Monday, 01 July 2024

The SNF gives a new grant to the GNO & Season 2024-25 programme announcement



The Stavros Niarchos Foundation (SNF) gives a new grant of €11,000,000 to the Greek National Opera
Announcement of the Greek National Opera’s artistic programme for the 2024/25 season


In a press interview held on Monday the 1st of July 2024 in the Stavros Niarchos Hall, the Artistic Director of the Greek National Opera (GNO), Giorgos Koumendakis, presented the new, ambitious, and diverse programme for the 2024/25 season, catering to a wide range of audiences. At the same time, the Stavros Niarchos Foundation (SNF) Co-President Andreas C. Dracopoulos, announced the continuation of the SNF’s support to the GNO, with a new two-year grant of €11,000,000, aiming to further support the GNO’s outreach strategy in Greece and abroad.


A new grant of €11,000,000 from the Stavros Niarchos Foundation (SNF)

Following the successful completion of its four-year grant (2019-2023) to support the Greek National Opera’s outreach policy, the Stavros Niarchos Foundation (SNF) renews its trust in the Greek National Opera by announcing a fresh two-year grant of €11,000,000. More specifically, the SNF approved a grant of €10,000,000, aiming to further support the GNO’s outreach strategy in Greece and abroad. At the same time, the SNF intends to grant one more million euros for the same purpose, on the condition that the GNO will ensure matching funds from different sources abroad. The new grant, which covers the 2024/25 and 2025/26 seasons, aims to enhance the GNO’s global presence and solidify its position among the top opera houses worldwide. With the support of the SNF, the Greek National Opera will continue its policy of international co-productions and collaborations with leading artists, while it will also present its artistic work abroad and throughout Greece. Concurrently, thanks to the support of the SNF, it will expand its social policy through a set of targeted actions.


The key areas of focus for the new grant from the Stavros Niarchos Foundation (SNF) are the following:

  • Artistic outreach policy of the GNO in Greece and abroad

With the support of the SNF, the GNO will continue its policy of international co-productions for the next two years. The first co-production with the Aix-en-Provence Festival and the Opéra national de Paris will be presented in October 2024, followed by a co-production with the iconic Salzburg Festival and the Royal Opera House in London, a year later.

The grant also supports a programme of world tours, presenting selected GNO performances in opera houses, concert venues, museums, and festivals abroad. Following several GNO Ballet presentations abroad, as well as the presentation of the production Bleat by Yorgos Lanthimos in New York, more tours of GNO productions are scheduled to take place in France, Argentina, the United States, England, and other countries. Moreover, within the scope of the new grant, great emphasis is given to GNO tours throughout Greece, with the goal of increasing access to its performances for a broader audience across the country. More specifically, the GNO will create small-scale productions that will travel to more than 30 different destinations. These productions will include opera, music, and dance performances, as well as a series of diverse educational and social activities.

As part of the effort to enhance its artistic outreach strategy, the GNO will continue to invite top opera and dance artists, with the goal of offering high-quality productions of international appeal. It is noted that this particular section of the grant is part of the matching funds programme mentioned above.


  • Implementation of a development plan for the GNO

The GNO, supported by the SNF, will establish a dedicated Development Department, fully staffed, aiming to attract sponsors and strategic partnerships, mainly from abroad, to guarantee a high-quality programming for the future.


  • Increasing the accessibility of GNO performances

In an effort to make its programme more accessible, the GNO, supported by the SNF, will offer a specific number of free tickets to population segments who have not yet had the opportunity to attend its performances at the Stavros Niarchos Hall.


  • Further promotion and communication of the GNO’s work

With support from the SNF, the GNO will maintain its global presence by launching targeted communication campaigns that use a wide range of media channels, including print and digital platforms, to promote its work in Greece and internationally. The organization will also continue to collaborate with public relations offices abroad to expand its reach and increase awareness.

At the same time, over the next two years, the content of the GNO TV platform will continue to be enriched, while GNO’s collaboration with international opera TV channels will continue to be developed.


  • Investing in the education and training of the GNO’s artistic staff

The new grant from the SNF to the GNO also includes awarding scholarships to honour graduates of the GNO Professional School of Dance, as well as organising masterclasses for the GNO Ballet dancers, led by renowned foreign ballet masters.

The Stavros Niarchos Foundation (SNF) Co-President, Andreas C. Dracopoulos, remarks: “We are delighted to be extending our creative collaboration with the Greek National Opera (GNO), having already built a longstanding relationship of trust spanning more than a decade. Since the launch of this collaboration in 2012 with an eye toward the GNO’s subsequent move to the Stavros Niarchos Foundation Cultural Center (SNFCC) in 2017, SNF’s steadfast support for the GNO has now covered a multitude of initiatives and totals €39 million, including the new grant. Moreover, we would like to believe that the creation of the SNFCC and the state-of-the-art facilities designed by Renzo Piano have contributed to the GNO’s journey into a new era. It is always an honor to be able to contribute to the persistent efforts the organization’s entire team is making for its continuing evolution under the leadership of Artistic Director Giorgos Koumendakis. With the new SNF grant to the GNO that we are announcing today, we are very happy to have the opportunity to further support its vision of enhancing its artistic outreach, primarily around Greece, but also on the international stage. The GNO has already enjoyed a dynamic debut on the international stage and, with the strengthening of the international partnerships that are also part of the new grant, we look forward to seeing the work and value of our National Opera even better appreciated on a global scale. Lastly, in cooperation with the GNO and with a view to its future financial development, we are introducing through this grant the practice of matching funds, in which the GNO will seek part of its resources from financial sources outside Greece, which SNF will then supplement with its own resources, thus expanding the GNO’s network of supporters.

It is reminded that the overall support of the SNF to the GNO sums up to approximately €39,000,000 until mid-2026. Furthermore through the construction of the SNFCC, the SNF has provided the GNO with modern, state-of-the-art facilities, aiding in its transition to a new era.



GNO’s artistic programme for 2024/25 – “Surpassing limits”

With the programme of the 2024/25 season, the Greek National Opera brings the future version of 21st-century opera to the restless present, setting a bright course for an ambitious future. The diverse, wide-ranging address programme of 2024/25 called “Surpassing limits”, includes premieres, unknown masterpieces, remarkable artistic challenges, international co-productions, classical and modern dance, and iconic artists.

Following the smaller and bigger revolutions that took place during the first seven seasons of the GNO at the Stavros Niarchos Foundation Cultural Center (SNFCC), under the artistic direction of Giorgos Koumendakis, conditions are now ripe for a series of even greater leaps that will push the boundaries of opera.

The concept of surpassing limits is not only related to selecting the works that will be presented in 2024/25, but mostly with bold decisions, risk-taking, and the welcoming of a new era. The goal is to clash with conservatism, barren conceptions of the past, and the reproduction of stereotypical views.

From the age-old curse of the House of Atreides and the unspeakable fate of Iphigenia to the mental collapse of Lucia di Lammermoor, from the blood-stained destiny of Bluebeard and Aleco to the limits of revenge in La forza del destino and Rigoletto, and from the entrapped life and tragic death of Tchaikovsky and the dead-ends of the Golden Age to the dark aspect of the legend of Turandot, the stories of the works that will be featured in the new season’s programme of the GNO reflect the challenging journey of surpassing mental limits.

For the new productions of the 2024/25 season, the Greek National Opera invites, converses, and co-creates with renowned directors, set and costume designers, and choreographers from Greece and all over the world, including Fanny Ardant, Dmitri Tcherniakov, Rodoula Gaitanou, Yannis Skourletis – bijoux de kant, Andrei Şerban, Chloe Obolensky, Konstantinos Rigos, Cayetano Soto, George Souglides, Pierre-André Weitz and others.

The productions will be conducted by internationally acclaimed and emerging Greek and foreign conductors such as Michael Hofstetter, Fabrizio Ventura, Jacques Lacombe, Paolo Carignani, Konstantinos Terzakis, Lukas Karytinos, Pier Giorgio Morandi, Derrick Inouye, and others.

Alongside the protagonists from the Greek National Opera (GNO) Dmitri Platanias, Tassis Christoyannis, Cellia Costea, Vassiliki Karayanni, Yannis Christopoulos, Dionysios Sourbis, Tassos Apostolou, Petros Magoulas, Yanni Yannissis, Dimitris Tiliakos, in the 2024/25 productions we will have the pleasure to watch and listen to more internationally acclaimed Greek and foreign performers, including Corine Winters, Ekaterina Semenchuk, Catherine Foster, Véronique Gens, Alexandre Duhamel, Stanislas de Barbeyrac, Arsen Soghomonyan, Riccardo Massi, Myrsini Margariti, Anna Stylianaki, and more.

The 2024/25 season will open with a remarkable international co-production with the famous Aix-en-Provence Opera Festival and the Opéra national de Paris. This collaboration presents a unique artistic endeavour: the staging of two operas by Gluck in one evening, both inspired by the ancient Greek legend of the House of Atreides. The double bill will feature Iphigénie en Aulide and Iphigénie en Tauride, under the direction of the acclaimed Russian director Dmitri Tcherniakov.

The new productions of the season also include the rarely performed opera by Rachmaninoff Aleco directed by the unique Fanny Ardant, Verdi’s La forza del destino –last performed by the GNO 27 years ago– directed by Rodoula Gaitanou, the unknown gem by Spyridon-Filiskos Samaras Flora mirabilis directed by Yannis Skourletis, and Puccini’s operatic swan song Turandot directed by Andrei Şerban, with sets and costumes designed by internationally acclaimed Greek designer Chloe Obolensky.

The GNO Ballet will present two new productions –Tchaikovsky, choreographed by Cayetano Soto, and the Golden Age, directed, choreographed and with sets designed by Konstantinos Rigos–, as well as a revival of the classical ballet Don Quixote, choreographed by Thiago Bordin.

Taking into consideration the strong wishes of its audience, the GNO is bringing back its outstanding co-production of Lucia di Lammermoor with the Royal Opera House in London directed by Katie Mitchell, La bohème in the staging by renowned Graham Vick, Bluebeard’s Castle under the direction of Themelis Glynatsis, and Rigoletto directed by Katerina Evangelatos.

The Artistic Director of the Greek National Opera, Giorgos Koumendakis, remarks:  “With eyes set on the future and guided by 21st-century opera, our goal for the 2024/25 season of the Greek National Opera is to initiate discussions, suggest new directions, challenge established relationships with everything that is old and conservative, and focus our attention on the pressing issues of our era. The 2024/25 programme’s mosaic explores the interplay with the boundaries and balances between bel canto, verismo, classicism, the Ionian Music School, classical ballet, and modern dance, aiming to experiment, reinvent, and redefine significant masterpieces and lesser-known gems in opera and dance, all while maintaining a deep respect for music. This year, we are delighted and honoured to welcome both existing and new members to the Greek National Opera family, invite them to join us in the creative journey and face the difficult challenges of a diverse programme that values both traditional and new audiences. With the help of the valuable support from the SNF grant for the years 2019-2023, the GNO has managed to redefine itself and create a recognisable artistic identity, being now able to reach a global audience through its facilities at the SNFCC and its online platform, GNO TV. We are grateful to the Stavros Niarchos Foundation (SNF) for their creative companionship, understanding, and co-existence. Following the completion and successful report for the 2019-2023 grant of €20,000,000, the SNF approved a fresh two-year grant of €11,000,000 to continue and enhance our artistic outreach efforts. Now, in addition to focusing on international co-productions, inviting artists, organising tours abroad, and marketing, we are also extremely pleased, thanks to this new grant, to be able to arrange tours within Greece, enhance our social initiatives, and further grow our audience and visibility both in Greece and internationally. On behalf of the Greek National Opera, I would like to wholeheartedly thank Andreas C. Dracopoulos and his collaborators at the Stavros Niarchos Foundation for renewing their trust in the GNO. Furthermore, I would like to express my gratitude to the PPC for becoming a Major Sponsor of the GNO this year and generously supporting the productions of Iphigénie en Aulide - Iphigénie en Tauride, La bohème, and Turandot. I am also very grateful to our sponsors –Metlen, Prodea, Piraeus Bank, Alpha Bank, and Eurolife– for supporting the GNO’s work with confidence. For our Company’s progress and uninterrupted operation, I would also like to extend my warm thanks to the Minister of Culture Lina Mendoni and the Ministry of Culture, for always standing by our efforts as valuable assistants. Warmest thanks are also due to the Board of our Company, as well as the entire staff and collaborators of the Greek National Opera.

The Minister of Culture, Lina Mendoni, remarks: “The way the Greek National Opera has expanded its repertoire, its inspired presentations of classical masterpieces, the substantial welcoming of new creations and talented artists, its engagement in conversations with prestigious opera houses abroad, and its commitment to fostering artistic synergies, are but a few elements that have established the GNO as an equal among the world’s top opera houses, while also making it a sought-after destination for opera audiences globally. The Ministry of Culture proudly supports the Greek National Opera, not only by providing regular and exceptional subsidies, but also by standing by it as a faithful companion, consistently working to resolve all its problems. I would like to congratulate Giorgos Koumendakis, the Board, and the entire staff and collaborators of the Greek National Opera for their great work, which is so needed by our country and each individual audience member alike. All of the above is also, obviously, appreciated by the Stavros Niarchos Foundation and Andreas C. Dracopoulos personally. This is why they have decided to renew their trust in the Greek National Opera by approving a new two-year grant of 11 million euros.”


New and more detailed announcements that will outline the key areas of focus for the new grant from the Stavros Niarchos Foundation (SNF) to the GNO will follow soon.

Tickets for the first four months of the 2024/25 season (September – December 2024) will go on sale starting from 30 July 2024. Tickets will be available at the GNO Box Office and





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