Monday, 13 January 2020

A new era is born at the Greek National Opera

World premieres, important international partnerships, renowned protagonists and a great campaign in the framework of the GNO’s artistic outreach strategy supported by a grant from the Stavros Niarchos Foundation (SNF) []
The Greek National Opera welcomed 2020 with a big press conference at the Stavros Niarchos Hall in the SNFCC, on Thursday 9 January. The Greek National Opera’s Artistic Director Mr. Giorgos Koumendakis presented the first annual activity report of the GNO’s artistic outreach strategy which is supported by a grant from the Stavros Niarchos Foundation (SNF) [] , announced important new steps and presented the new international campaign which will promote the GNO’s work in Greece and abroad.
In its new era, the Greek National Opera establishes itself as a prestigious European opera house with a recognizable artistic identity and a distinct mark. The initial goals set by Giorgos Koumendakis, when he took over the directorship of the GNO back in 2017, - expansion of the repertoire, new commissions, sharp readings of classic works, world-class partnerships, connection of the lyric art with visual arts- have all been achieved and have already laid the groundwork for the challenges of the new era.
In today’s press conference, Giorgos Koumendakis announced the new important steps and partnerships that will be developed over the next three years in the framework of the GNO’s artistic outreach strategy which is supported by a grant from the Stavros Niarchos Foundation (SNF).
The strategic partnership with the Opéra Comique de Paris and the further strengthening of the current relationship with the Royal Opera House, London, the collaborations with prestigious opera houses, such as La Monnaie (Brussels), the Royal Danish Opera (Copenhagen), the Göteborg Opera, and the Finnish National Opera (Helsinki), as well as some of the most important opera festivals across the globe, like the Aix en Provence Festival in France, the Rossini-Pesaro Festival in Italy and the Baden-Baden Festival in Germany, are some of the collaborations that will unfold over the next seasons. Regarding dance,  two partnerships have been announced with two of the most important internationally acclaimed dance groups, the Mark Morris Dance Group in New York and Batsheva Dance Company in Israel.
As part of these collaborations, the GNO will present the work of acclaimed directors, such as Krzysztof Warlikowski, Laurent Pelly, David MacVicar, Damiano Michieletto, John Fulljames, Bob Wilson, Christof Loy etc.
Let it be noted that two of the GNO’s major co-productions will premiere first in Athens and then at the respective collaborating European opera houses. More specifically, the new baroque opera that will be held in a co-production with Opéra Comique, will first premiere in Athens and then in Paris, while Don Giovanni which will be presented in a co-production with the Göteborg Opera and the Royal Danish Opera, will first premiere in Athens and then in Göteborg and Stockholm.
Artistic director Giorgos Koumendakis said: “Through our new campaign presented here today, we wish to make our work known outside Greece, to present our new artistic identity and talk about our artistic outreach strategy. The Greek National Opera, with the support of the Stavros Niarchos Foundation, aspires to become an international destination for the friends of opera and to create a significant exportable cultural product.”
In her address, the Minister of Culture & Sports Mrs. Mendoni, after praising the work of the GNO and Giorgos Koumendakis, said: “If we want to invest in Greek creation and put it on the European and international map, if we want to attract international artists, we can only reach out. Reach out by showing in a systematic and integrated manner all our work. The Greek National Opera is an organization, which, thanks to the support of the Stavros Niarchos Foundation and Mr. Dracopoulos in particular, can make the Greek citizens proud.”
The Co-President of the Stavros Niarchos Foundation, Mr. Andreas Dracopoulos, said: “In the past year, the GNO has grown its capacity and further cultivated its artistic vision, become more extroverted in outlook, opened up to new audiences, bolstered its staff, traveled beyond Athens. It has developed collaborations with important international cultural organizations, and has spread its wings to the U.S. All of us at SNF offer our best wishes for the GNO in gaining the appreciation it merits amongst the world’s great opera companies.”
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