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Giuseppe Verdi’s Macbeth at the Greek National Opera’s Main Stage – Stavros Niarchos Hall – at the SNFCC

The setting alone is reason enough for attending this powerful production of Verdi’s opera “Macbeth” – which is the first work to be staged by the Greek National Opera at the Main Stage – Stavros Niarchos Hall – of the Foundation’s Cultural Center.

The opera, libretto and exciting music

The opera is based on the play of the same name by William Shakespeare – a thrilling psychological portrait of Macbeth and his wife, who plunge into a violent and dramatic sequence of bloody events in order to maintain their grip on power and ascend to the Scottish throne. The distinguished director Lorenzo Mariano eloquently manipulates the sensations of dread and fear, while the set design of Maurizio Balò artfully suspends us between two worlds – while the action takes place in neither. Macbeth, among Verdi’s most celebrated works, succeeded, with its revolutionary ideas and brilliant music, in capturing audiences in a time when high art was also immensely popular.

Artists-Performers

The work, first presented in 1847 in Florence, will be performed five times in Athens – featuring the Greek National Opera’s Orchestra, Chorus and Ballet members and with exceptional performances by Tassis Christoyiannis and Dimitra Theodosiou in the roles of Lord and Lady Macbeth.

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St. John Passion by Johann Sebastian Bach – at the Athens Concert Hall

The interpretation and “decoding” of Bach’s music has long been considered essential for its understanding and appreciation. For instance: in the Passion, rising chromatic scales signify the road to the Crucifixion, while the descending stepwise motion leads to death - according to the work’s introduction by the harpsichordist/conductor Markellos Chryssikopoulos, who provides the work’s authentic interpretation and musical direction. This outstanding musician moreover emphasizes that: “The St. John Passion is an especially timely work since it offers the audience, in addition to incredible music and rich symbolism, a true hero – in a time brimming with idols but lacking in heroes.”

A recreation of the atmosphere of 1724, when the work was first presented

Participating in the performance of the St. John Passion is The Friends of Music Camerata Orchestra with: soprano Myrsini Margariti, mezzo-soprano Mary-Ellen Nesi, tenor Vassilis Kavayas and bass Petros Magoulas, while the Evangelist is performed by tenor Jason Darnell. Conductor Markellos Chryssikopoulos interprets this important work with unique authenticity, directing the Camerata Orchestra using period instruments and an eight-person chamber choir. 

Info: This work is presented within the framework of the series “Adagio – Music for Easter” in the Christos Lambrakis Hall for a single performance only, on the 14th of April, 8:30 p.m.

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Οdysseys: The National Archaeological Museum

The symbolic identification of man’s journey through time with Odysseus’ travels and travails provides perhaps the best possible narrative background for the celebration of the National Archaeological Museum’s 150th anniversary. The new temporary commemorative exhibition “Odysseys”, inspired by the mythological journey of Odysseus, uses 184 imaginatively curated artifacts to tell the story of human history.

A star-studded heavenly dome accompanies the journey

The focus of this exhibition is the Odysseus concealed within every human being, who emerges in every age and every culture. The common elements shared by all men and their quests – regardless of eras, cultures or other differences – are shown through the exhibits and artifacts which have been gathered and presented here at one of the world’s most important museums. This narrative is further enriched by audiovisual and digital materials accompanied by the poetry of Cavafy, Seferis, Elytis and Ritsos, and are further adorned by the heavenly constellations which guided Odysseus on his voyage back home to Ithaca. 

Τhree thematic axes

The exhibition has been organized along three thematic axes: the Journey – man’s never-ending quest to explore and obtain both material and spiritual goods; the Ithacas – the homelands for which all men yearn and to which we all struggle to return; and the Exodus – the achievements of the human mind and spirit which are passed down to future generations. The exhibition “Odysseys” has struck a chord with both Greek and foreign visitors, whom it has charmed and motivated. Don’t miss this opportunity to see it up close.

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Τhe Nederlands Dans Theater returns to the Athens Concert Hall

They have been called “one of the seven wonders of dance”, “troupe-phenomenon”, the one and only performance you should not miss” and “the most incredible dancers in the world”. The modern dance group, the Nederlands Dans Theater (NDT 1), is coming to Athens for three performances on March 3, 4, and 5 at the Athens Concert Hall and will be presenting three “fresh” works which they will be performing for the first time for Greek audiences.

Plasticity and Dynamism

They seem to hover in the air, without for a minute losing the sense of the art of dance. Their choreographies leap into the impossible. The sheer physicality of movement, the incredible combinations, the energy which passes like electricity from one body to another, the naturalness and grace – all convey to even the most unsuspecting viewer a sensation of irresistible attraction and joy. Few dance groups in the world can so wonderfully convey such a vast array of emotions through their choreographies.

Τhree new choreographies

Shut Eye by Sol León and Paul Lightfoot, which was first performed in April 2016 in The Hague; the newest work by the same inspired choreographers – Singulière Odyssée – which debuted just one month ago in The Hague (February 2); and The Statement by Crystal Pite will comprise the group’s dance repertoire here in Athens. If you must choose just one dance performance to attend this year, we heartily recommend the Nederlands Dans Theatre – at the Alexandra Trianti Hall of The Athens Concert Hall. You’ll leave energized and alive enough for an entire year.

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