Odeon of Herodes Atticus

Opera - Giacomo Puccini

June 2024
Δημιουργική Ομάδα

Conductor: Lukas Karytinos
Staging, set design, costumes: Hugo de Ana
Revival stage director: Katerina Petsatodi
Video projections: Sergio Metalli – Ideogamma SRL
Lighting: Vinicio Cheli
Lighting revival: Christos Tziogkas
Chorus master: Agathangelos Georgakatos
Children’s chorus mistress: Konstantina Pitsiakou

Πρωταγωνιστές Παράστασης

Floria Tosca
Evgenia Muraveva (01 & 6/06/2024) / Cellia Costea (02, 04 & 11/06/2024)

Mario Cavaradossi
Riccardo Massi (01 & 06/06/2024) / Carl Tanner (02, 04 & 11/06/2024)

Baron Scarpia
Tassis Christoyannis (01, 04 & 06/06/2024) / Yanni Yannissis (02 & 11/06/2024)

Cesare Angelotti
Tassos Apostolou

A sacristan
Petros Magoulas

Sciarrone / A gaoler
Vangelis Maniatis

A shepherd boy
Evita Chioti

Yannis Kalyvas


With the Orchestra, Chorus and Childrens Chorus of the GNO, as part of its educational mission




Ticket prices: €25, €45, €55, €60, €85, €100
Students, children: €15
Disabled seats: €15


Tickets for the extra performance on 4 June 2024 will go on sale tomorrow, Wednesday 29 May, at 10.00 in the morning. Tickets will be available at the GNO Box Office in the SNFCC (+30 2130885700, 9.00-21.00 daily), the box offices of the Athens Epidaurus Festival, and online at





Odeon of Herodes Atticus



Giacomo Puccini
As part of the Athens Epidaurus Festival

Available Dates

  • 01, 02, 04, 06, 11 Jun 2024

Opera • Revival

Starts at: 21.00 | clock



GNO lead donor



Production sponsors




The Greek National Opera opens this year’s Athens Epidaurus Festival with Giacomo Puccini’s popular opera Tosca at the Odeon of Herodes Atticus. The performances will be held on 1, 2, 4, 6, and 11 June 2024, conducted by Lukas Karytinos and directed and with sets and costumes by Hugo de Ana. The direction is revived by Katerina Petsatodi.

Tosca, this unique operatic thriller, made its world premiere in 1900 in Rome. It is justly hailed as one of the most famous operas in the repertoire, in which fiery passions are underscored by Giacomo Puccini’s highly evocative music. It was first performed in 1942 by the GNO at the open-air Klafthmonos Square Summer Theatre in Athens, starring the 19-year-old Maria Kalogeropoulou, who subsequently became famous as Maria Callas. Since then it has been frequently presented upon strong popular demand.

The renowned opera diva Floria Tosca is deeply in love with and at the same time pathologically jealous of her partner. Baron Scarpia, a dark but incredibly powerful figure, derives pleasure from the suffering of his victims. Caught in the middle is Mario Cavaradossi, the lover and loyal patriot, who is eventually led to his death, not because of his ideas, but because of his relationship with Tosca, whom Scarpia covets. The scheme has been set up effectively: nobody escapes Scarpia’s traps.

In Tosca’s compositional process, the keyword for Puccini was realism. Besides, Tosca was the celebrated composer’s opera that most closely adhered to the ideals of verismo, the Italian naturalism movement. To Puccini, realism is found in the fierceness of situations and the conflicts between the protagonists. It is portrayed by the music in a direct manner, devoid of artificial embellishments.

Tosca’s narrative plot includes a series of fundamental human issues: love, jealousy, depraved lust, trust in friendship. And despite the fact that death stamps its mark on this work, the essence of the story is the heroine’s unbearable division, as she is faced with a nightmarish dilemma.

Hugo de Ana’s Tosca –a production first staged in 2012 at the Odeon of Herodes Atticus– is fascinating, dramatic, and absolutely true to the composer’s spirit, as well as to the historical context where the libretto is set. The magnificent stage sets, featuring a huge Crucifix, a holy table, and a painting studio, are complemented by spectacular projections of renowned Rome monuments, religious symbols, and captivating videos, offering the production a cinematic flair.

De Ana, internationally known for his monumental stage sets and impressive light and video projection designs, has directed productions at some of the world’s most prestigious opera houses, including the Deutsche Oper Berlin, Royal Opera House in London, Seville Opera, Israeli Opera in Tel Aviv, La Scala in Milan, Arena di Verona, Tokyo Opera, and Gran Teatre del Liceu in Barcelona. Responsible for the revival of the direction is Katerina Petsatodi, the Stage Director of the Greek National Opera.

The impressive video projections were designed by Sergio Metalli – Ideogamma SRL, and the lighting by Vinicio Cheli, while the lighting was revived by Christos Tziogkas.

Lukas Karytinos, the celebrated conductor and Artistic Director of the Athens State Orchestra, conducts the production. His trajectory at the Greek National Opera started in 1985. In 1992 he became the Company’s Music Director, and from 1999 to 2005 he served as its Artistic Director. He has conducted performances in international festivals like Verona, Rome, Las Palmas, Torre del Lago, and Avenches. He has also worked with top opera houses worldwide, such as those in Berlin, Barcelona, Cologne, Monte-Carlo, Detroit, Salzburg and more.

For this year’s revival of Tosca, the Greek National Opera has secured a world-class opera protagonist cast. In the role of Floria Tosca, the audience will have the chance to enjoy the renowned sopranos Evgenia Muraveva (1 & 6/6) and Cellia Costea (2, 4 & 11/6).

The multi-awarded Russian soprano Evgenia Muraveva was a sensation when she made her debut at the Salzburg Festival in 2017 as Katerina Ismailova in Lady Macbeth of Mtsensk. Her reputation was further solidified when she appeared again in Salzburg the next year in The Queen of Spades, achieving tremendous success. She has performed in numerous venues including Mariinsky Theatre, Lyon Opera, Toulouse Opera, La Scala in Milan, Teatro di San Carlo, and Komische Oper Berlin, successfully portraying major repertoire characters.

The celebrated soprano Cellia Costea from the GNO returns to the role of opera diva Floria Tosca, which has been so beloved by the Greek audience. Born in Romania, Cellia Costea has distinguished herself in some of the world’s most important singing competitions and has worked with some of the most renowned theatres and prestigious venues worldwide, like the Vienna State Opera, Deutsche Oper Berlin, Concertgebouw in Amsterdam, and Royal Opera House in London, among others, leaving her mark on emblematic roles.

The role of Mario Cavaradossi will be shared by two exceptional tenors, Riccardo Massi (1 & 6/6) and Carl Tanner (2, 4 & 11/6).

Internationally acclaimed Italian tenor Riccardo Massi is familiar to the Greek audience for his successful performance at the GNO Opera Gala at the Odeon of Herodes Atticus in 2020. As a performer of lyrical and dramatic repertoire, he has received rave reviews for his portrayals of roles in works by Puccini and Verdi. He has performed at renowned opera houses such as the Royal Opera House in London, Berlin State Opera, Deutsche Oper Berlin, Rome Opera, New York Metropolitan Opera, Zurich Opera, Oslo Opera, Royal Swedish Opera (Stockholm), Bavarian State Opera (Munich), Torino Royal Theatre, Opera Australia, and Glyndebourne Festival.

Acclaimed American tenor Carl Tanner has carved out an impressive international career. He has appeared in the world’s most important opera houses including the New York Metropolitan Opera, Opéra national de Paris, Washington National Opera, Royal Opera House in London, Deutsche Oper Berlin, La Scala in Milan, Teatro Real in Madrid, Gran Teatre del Liceu in Barcelona, Tokyo Opera, the Bolshoi Theatre and others.

Scarpia will be portrayed by two renowned protagonists from the GNO, Tassis Christoyannis (1, 4 & 6/6) from the GNO and renowned bass-baritone Yanni Yannissis (2 & 11/6).

Tassis Christoyannis, the internationally acclaimed baritone and currently Artistic Director of the Olympia Municipal Music Theatre “Maria Callas”, returns to one of his most successfully performed roles. The celebrated baritone has been starring in Greek National Opera productions since 1989, and has appeared at some of the world’s most prestigious theatres, including Opéra Comique, Opéra national de Paris, Théâtre des Champs-Elysées (Paris), Berlin State Opera, Frankfurt Opera, Royal Opera of Versailles, Vienna State Opera, Glyndebourne Festival and others.

Distinguished bass-baritone Yanni Yannissis has performed at top venues worldwide including the New York Metropolitan Opera, La Monnaie in Brussels, Scottish Opera, Frankfurt Opera, and others. He has shared the stage with renowned artists such as Luciano Pavarotti and Plácido Domingo, and has performed under the direction of James Levine. He has also performed in numerous productions of the Greek National Opera.


Tassos Apostolou performs as Cesare Angelotti, Petros Magoulas as the Sacristan, Vangelis Maniatis as Sciarrone and the Gaoler, Yannis Kalyvas as Spoletta, and Evita Chioti as the Shepherd boy.

The GNO Chorus is conducted by Agathangelos Georgakatos and the GNO Children’s Chorus by Konstantina Pitsiakou.

Stage director’s note / Doubtless and not by chance, Tosca counts among the most popular of Puccini’s operas. Puccini wanted to write a melodious opera: there was a wish to create music coming from the heart and speaking to the heart. In this the musician shows himself inseparable from the “man of the theatre”, just as the “melodist” appears inseparable from the “symphonist”. In his music one distinguishes with clarity the character of his personages, the colours, the gestures of the interpreters; he himself said: “I make theatre and visualise my scenes.” Therefore, Tosca, more than any other of his operas, marks the passage to verismo (insistence on realistic details, quest of stage effects with strong hues, exasperation of sentiments: love, hatred, spirit of sacrifice, love for one’s country…) with aspects that are even cruel and morbid, with broken and excited dialogues of great dramatic power. The well-known plot, a passionate love story between Floria Tosca and Mario Cavaradossi, unfolds in front of a backdrop of a political situation pervaded by exalted ideals of liberty and justice, as opposed to the despotic and cruel power of Scarpia. In a diabolic frame of mind he sets a flow of events, which result in his own downfall, the condemnation of Tosca’s lover and her own spectacular suicide: “O Scarpia, avanti a Dio!” — Hugo de Ana


Tosca at a glance

The composer / Giacomo Puccini was born in Lucca, Northern Italy on 22 December 1858. To this day he remains one of the most celebrated Italian opera composers, as most of his works are a staple in the repertoire of the world’s most prestigious opera houses. His personal style became evident already from his third opera, Manon Lescaut (1893), while with his next three works La bohème (1896), Tosca (1900) and Madama Butterfly (1904), he was hailed as Verdi’s most important successor. The vividly melodious music and intense theatricality marking his operas successfully met the demands of his time. Due to his sudden death, in Brussels in 1924, his final opera, Turandot, remained unfinished.

The work / The opera in three acts, Tosca, is based on a libretto by Giuseppe Giacosa and Luigi Illica, inspired by Victorien Sardou’s play La Tosca (1887).

Premieres / Tosca was first performed at the Teatro Costanzi in Rome on 14 January 1900. The title role was sung by the Romanian soprano of Greek descent Hariclea Darclée –father’s surname: Hariclis–, who was chosen by Puccini himself. Cavaradossi was performed by Emilio de Marchi, and Scarpia by Eugenio Giraldoni. Leopoldo Mugnone conducted. Tosca was presented by the Third Hellenic Melodrama company during the 1916/17 season. The Greek National Opera included the work in its repertoire on 27 August 1942, starring the 19-year-old Maria Kalogeropoulou (Callas) and conducted by Sotos Vassiliadis.


Synopsis of the original

Act I / Church of Sant’Andrea della Valle, Rome, June 1800. Cesare Angelotti, an escaped political prisoner seeks refuge in the church’s adjacent chapel. The sacristan approaches, followed by Mario Cavaradossi, an artist painting a portrait of Mary Magdalene. The latter thinks that even though Mary Magdalene is blonde, she reminds him of his beloved, dark Floria Tosca, a famous opera singer. When the Sacristan departs, Cavaradossi sees Angelotti and promises to help him flee Rome. Hearing Tosca approach, Angelotti goes back into hiding.

Having heard her lover speaking with someone but seeing him alone, she expresses her pathological jealousy and puts him through a grueling interrogation. Cavaradossi pacifies her and she leaves. Cavaradossi and Angelotti plan the latter’s escape and they quickly leave the church together. A crowd gathers for the Te Deum, as the chief of police, Baron Scarpia, arrives with his henchman Spoletta in search of Angelotti. Tosca returns. Scarpia, who has his suspicions of Cavaradossi and also wants the beautiful Floria, uses her renowned jealousy to extract information from her. He, nevertheless, achieves very little. As the crowd raises its voice in a hymn, Scarpia vows to lead Cavaradossi to the firing squad and Tosca into his arms.

Act II / A hall at Farnese Palace, where Baron Scarpia is staying. Scarpia broods over his desire for Tosca as he dines. Spoletta announces that Angelotti has not been found, but Cavaradossi has been taken into custody for suspicious behaviour. Scarpia, who has summoned Tosca in the meantime, interrogates the painter. He denies all knowledge of the case. The opera singer arrives as her lover is tortured in a nearby room.

Tosca cannot bear his cries of pain and reveals to Scarpia Angelotti’s hideout, a secret entrusted to her by Cavaradossi. The painter is led before them just as the news of Napoleon’s victory at Marengo arrive. Cavaradossi celebrates and Scarpia, in a rage, commands that he is locked up. Then, alone with Tosca, he negotiates her beloved’s release: the painter will be set free, if the singer succumbs to Scarpia’s desire. In utter desperation she consents and Scarpia pretends to ask Spoletta to order a false execution. However, as he prepares the document that will allow Tosca and her beloved to leave Rome unhindered, she grabs a knife and, consumed by hatred, stabs him to death.

Act III / A few hours later, at dawn at the Castel Sant’Angelo. The bells of St Peter sound as the song of a shepherd is heard from a distance. In anticipation of his final hour, Cavaradossi can think of nothing other than his beloved’s tender kiss. Tosca arrives just in time and tells him of what has happened, placating him with what she believes will be a mock execution. She explains what exactly he must do. When the firing squad shoots, she expresses her excitement at how naturally he pretends being dead, or so she thinks. She waits until the soldiers have left and when she goes to his side to tell him that the coast is clear, she realises she has been tricked by Scarpia. At that very moment the soldiers return, led by Spoletta. Her crime has been discovered and she must pay. Rather than falling into their hands, she prefers to jump into the void. She and Scarpia will face each other again, in the presence of God.