works. The dream and fantasy of Arnold Schönberg’s Verklärte Nacht meet the confessions of people in deserted buildings from Nikos Ioakeim’s mesmerizing composition, and the memories of the Woman in Black in Yorgo Sicilianos’ monodrama The Lady in the Moonlight. Tarquinio Merula’s lullaby sung by different mothers in modern-day Athens intertwines with Musical GNOod Mornings, where operatic singing takes a morning TV show by storm. Through all these works, the Festival reveals imaginative ways of transmuting music and language into another form of art through the image, proposing new operatic, inspired film experiences filled with humor and an honest mood of self-sarcasm. The Festival is curated by GNO’s Artistic Director Giorgos Koumendakis.
Giorgos Koumendakis notes: “After the great success of our 1st and 2nd Online Festivals (May-June 2020, September-October 2020), which attracted tens of thousands of viewers across the world, we actively continue with GNO’s 3rd Online Festival. The new Festival is titled The Music of Language and includes five videos, five short films, where music and narrative language acquire a whole new dimension through the art of the image. We made a selection of five music works of different themes and aesthetic, which evolve the way music passes through its digital form to another reality. The Online Festival allows us to be creatively alive, not only in the midst of the pandemic, but also afterwards, as this approach to music works will have an even bigger presence in the future. From 9 December to 6 January, we invite you to enjoy these five special short stories on the screen of your computer, tablet or mobile phone.”