Wednesday, 05 July 2023

GNO Alternative Stage: Artistic programme 2023/24


23 24 EN 1



The Alternative Stage of the Greek National Opera presents a multidimensional and daring programme for the 2023/24 artistic period. The rich line-up includes the Greek premiere of a music theatre version of Pier Paolo Pasolini’s swan song, several original productions of music theatre works, Nadia Boulanger’s unique opera in only its third presentation in over a hundred years, a new, ambitious contemporary dance compilation, revivals of acclaimed and popular opera and musical theatre productions, performances for babies and parents, children and young audiences, and concerts, as well as two festivals dedicated to Baroque music and percussion instruments. A multitude of important creators and performers from the fields of opera, music theatre, theatre and dance guarantee a high-profile programme of exceptional aesthetic value, focused both on exploiting the country’s exciting artistic potential and on nurturing important international collaborations. The Founding Donor to the Alternative Stage of the GNO and its long-standing supporter is the Stavros Niarchos Foundation (SNF) [].

Decisively breaking down the barriers between individual categories making up the broad field of music theatre, the GNO Alternative Stage proposes for the 2023/24 artistic season a programme that aspires to attract music and opera lovers as well as fans of musical theatre, theatre-goers and dance connoisseurs to its hall, renowned for its exemplary acoustics. Entering its seventh season, the Alternative Stage is attempting a radical expansion of the boundaries of the Greek music theatre scene in a programme that includes bold and timely political statements, an exploration of unjustly neglected aspects of the repertoire, an emphasis on the demographic and aesthetic expansion of its audience as well as on fertile collaborations and, of course, consistent cultivation of its fundamental values – namely, promoting contemporary music theatre, both as entertainment and research, with a series of revivals of important works as well as new productions that creatively test the boundaries of the genre, paving the way for its longevity and future development.

Among the new music theatre productions in the GNO Alternative Stage Hall, we encounter two Greek premieres: The iconic film Salò, or the 120 Days of Sodom by Pier Paolo Pasolini is transformed, per GNO commission, into a radical music theatre performance by the subversive stage director Aris Biniaris in collaboration with the composer Jeph Vanger and a large cast of distinguished actors, marking the first GNO presentation of a work by the heretical Italian auteur. In addition, on the occasion of the production of Salò, or the 120 Days of Sodom, Aris Biniaris is curating an explosive rap concert in collaboration with artists of the Greek rap scene. Salò: The Concert is an extension of the themes of both the film and the Italian auteur's wider work, using the tools and aesthetics of the most influential musical movement of today. The novel The Loser by Thomas Bernhard, a leading Austrian author who left his mark on German-language literature in the second half of the 20th century, is being adapted and directed by Ektoras Lygizos, who transforms the original’s monologue narrative into a music theatre performance for four voices and a piano.

A new opera co-production with the daring American company Catapult Opera presents the rare work La ville morte, the only opera composed by the leading music educator and conductor Nadia Boulanger in collaboration with her mentor Raoul Pugno, in its Greek premiere and only its third production in over a century!

Five revivals of successful musical theatre and opera productions renew their appointment with the audience in 2023/24. The masterful and award-winning musical Into the Woods by leading composer and lyricist Stephen Sondheim and the celebrated writer James Lapine continues its triumphant run, abruptly interrupted by the pandemic, in a top-level production directed and translated into Greek by Dimitris Ayiopetritis-Bogdanos. The much-discussed and highly successful chamber opera Strella by Michalis Paraskakis on a libretto by Alexandra K*, based on the film of the same title by Panos H. Koutras, returns to the Alternative Stage, under the stage direction of George Koutlis and with the GNO reappearance of three transgender artists. The musical The Last Five Years, the great off-Broadway hit by the three-time Tony Award-winning American composer Jason Robert Brown, under the musical direction of Michalis Papapetrou and translated and directed for the stage by Dimitris Dimopoulos, is also coming back: a New York story of an unusual love affair that provides an unforgettable musical theatre experience. An enchanting fairy tale from the East, the spectacular opera for children and young audiences A Cloud in Love by composer Sofia Kamayianni on a libretto by Eleni Zafiriou based on the eponymous fairy tale by Nâzim Hikmet and directed by Eleni Efthymiou returns to the GNO Alternative Stage to take the audience on a journey to distant lands and times through the power of music and poetry. Also, the enchanting dance theatre show for infants and their parents Underwater, by Xenia Aidonopoulou and Georgia Tegou, continues its successful run offering a magical journey to the deep blue sea.

The GNO Ballet is once again present at the Alternative Stage with a new contemporary dance triptych entitled Colours, choreographed by Eva Georgitsopoulou, Diego Tortelli and Konstantinos Rigos.

A remarkable production that combines music theatre and contemporary experimental music, The Voice of the Bacchae by the up-and-coming composer Ioannis Angelakis, will have its Athenian premiere at the GNO Alternative Stage, directed by George Koutlis and with the participation of tenor Christos Kechris and musicians from the Ergon Ensemble.

The concert programme includes a unique piano recital by the distinguished pianist Apostolos Palios with classic solo piano works by Mikis Theodorakis, a special tribute to composer Manolis Kalomiris –a leading figure of the Greek National School of music– by the Athens Conservatoire, as well as the recital Light! Oh, where is the light? featuring songs based on poetry by Rabindranath Tagore and performed by soloists Elena Marangou and Lydía Zervanos, flautist Natalia Geraki and pianist Dimitris Yakas.

Finally, the programme is complemented by two significant festivals: The 6th Baroque Music Festival returns to the GNO Alternative Stage and the historic hall of the Parnassos Philological Society to take the audience on a journey to the enchanting world of the Baroque through four unique concerts focusing on the year 1723. The 1st Percussion Festival of the GNO Alternative Stage comes to display the full spectrum of this fascinating sound world, in a series of activities ranging from special workshops and masterclasses to unique concerts with renowned ensembles and soloists.


GNO Alternative Stage programme curators: Alexandros Efklidis


The ticket pre-sale for the September – December 2023 productions will begin on 31 July 2023 and will take place at the GNO Box Office and on




Founding donor of the Alternaitve Stage
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