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COLLABORATOR IN DIRECTION, CHOREOGRAPHER
Eliza: Vassia Zacharopoulou (21, 23, 29/11 & 1, 5, 7, 13, 15, 19, 21, 24, 27, 29/12)
Christina Asimakopoulou (22, 24, 28, 30/11 & 6, 8, 12, 14, 20, 22, 26, 28, 31/12)
Higgins: Giannos Perlegkas
Michalis Titopoulos, Vassilis Dimakopoulos, Ioanna Forti, Elli Dadira, Maria Grampsa, Nicolas Maraziotos, Athina Dimitrakopoulou, Maria Alexandrou, Yiannis Maniatopoulos, Christos Rammopoulos, Nikolas Douros, Antonis Antoniadis, Magda Kafkoula, Electra Fragiadaki
Ticket prices: €18, €25
Students, children: €15
Book and Lyrics by Music by
ALAN JAY LERNER FREDERICK LOEWE
Adapted from George Bernard Shaw’s Play and
Gabriel Pascal’s Motion Picture PYGMALION
Original Production Directed by Moss Hart
Greek National Opera Alternative Stage
Stavros Niarchos Foundation Cultural Center
With English surtitles
Starts at: 20.00 (Sundays & 24, 26, 27/12 at 19.00 , 31/12 at 18.30) |
The “perfect musical”, Alan Jay Lerner and Frederick Loewe’s My Fair Lady, one of the most successful, important and popular musicals in the history of Broadway, is presented for the first time in Greece in its full-length music version by the Greek National Opera’s Alternative Stage at the Stavros Niarchos Foundation Cultural Center. From 21 November to the 31 December 2019, and for a run of 26 performances, My Fair Lady will be brought to life through the seducing and enigmatic world of cabaret in a production of lofty aesthetic value.
Based on George Bernard Shaw’s play Pygmalion, with prose, lyrics and music by the “amazing musical duo” Lerner and Loewe, the legendary musical goes up in the approved adaptation for two pianos, conducted by Stathis Soulis and directed by Ioannis Perlegkas, who also features in the leading role of Professor Higgins. The songs have been translated by Dimitris Dimopoulos and the prose by Maria Kyriazi and Ioannis Perlegkas. In the title role, two up-and-coming sopranos of the GNO, Vassia Zacharopoulou and Christina Asimakopoulou.
The romantic story of the distinguished phonetics professor Henry Higgins in early 20th-century London, who tries to transform a flower girl with a heavy, incomprehensible accent into a high society lady, is moved to an atmospheric cabaret drawn out of Toulouse Lautrec’s paintings and Bob Fosse’s dark cabarets. Precisely because, life is a cabaret!
Two pianos, voices, bodies and wild can-can dancing in a musical about the sex and class war, with wonderful songs such as I could have danced all night, which rightly remains to this day one of the most popular in the genre.
The performance is realized with the support of the grant from the Stavros Niarchos Foundation (SNF) to the Alternative Stage.
The Greek myth of Pygmalion and Galatea, which has been preserved, among others, in Ovid’s Metamorphoses, has been highly popular in Victorian England. It is upon this myth that George Bernard Shaw based his play Pygmalion (1912), which has in turn inspired the musical My Fair Lady with lyrics by Alan Jay Lerner and music by Frederick Loewe.
The musical My fair lady premiered in 1956 at Broadways’ Mark Hellinger Theatre with the dynamically up-and-coming Julie Andrews as Eliza Doolittle and Rex Harrison starring as professor Higgins, and was a huge success. The show was moved on two more Broadway stages and finally went down on 29 September 1962 after 2.717 performances, breaking the record at the time, and with proceeds amounting to 10 million dollars. Similarly, the show that went up at the London’s Drury Lane theatre on 30 April 1958 with the protagonists of the original production ran for 2.281 performances.
Equal to its theatrical fame and success was also the 1964 film adaptation directed by George Cukor, in which for commercial reasons, the still unknown Andrews was replaced by Audrey Hepburn. Soprano Marni Nixon lent her voice to the popular actress for the work’s songs, and the orchestra was conducted by André Previn. The film was honoured with eight Oscar awards, including the one for “Best Movie of the Year”.
The musical was revived on Broadway in 1976 for 377 performances, in 1981 for 181 performances, and more recently in 1993 for 165 performances at the Virginia Theatre with Richard Chamberlain in the role of professor Higgins.
Although the play -Pygmalion- and the musical – My fair lady- share the same story, it is the elements missing from the transfer of the one to the other that finally determine the style and quality of the latter. The biggest difference between the two versions lies in their end. Shaw had said that he wrote Pygmalion according to the models of Ibsenian works and especially A Doll’s House. Pygmalion does not have a happy ending as a romance – Eliza ends up with Freddy and not with professor Higgins.
The work’s composer Frederick Loewe was born in 1901 in Berlin to Austrian parents. In 1924 his father, a famous operetta star, was invited to appear in a production in New York and the then 23-year-old Fritz followed him to the USA. He carried with him all the Austrian-German music tradition, the nostalgic melody he used to listen to everyday at his home and his top studies in Berlin. He made use of all these elements in My fair lady, a work full of melodious music, waltz and other dances. However, this musical is not only a simple sequence of beautiful melodies. Always in a context determined by the genre’s conventions, lyrics and music are ideally matched, in order to express and convey to the viewer the characters’ emotional disposition at any time.
His collaboration with song writer and librettist Alan Jay Lerner passed down in history as Lerner and Loewe. In a span of three decades, from 1942 to 1960, and again from 1970 to 1972, the artistic duo created some of the most timeless music theatre and cinema hits, such as: Brigadoon (1947), Paint your wagon (1951), My fair lady (1956), Camelot (1960), as well as the musical-romance film Gigi (1958). Their last collaboration took place in 1974 and it was on the musical film The little prince.
As to the musical My fair lady, special mention is due to Trude Rittman, who was responsible for the two-piano adaptation. Rittman was a music and vocal arranger for Broadway artists, such as Richard Rogers and Oscar Hammerstein, Lerner and Loewe, Irving Berlin, Jerome Robbins and Agnes de Mille.
The direction of the musical My fair lady bears the stamp of Ioannis Perlegkas, one of the most restless composers of his generation, who returns twice as strong to the GNO’s Alternative Stage after the sweeping success of Iannis Xenakis’ performance The Bacchae that was presented in summer 2018. Regarding the work’s directorial approach he notes: “The place where Eliza’s story unfolds is 1912 London, just as we know it from Dickens or Chaplin: a cruel, class-divided big city, in which the poor beg, starve and die outside the Covent Garden opera house, where the multitudes of well-dressed Londoners gather to listen to Wagner’s Twilight of the gods. The world of cabaret, vaudeville, music halls, mixed folk spectacles in which singing, prose and dance harmonically co-exist, appeared to us as the most appropriate setting to revive anew this harsh love story of social divide. Besides, before the genre of musical was handed over to Hollywood, which added to it a touch of glamour, it was a genre that had flourished in the underground folk music haunts, where poor cabaret boys and girls were trying to make a living.”
Loukia Houliara’s sets and costumes, with multiple references to Toulouse-Lautrec’s paintings, vaudeville scenes from Fellini’s films, and Bob Fosse’s dark cabarets serve as a parallel narrator of the story.
The lyrics translation is by Dimitris Dimopoulos and the prose translation by Maria Kyriazi and Ioannis Perlegkas. Dimitra Efthymiopoulou is a collaborating director and choreographer on the performance, and Nikos Vlasopoulos is the lighting designer.
The up-and-coming sopranos of the GNO, Vassia Zacharopoulou and Christina Asimakopoulou perform the taxing role of Eliza. Alongside them, an excellent cast of soloists and actors, Michalis Titopoulos, Vasilis Dimakopoulos, Ioanna Forti, Elli Dadira, Maria Grampsa, Nicolas Maraziotis, Athina Dimitrakopoulou, Maria Alexandrou, Yiannis Maniatopoulos, Christos Rammopoulos, Nikolas Douros, Antonis Antoniadis, Magda Kafkoula, Elektra Fragiadaki.
Stathis Soulis and Victoria-Fjoralba Kiazimi perform on the piano.
Stathis Soulis Conductor, Piano I
One of the upcoming Greek conductors, he started studying music at the age of four. He continued at the Department of Music Studies of the Ionian University (orchestra conducting under Miltos Logiadis). He has cooperated with numerous ensembles and organizations such as Athens Municipality Symphony Orchestra, Orchestra of Ionian University, Contemporary Music Orchestra of Hellenic Broadcasting Corporation, Athens State Orchestra, Greek National Opera, Athens Concert Hall (Megaron), as well as Athens Festival. He appeared as conductor of chamber music ensembles at the International Congress ICMC/SMC (Onassis Stegi), conducted the National Symphony Orchestra and Chorus of Hellenic Broadcasting Corporation (re-opening concert, 2015), gave concerts with the Contemporary Music Orchestra of Hellenic Broadcasting Corporation and jazz pianist / composer Dimitris Kalantzis (SNFCC) and conducted the ARTéfacts ensemble – Ventus ensemble (Athens Festival). He conducted the musical Sweeney Todd (Athens Concert Hall); he made his debut at the GNO conducting the opera Simon Boccanegra (2019). He conducted and played the piano touring with singer Marios Frangoulis in Greece and abroad.
Giannos Perlegkas Director, prose translation, Henry Higgins
Born in Athens, he graduated from the National Theatre of Greece Drama School. His first appearance was at Nea Skini – Lefteris Voyatzis Theatre in the work Cleansed by Sarah Kane, while recently in Relax… Mynotis by Vasilis Papavasileiou. In the past 19 years he has collaborated with many Greek and foreign directors. In 2010 he revised and co-directed along with Giorgos Gallos the Shakespearean synthesis Henry Edward Richard for the National Theatre. He has directed the works: Immanuel Kant and The Ignoramus and the Madman by Thomas Bernhard, Florence Foster Jenkins – Souvenir by Stephen Temperley, To Clothe the Naked by Luigi Pirandello, Fifty-fifty by Jordi Sánchez and Pep Anton Gómez. For the GNO Alternative Stage he directed in Greek premiere Iannis Xenakis’ Bacchae. He has participated in many films. He is a member of the rebetiko group Rast Hitzaz.
Dimitris Dimopoulos Lyrics translation
He started as a stand-up comedian in 1996 at the “Comedy Nights”. He has written the stand-up monologues Kafrokrema, Anti Didaktorikou and Yperparagogi, as well as the libretto for the operas Twilight of the Debts, ΑirRossini and Yasou Aida!, for which he received the “Karolos Koun” commendation in the field of Dramaturgy of a Greek Work (Union of Greek Critics for Drama and Music, 2012). He has directed the music theatre performances Kafka-Fragmente, Das Schubert Diploma and Night Songs, the Greek operetta Satanerie and the theatrical plays The Minions of Midas and Tsaika!. As a translator he has worked in subtitling and dubbing as well as for the GNO (translations of Die Fledermaus, Pimpinone, Orpheus in the Underworld, Once, My Fair Lady). He speaks German, English, Spanish, Russian, holds a degree in drama (Drama School of Iasmos), in Tourist Studies (Athens University of Applied Sciences) and is a graduate of the German School of Athens.
Maria Kyriazi Prose translation
Born in Athens, where she also lives. She holds a degree in law, English and French. She has been active as a lawyer for 27 years, her main field of expertise being criminal law. She reads literature, watches and –mainly– reads theatrical plays and has been writing poetry and prose since the age of 9. She has been constantly studying the Greek language, with the belief that “speech is work”. As an actor she has been a member of various amateur companies (1984-1991). Since 1992 she has been an active lawyer. In 2012, an already gone health issue made her to stop working temporarily. She then turned to her real interests: theatre (participation in the professional company The.A.m.A. [Theater of Disabled People] in 2013), writing, dancing (school attending in 2012/13), music (song, percussion in an amateur band in 2015/16). In 2017 she returned to law, which she now practices selectively. In 2019 she participated in Giannos Perlegkas’ team for the production of My Fair Lady, with whom she translated the prose of the work.
Loukia Houliara Sets, costumes
Born in Poland. Since 2007, she has participated as a sets and costume designer in more than 30 short and feature movies in Greece, Germany and England, many of which have been awarded in international festivals. Twice nominee of the sets and costume award in the Thessaloniki International Film Festival and the Drama Short Film Festival. In theatre she has collaborated, among others, with N. Kornilios for the production The Bitter Tears of Petra von Kant (Chora Theatre), the Athens Festival for the production Arden Must Die (dir. H. Frangoulis, Theatre Odou Kykladon), The Ignoramus and the Madman (dir. G. Perlegkas, National Theatre Experimental Stage), American Buffalo (dir. P. Filippidis, Mousouri Theatre), Metropolis (dir. Α. Pantazaras, Ancient Epidaurus Little Theatre), Momo (dir. Ε. Efthimiou, National Theatre Young People’s Stage). In 2017 she won the Athinorama magazine costume award for the production Florence Foster Jenkins – Souvenir directed by G. Perlegkas.
Dimitra Efthymiopoulou Associate director – Movement
Born in Athens. From a young age she studied music (baroque flute, piano and harmony) and took intensive courses on body and movement (rhythmic gymnastics and contemporary dance). Graduate of the Forestry and Natural Environment Department of the AUTh, she also holds a Dance Diploma by the University of Roehampton (London). She has also completed a three-year cycle of seminars in contact improvisation with Kostas Gerardos at the studio Vis Motrix in Thessaloniki. She works as a forester. She has supervised the movement in Giannos Perlegkas’ productions Immanuel Kant and The Ignoramus and the Madman by Thomas Bernhard and Florence Foster Jenkins – Souvenir by Stephen Temperley.
Nikos Vlasopoulos Lighting
Born in Athens. He studied direction of photography and has worked in numerous television and cinema productions. Since 2000 he has been working as a lighting designer in theatre and dance productions. His work has been presented in Epidaurus Ancient Theatre, Odeon of Herodes Atticus, National Theatre, Onassis Stegi, National Theatre of Northern Greece, Athens Concert Hall (Megaron), Cacoyannis Foundation, Greek Art Theatre Karolos Koun, Athens Festival, etc. His work has also been presented in various theatres and festivals abroad, among which Théâtre de la Ville (Paris), Théâtre Saint-Gervais (Geneva), The Place (London), Biennale de la dance (Lyon), Hellerau (Dresde), NRW Tanzhaus (Düsseldorf), CND (Paris), Hivernalles (Avignon), etc.
Victoria-Fjoralba Kiazimi Piano II
She completed her music studies at the Athens Conservatoire (class of Dora Bakopoulos), where she graduated with first prize magna cum laude. She has participated in Panhellenic competitions obtaining awards and distinctions. She has performed as a soloist with the Athens State Orchestra and the Athens Municipality Symphony Orchestra. She has given concerts and recitals in Greece and abroad (France, Azerbaijan, Bulgaria, Japan, China). She has played for the Third Programme of the Hellenic Broadcasting Corporation. The highlight of her career to this day have been her two solo recitals in the towns of Toyama and Okayama in Japan, as part of the international music festival for fund-raising. In 2015 she gave five concerts in China with her piano duet Piano duo Specchio. In 2018 she starred in the production Clara Schumann: the charismatic faces of an hypermarionette at the Theatre Odou Kykladon. She teaches piano at the Athens Conservatoire.
Maria Alexandrou Well dressed lady, Can-can girl, Remembrance of Eliza
Greek soprano, she was born and raised in Preveza. She was awarded the soloist diploma with first prize magna cum laude (professor Myrsini Margariti). She studies chorus mistress (professor Michalis Patseas). She has studied at the Studio Opera of the Patras Municipal and Regional Theatre and has participated in the productions Hold me tight again and Mozartmania (dir. Thodoris Abazis) and at the opera Dido and Aeneas in the role of Belinda (Apollo Municipal Theatre of Patras and Roman Odeon of Patras, dir. Μ. Seibel). She studied in the GNO programme “Youth Opera”, where she participated in Mozart’s opera La clemenza di Tito, in the role of Servilia (cond. M. Papapetrou, dir. Martha Toboulidou), and in Bellini’s opera I Capuleti e i Montecchi (cond. M. Papapetrou, dir. Nikoleta Filosoglou). She starred in the GNO Alternative Stage’s children’s opera Musica! or The Battle of Sounds, in the role of Viola (composer Thodoris Economou, words-lyrics Marivita Grammatikaki, dir. Io Voulgaraki).
Antonis Antoniadis Poor man, Higgins’ gramophone, Gentleman, Butler
Greek tenor and actor. Graduate of the Lamia School of Music and of the Law School of the Democritus University of Thrace. He studied theatre at the Professional Drama School of the Agia Varvara Municipality Iakovos Kambanellis and obtained his piano diploma magna cum laude (professor Olga Amanatopoulou). At the same time, he studied singing with tenor Yannis Christopoulos and soprano Marina Krilovici at the Athenaeum Conservatory. He has attended seminars, among others, with Michael Marmarinos, Jean-Jacques Lemètre (Théâtre du Soleil), Nikos Karathanos, Simos Kakalas, Rinio Kyriazi, Vasilis Andreou, Living Theater. In theatre he has appeared in productions at Cacoyannis Foundation, Theatre Alpha Idea, Frynich Theatre Delphoi, Rabbithole Theatre, Theatre Embros, and he has collaborated with actors of the Beijing Central Academy of Drama and directors such as P. Adam, G. Andreadis, V. Kyriakoulakou, G. Simonas, R. Chawishe, T. Tsardakas. He has sung in various chorus and polyphonic ensembles and has composed the music for the production The Cherry Orchard by the theatre company Irida.
Christina Asimakopoulou Eliza Doolittle, Well dressed lady, Can-can girl, Queen of Transylvania, Remembrance of Eliza
Greek soprano, she began and completed her lyric studies in solo singing with soprano Mata Katsouli, obtaining her diploma with first prize magna cum laude and special distinction. She holds a diploma in musicology by the Music Studies Department of the UoA, with a specialization in Historic-Systemic Musicology. She has attended ancient drama seminars (IV Meeting of Ancient Drama / Delphi European Cultural Center), as well as musical theatre (Guildford School of Acting) and mime seminars (International School of Physical Mime Theatre, Paris). She has been collaborating with the GNO since 2012. She has collaborated with Armonia Atenea, Hellenic Broadcasting Corporation Symphony Orchestra, Athens Municipality Symphony Orchestra and Athens Youth Symphony Orchestra. She has also been regularly appearing with internationally renowned pianist Cristina Ortiz (voice-piano) in Bordeaux (France). In theatre she has appeared in plays by Frank Wedekind, Tennessee Williams, Tsimaras Tzanatos, Dimitris Dimitriadis and Yannis Ritsos.
Elli Dadira Mrs Higgins, Well dressed lady, Can-can girl
Born in Athens, she received a scholarship by the Orfeio Conservatory of Athens obtaining diplomas in piano, theory, classical double bass and classical singing (solo singing) with first-class honours. She attended drama classes at the Theatre of Changes, and has also studied musical, taking seminars with the American collaborators of Bob Fosse. At the same time she studied dance next to the top professors of Argentinean tango. As a musician, an actor and a singer, she has participated in various recording for theatre and cinema, in theatre and lyric productions, as well as in concerts of symphony and tango music, in Greece and abroad, and has directed musical theatre productions (Asesinos milongueros, With the Eyes of Big Girls). She worked as a music teacher at the Orfeio Conservatory of Athens and at the Arsakeia-Tositseia schools. As a performer she collaborates with varied music and theatre ensembles and participated in dance productions as a tango dancer, which she also teaches.
Vasilis Dimakopoulos Alfred Doolittle, Royal Consort of Transylvania
Greek bass, he was born in Patras. He holds a diploma in violin and music theory. He studied sound technology and made postgraduate studies in music technology at the University of York in the UK. He has been a member of the Lyric Theatre Workshop of the Patras Municipal and Regional Theatre. As a GNO chorus member, he has participated in opera and operetta productions such as Aida, Lohengrin, Erotokritos, etc, as well as in concerts with the Hellenic Broadcasting Corporation Chorus. As a soloist he participated in productions such as The Snow Queen (dir. Th. Abazis, Onassis Stegi), The Girl Who Insists (dir. Τ. Tsardakas, Theatre Act), Twilight of the Debts (dir. Α. Efklidis, GNO), Prince Ivan and the Firebird (dir. Th. Abazis, GNO), Ζ (dir. Κ. Evangelatos, GNO), El retablo de maese pedro (GNO Participation and Learning), Haunted (dir. Th. Papakonstantinou, Athens Concert Hall), Satanerie (dir. Α. Efklidis – D. Dimopoulos, GNO), Medea (dir. G. Skourletis, GNO), among others.
Athina Dimitrakopoulou Mrs Eynsford-Hill, Can-can girl, Remembrance of Eliza
She received a classical singing diploma in 2009 (magna cum laude and first prize) and a drama diploma in 2016 by the Veaki School. She has attended drama seminars with Theodoros Terzopoulos, Krzysztof Warlikowski, Simon McBurney, Roula Pateraki, Nikaiti Kontouri. She has also attended opera masterclasses with Montserrat Caballé, Jeannette Pilou, Louis Manikas, Cheryl Studer, and in 2011 with Edda Moser at the Mozarteum in Salzburg. She starred in the music theatre production The Seven Deadly Sins of the Petty Bourgeoisie, directed by Ilia Kontou (2012). She has collaborated with GNO in the opera Der fliegende Holländer (2013), with Onassis Stegi in the tango opera Maria de Buenos Aires (2014), with Athens Concert Hall (Megaron) in the operetta Die lustige Witwe (2015), with National Theatre in Aristophanes’ Lysistrata (Ancient Theatre of Epidaurus and summer tour, 2016), as well as with numerous Greek artists such as C. Rouggeri and S. Kraounakis. She has recorded two records.
Nicolas Douros Poor man, Higgins’ gramophone, Karpathy
Born in Athens. Graduate of the Department of Business Administration of the University of West Attica, of the master programme Macroeconomics and Finance of the Athens University of Economics and Business, as well as of the Professional Drama School of the Agia Varvara Municipality Iakovos Kambanellis. He studied solo singing at the Marina Spanou Conservatory with Christina Karamaltidou, and electric guitar. He has attended seminars with Mata Katsouli, Michail Marmarinos, Simos Kakalas, Giannis Paraskevopoulos, Alexandra Kazazou, Filareti Komninou, Paris Mantopoulos. He has also worked with Nikos Diamantis for production at the Piraeus Municipal Theatre and the Theatre Simeio, with Nikos Hadjipapas and Chiara Guidi, in collaboration with the Municipal and Regional Theatre of Ioannina. He was a member of the music street group supervised by Henri Kergomard.
Ioanna Forti Mrs Pearce, Well dressed lady, Can-can girl
Greek mezzo-soprano, she studied piano, music theory and solo singing. In 2000 she made her first appearance as a soloist at the Carnegie Hall in New York at Mikis Theodorakis’ opera Electra. Since then she has excelled in an unusually extensive repertoire: art song and popular music, opera, rock and baroque in concerts, productions and recording in Greece and abroad. She has collaborated with the majority of Greek cultural foundations, orchestras, conductors and composers and has recorded, among others, works by Mikis Theodorakis and Christos Leontis. In the last years she has been regularly participating in productions of the GNO Alternative Stage, she is the lead singer of Vamos Ensemble and has been teaching singing. She has recorded two personal records and thirteen in collaboration. The record Zorbas Ballet, Adagio, Carnaval by Mikis Theodorakis (Decca) stands out, conducted by Charles Dutoit (Award of Best Record 2004, New York Times).
Electra Frangiadaki Horse
She graduated from the Drama School of the Athens Conservatoire and from the Law School of UoA. Postgraduate student of the UoA Theatre Studies Department. She has studied music (guitar, piano, music theory), contemporary dance and ballet. She has appeared, among others, in the productions Daphnis and Chloe (dir. D. Bogdanos, Little Theatre of Ancient Epidaurus), Oceano Mare (dir. S. Birbilis, Theatro Neou Kosmou – National Theatre of Northern Greece), An Imaginary Symposium (Veem House, Amsterdam, and BUDA, Kortrijk, Hiros Production), Romeo and Juliet (dir. L. Giovanidis, Kozani Municipal and Regional Theatre – Istrian National Theatre of Croatia), Ekpnoi [Exhalation] (by D. Dimitriadis, dir. E. Frangiadaki, TV Control Center), Terranima (idea-choreography G. Christakis, Odeon of Herodes Atticus), Psychosis (dir. G. Kakleas, Athens and Epidaurus Festival), Notebooks of Crisis, Vol. II (Zlap Company, Athens Biennale), Ex apalon onixon [Softly] (Opposite group, Civil War Theme Platform, National Theatre – Experimental Stage).
Maria Grampsa Mrs Hopkins, Compere, Remembrance of Eliza
Born in Athens. She holds a diploma in classical piano (class of K. Charalambopoulos) and solo singing (class of D. Kalafatis). Graduate of the Law School of Athens. She studied acting, breathing, kinesiology, improvisation, mask and techniques of musical theatre performance (Theatre of Changes, Guildhall London School of Music and Drama). In the years 2000-2006 she collaborated with the GNO as a chorus member (Operetta Stage, Acropol Theatre). As a member of the vocal trio SoNaMa and as a soloist she has participated in concerts, music productions, recitals, collaborating with numerous cultural venues and organizations (Hellenic Broadcasting Corporation Musical Ensembles, Orchestra of Colours, Mikis Theodorakis Orchestra) and making various recordings. She has appeared in many musicals: Demons (dir. G. Kakleas), The Sound of Music (dir. Th. Marselou), Chicago (dir. S. Fasoulis), Fiddler on the Roof (dir. R. Ruggiero), etc. In the years 2006-2011 she worked for the Pallas Theatre-Elliniki Theamaton (stage guide – production).
Magda Kafkoula Horse
Born and raised in Athens. She studied at the Drama School Praxi 7 and at the Department of Banking and Financial Management (University of Piraeus). She has taken lessons in singing and contemporary dance. She has participated in the productions To Clothe the Naked by Luigi Pirandello (dir. Giannos Perlegkas, Greek Art Theatre Karolos Koun), Bacchae by I. Xenakis (cond. Nicolas Vassiliou, dir. Giannos Perlegkas, GNO), The Road to the Kiosk by G. Stigkas (dir. Medea Electronique and Giannis Nikolaidis, Cacoyannis Foundation). As an assistant director she has collaborated with G. Perlegkas in the productions The Ignoramus and the Madman by Thomas Bernhard, Florence Foster Jenkins – Souvenir by Stephen Temperley, Fifty-fifty by Jordi Sánchez and Pep Anton Gómez, and with D. Tarlow in H. Ibsen’s The Wild Duck.
Yannis Maniatopoulos Poor man, Jamie, Gentleman, Butler
Tenor, born in Piraeus. From a young age he participated in children’s choruses, where he realized his love for singing. He started his artistic activity as a tango dancer and entered the world of musical with the group On Stage. He has received classical singing lessons by soprano Martha Arapi and has studied music theory at the Athens Conservatoire. He studied dance at the Niki Kontaxaki Professional School of Dance. He has participated in the musicals Sweet Charity, Evita, Hair, Greese, Cats!, at the original black comedy musical The Vegeterian Tiger, at the children’s productions The Tin Soldier, The Beauty and the Beast, at the children’s stage of Marianna Toli. As a chorus member he has participated in opera and operetta productions. He has studied Physics at the University of Athens.
Nicolas Maraziotis Freddy Eynsford-Hill
Greek tenor, he studied solo singing at the Royal Conservatoire of Scotland (Master of Music in Vocal Performance) and at the Keele University in England (Diploma in Music and Music Technology). He studied solo singing at the Patraiko Conservatory and was a member of the Lyric Theatre Workshop of the Patras Municipal and Regional Theatre. He has interpreted Testo (Il combattimento di Tancredi e Clorinda), Arbace (Idomeneo), Pedrillo (Die Entführung aus dem Serail), Maese Pedro (El retablo de maese Pedro), Dimitri (Prince Ivan and the Firebird), Pamikos (Satanerie), Protester / Music Ensemble (Ζ), Monsieur Vogelsang (Der Schauspieldirektor) as well as Anthony Candolino (Master Class). He has collaborated with music ensembles such as Les Talens Lyriques, Ergon Ensemble, Plucked Strings Orchestra of Patras Municipality, Athens Academica Orchestra and Patras Municipality Orchestra.
Christos Rammopoulos Poor man, Jamie, Gentleman, Butler
Greek baritone, he was born in Agrinio. He received a classical singing diploma magna cum laude at the Athenaeum Conservatory (class of Marina Krilovici), participating actively in two of her masterclasses. He graduated by the Melodrama Department of Athenaeum in 2013 (class of Ion Kessoulis). He attended singing technique seminars (Christina Giannakopoulou), as well as orchestra conducting and chorus conducting seminars (Miltos Logiadis, Michalis Economou). With Michalis Economou he collaborated as a soloist at Mozart’s Requiem. He has made his debut with the opera Perouze in 2018 at the Odeon of Herodes Atticus (cond. Byron Fidetzis, dir. Th. Abazis). He interpreted Benoît in La bohème at the Thessaloniki Concert Hall (season 2018/19). Since 2018, he has been a member of the Chorus in Sophocles’ Oedipus Rex at the Vakhtangov Theatre in Moscow, while in 2019 he participated in the production L’Homme qui rit (National Theatre). He collaborated with the Armonia Atenea as a member of its vocal ensemble. He holds a diploma in Greek Philology (UoA) and a master in music education (Ionian University).
Michalis Titopoulos Hugh Pickering
He studied at the Drama School of the National Theatre, from where he graduated in 2008, at the Department of Theatre Studies of the University of Athens, as well as at the Pythagorion Conservatory (guitar, singing). He has collaborated, among others, with the National Theatre: Roberto Zucco (dir. Efi Theodorou, 2008), Fortunato (dir. Martha Frintzila, 2009), L’Avare (dir. Giannis Bezos, 2013), Oedipus Rex (dir. Maria Protopappa, 2015), The Sapling (dir. Anestis Azas, 2017)· Athens and Epidaurus Festival: 13 objects (dir. Dimitris Lignadis, 2008), The Robbers (dir. Io Voulgaraki, 2014), Ajax (dir. Vangelis Theodoropoulos, 2015), The Bridge on the Drina (dir. Nikita Milivojević, 2017)· Greek Art Theatre: Immanuel Kant (dir. Giannos Perlegkas, 2014)· Theatre Neou Kosmou: The Cherry Orchard (dir. Pantelis Dentakis, 2011), Romeo and Juliet (dir. Miltos Sotiriadis, 2010)· Theatre Poreia: A Party at Nourian’s (dir. Pantelis Dentakis, 2011), Tzela, Lela, Kornas and Cleomenes (dir. Lilly Meleme, 2013)· Synchrono Theatro [Contemporary Theatre]: Eiste kai faineste [Shame on you] (dir. Giorgos Paloumbis, 2014)· Tzeni Karezi: The Four Legs of the Table (dir. Giorgos Dambasis, 2015).
Vassia Zacharopoulou Eliza Doolittle, Well dressed lady, Can-can girl, Queen of Transylvania, Remembrance of Eliza
Greek soprano, she studied solo singing at the Greek National Conservatory, as well as piano and classical dance. She also studied opera with Kostas Paskalis. She has been collaborating with the GNO since 2008. During the years 2011/13 she has been a member of the GNO Studio Opera. In November 2014 she was awarded the Singing Award in the 14th Marie Kraja International Opera Competition. She has sung the roles of Zerlina (Don Giovanni), Clarice (L’amante di tutte), Vespetta (Pimpinone), Rosalia (West Side Story), Little Red Riding Hood (Little Red Riding Hood), Gretel (Hänsel und Gretel), Lola (Pic-nic), Rika (Daughter of the Thunderstorm), Princess (Beware! The Prince is Messy), Firebird (Prince Ivan and the Firebird), Toula (The Murderess), Tsarevna (The Tale of the Tsar Saltan). She has collaborated with Armonia Atenea, Orchestra Purpur Wien, Tirana State Opera Orchestra, Athens State Orchestra, Hellenic Broadcasting Corporation and Municipality of Athens Music Ensembles. In theatre she has appeared in the productions Irini, To Sklavi, Masterclass. She works in dubbing as a singer and a narrator.
The first encounter between Professor Henry Higgins, the brilliant, crotchety, middle-aged bachelor who is England’s leading phoneticist, and Eliza Doolittle, the little cockney gutter sparrow, takes place near the Royal Opera House, Covent Garden, late on a cold March night. Eliza is selling violets. Higgins is out on his endless quest for new dialects of London’s speech (“Why Can’t The English?”). A handsome young aristocrat, Freddy Eynsford-Hill, takes no notice of her when she tries to sell him violets (“Wouldn’t It Be Loverly?”). Colonel Pickering, also a linguistic expert, comes to stay with Higgins at his flat. Eliza’s squalid father, Alfred Doolittle, outlines his optimistic if somewhat unorthodox philosophy of life in the rousing “With a Little Bit of Luck.”
Eliza comes to Higgins’ flat to be instructed in the English language, in order to transform herself into a “lidy.” Pickering challenges Higgins to “metamorphose the guttersnipe into a paragon of verbal correctitude.” Higgins looks upon her not as a person but as raw material for his experiment; he drills Eliza for weeks. As no hint of progress is made, Eliza loses her courage, Higgins loses his temper, and even Pickering’s patience wears thin. In her anger and futility, Eliza creates a set of mean fantasies involving her professor (“Just You Wait”). At last she improves, and they all proclaim the victor in “The Rain in Spain.”
In the flush of his first success, Higgins puts Eliza to a preliminary test. He will introduce her to his mother’s snobbish guests at the Ascot Race Meeting the following week. Eliza expresses her own towering exaltation in “I Could Have Danced All Night.” Eliza, strikingly pretty in her new gown and hairdo, appears at the races (“Ascot Gavotte”). Instructed to restrict her conversation to the weather and everyone’s health, she says her little set pieces flawlessly. The illusion is shattered when her enthusiasm for the horse she is backing impels her to indulge in a bout of violently unladylike cheering.
Freddy Eynsford-Hill falls hopelessly in love with the new Eliza, and later pours out “On the Street Where You Live” at her window. Six weeks later, Higgins – in a crucial test – presents Eliza at a full-dress Embassy ball. She is the object of admiration, and everyone speculates on her identity. It becomes obvious that Eliza must charm Karpathy, a European phonetics expert. At the height of the ball, Karpathy invites her to dance and comments on the pureness of her English.
Pickering and Higgins, back at the flat, indulge in self congratulation (“You Did It”). Neither of them takes into account Eliza’s personal accomplishment in the matter. Eliza has absorbed the sophistication and the courage to see the unfairness of this, and she blows up, demanding recognition. The Professor is not so much affronted as astonished; it is as though a statue had come to life and spoken.
Infuriated and frustrated, Eliza storms out of the house. She encounters Freddy and turns her fury on him (“Show Me”). Eliza aimlessly walks the streets of the town the remainder of the night. She encounters her father, drunk and dressed for a fashionable wedding. He has become wealthy, and Eliza’s mother is marrying him at last (“Get Me to the Church on Time”).
Higgins discovers that he is hurt because Eliza left him. He meets her at his mother’s flat where she has gone for advice. They argue violently (“Without You”) and she storms out. It is only a moment after her departure that Higgins finally wakes up to the fact that Eliza has become an entirely independent and admirable human being. He realizes that he will have a difficult time getting on without her (“I’ve Grown Accustomed to Her Face”).
Back at his flat, he sinks into his chair prepared to face a bleak, lonely future. But just then – a moment before the final curtain falls – a figure emerges from the shadowy corner of the room, and Higgins recognizes Eliza. He leans back with a long, contented sigh and speaks softly: “Eliza? Where the devil are my slippers?”
– Copyright ©1962 by Alan J. Lerner and Frederick Loewe
Lerner and Loewe’s MY FAIR LADY is presented by arrangement with Tams-Witmark, A Concord Theatricals Company: www.tamswitmark.co.uk
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