Le Voyage dans la Lune Le Voyage dans la Lune
Stavros Niarchos Hall
Le Voyage dans la Lune
SEASON 2022/23 - Jacques Offenbach
July 2023
Δημιουργική Ομάδα

Elias Voudouris

Director, costumes
Laurent Pelly

Libretto adaptation and new version of the dialogue, dramaturgy
Agathe Mélinand

Barbara de Limburg

Joël Adam

Mistress of the Maîtrise Populaire of the Opéra Comique
Sarah Koné

GNO Children’s chorus mistress
Konstantina Pitsiakou

Πρωταγωνιστές Παράστασης

Le roi V’lan
Franck Leguérinel

Le prince Caprice
Arthur Roussel

La princesse Fantasia
Ludmilla Bouakkaz

Matéo Vincent-Denoble

Le roi Cosmos
Enzo Bishop

Violette Clapeyron

Rachel Masclet

Micha Calvez-Richer

Les Demoiselles d'Honneur
Salomé Baslé
Justine Chauzy Le Joly
Judith Gasnier
Airelle Groleau
Maxence Hermann


With the GNO Orchestra, the Maîtrise Populaire of the Opéra Comique and the GNO Children’s Chorus (as part of its educational mission)





Ticket prices: €10, €12, €15, €20
Students, children: €10
Limited visibility seats: €5

Stavros Niarchos Hall

Le Voyage dans la Lune

Jacques Offenbach
In co-production with the Opéra Comique (Paris), the Volksoper Wien and the Angers Nantes Opéra

Opera for all the family • New production

Stavros Niarchos Hall of the Greek National Opera – SNFCC


Starts at: 19.30 | clock

Lead Donor of the GNO & Production donor



With this new production of the Jacques Offenbach opera Le Voyage dans la Lune, conducted by Elias Voudouris and directed by Laurent Pelly, the Greek National Opera is launching its strategic partnership with the Opéra Comique in Paris – one of Europe’s most important opera houses, founded back in 1714. Two singular performances are to be presented on 12 and 13 July 2023 inside the Stavros Niarchos Hall, with the GNO Orchestra and Children’s Chorus, and the Maîtrise Populaire and soloists of the Opéra Comique. This production is made possible by a grant from the Stavros Niarchos Foundation (SNF) to enhance the GNO’s artistic outreach.

Le Voyage dans la Lune is a four-act opéra-féérie by Jacques Offenbach (1819-1880), a German composer who lived and worked in France. The libretto by Albert Vanloo, Eugène Leterrier, and Arnold Mortier is based loosely on the Jules Verne novels From the Earth to the Moon and Journey to the Centre of the Earth.
The work was written in the wake of the success enjoyed by the novels of Verne. Combining fantastical elements with the scientific achievements of the time, the production invested heavily in phantasmagoria and grand spectacle elements. These included two ballet troupes, as well as 20 painted backdrops and 673 costumes designed specially for the purposes of the production. Audiences were also treated to the sight of a cannon on stage, which shot the characters to the Moon, not to mention a volcanic eruption and a rendition of the Paris Observatory’s main hall.
When first presented in 1875, the production was such a sensation that no less than seven different variety performances in the French capital referenced it directly in the season that followed. In 1876, Le Voyage dans la Lune was presented in London and Vienna; meanwhile, its Paris run ended after a total of 185 performances, only for the show to open again on a new stage before the year was out!


Internationally acclaimed French director Laurent Pelly and dramaturg Agathe Mélinand have adapted this exquisite work by Offenbach –largely unknown today– with an inventiveness and collective spirit that is sure to impress young and old alike. In this new adaptation of the work, the complex scenic demands made by the libretto give way to the imagination, while the libretto, music, and staging create a dream-like world for the soloists and young performers of the Maîtrise Populaire of the Opéra Comique and the GNO Children’s Chorus. Brought together inside a giant playground are the inhabitants of the Earth and Moon – youngsters dressed like grown-ups to play kings and laypeople, astronomers and princes and government ministers, but also children up on stage ready to protest, fighting for the climate and for an Earth that’s drowning under rubbish dumps.
Laurent Pelly, one of the most sought-after directors working internationally today, has partnered with the world’s most prestigious opera houses. While his career has demonstrated a natural affinity for the Italian and French opera repertoire, he has also turned his hand to productions of works by Russian and Czech composers in recent years. His stagings are marked by an intense theatricality, surreal invention, and a dark sense of humour. A master of detail, he designs the costumes for all his productions, and occasionally also the sets. Regarding this singular collaboration with the Maîtrise Populaire of the Opéra Comique, the director had this to say in an interview with Le Figaro: “The bracing vitality of these youngsters, their physical investment, their receptiveness –often in contrast to a chorus of adults forever interrupting you to insist they cannot sing this thing in that position or while making that gesture– taught me much. More than anything, I learned that there is no greater inspiration than to let young people reinvent our very lives.”

The Maîtrise Populaire of the Opéra Comique, headed by Sarah Koné, was founded in 2016 to train young people –aged ten to 25– in song, dance, and opera. It is an arts training scheme, but also an educational and social project. Maîtrise students are immersed in the challenges of the opera repertoire by taking part in major opera productions staged at the Opéra Comique.

For these Athens performances, the GNO Children’s Chorus forms a key part of this strategic partnership. Preparations for the production, headed by Konstantina Pitsiakou, began in September 2022 and proved a major challenge, since the 22 children selected to take part not only had to receive music training, but also had to become versed in the French language and –in a first for the GNO Children’s Chorus– had to take a series of dance and movement classes, preparing them to meet the physical demands of the production. The journey was a challenging one, filled with new experiences, and along the way they managed to transform themselves into young professionals whose work we will get the chance to enjoy up on the Stavros Niarchos Hall stage.

In addition to his work as a director, Laurent Pelly also created the highly poetic costumes. The ingenious and inventive sets are by Barbara de Limburg, while the harmonious lighting is by Joël Adam. The imaginative characters are played by soloists of the Opéra Comique, and by Maîtrise Populaire of the Opéra Comique members. The production is being conducted by the renowned maestro Elias Voudouris. Konstantina Pitsiakou is the GNO Children’s Chorus mistress, while Sarah Koné is mistress of the Maîtrise Populaire of the Opéra Comique.




King V’lan wishes to cede power to his son, Prince Caprice. But Caprice, who has just returned from a long trip around the world, now dreams of going to the Moon. The king’s counsellor and scientist Microscope takes charge of making this project a reality. The solution is not to be found in the Observatory but rather in the Forge, where a huge cannon has been built. V’lan and Microscope join Caprice, willy-nilly, and climb into an interstellar capsule, propelled by artillerymen, to the cheers of the people…

The Sélénites, inhabitants of the Moon, are astonished by the arrival of the Earthlings: they thought the Earth was uninhabited. Their King Cosmos prepares to arrest the intruders, but Queen Popotte and Princess Fantasia ensure they are pardoned. At the royal palace, the Earthlings discover the world of their hosts: love does not exist here, children are delivered to order, and women are employed either as housekeepers or as works of art… But Caprice falls in love with Fantasia at first sight, and Microscope does the same with Popotte… And soon, the apples brought from the Earth produce an unexpected effect: Fantasia falls in love with Caprice.

No-one on the Moon knows what love is, so it is believed that Fantasia is sick. When the doctors prove ineffectual, Cosmos decides to sell his daughter at the women’s market. Meanwhile, apples distilled into an elixir have made Popotte succumb to the charms of Microscope. It is then that a snowstorm descends on the Moon, threatening all the characters with certain death.

A sea of cold has covered the surface of the Moon. Cosmos offers V’lan, Caprice, and Microscope refuge with the Sélénites inside a volcano, to escape the deadly cold. A volcanic eruption sends them back to the surface and dispels the frost that had paralysed the Moon. In amazement, all celebrate the beautiful rising Earthlight.


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