STAVROS NIARCHOS FOUNDATION
364 Syggrou Avenue, Kallithea
+30 213 0885700
Premiere Thursday 23 December 2021 | It will remain online until 30/4/2022 on GNOTV
Music curation (musical collage, improvisation), piano, keyboard, mechanical-clockwork toys: Ann-Kristin Sofroniou
Original story, libretto, English translation: Andriana Minou
Illustration, animation: Christina Spanou
Narrator, singing, vocal improvisation: Maria Katrivesi
Sound recording, editing: Kostas Bokos – Studio 19
6th Greek National Opera Online Festival for the whole family
The Bear and the Baritone on Other Planets
The festival will be streamed for free
GNO TV is a new strand of Greek National Opera’s programming, made possible by a grant from the Stavros Niarchos Foundation (SNF) [www.SNF.org] to enhance the Greek National Opera’s artistic outreach.
A squirrel, the darkness-woman and a walking tree meet up in an original music fairy tale about diversity. Stop motion animation and contemporary music create a magic forest of sounds and images, inspired by Sofia Gubaidulina’s work Musical Toys (1969).
Where is the darkest place in the world? Perhaps there, where we hide our hatred, our fear and anger. In the fairy tale “The squirrel who made a forest disappear” the central figure, the Squirrel, is found trapped in exactly this place. He is all alone. His only companion is Darkness, a woman wrapped up in a strange tree that walks. There he comes face to face with the animosity, the fear and the anger aroused in him by the creatures that are different than him. That is, more or less, every creature there is. It is completely his fault that he is there, since he pressed the mysterious red button that makes any being he doesn’t like disappear. The annoying woodpecker with the big nose, the inferior mouse who dares to spread rumours that the two of them are related, the loudmouth wolf, the silly butterflies, the centenarian tortoise from Kathmandu who speaks a broken language, the boring ants and many other forest creatures. He knew very well that all it takes to make them disappear is the pressing of one button. And he did press it. In other words, the Squirrel preferred to be all alone than to share the forest with animals that were different than him. Only that things didn’t go exactly as expected. Because this way, without him realising it, he chose nothingness. And one can never know what hides in nothingness. Will Darkness really manage to teach the Squirrel that diversity makes the world more beautiful?