Greek National Opera puts on two seminal operas, offers free events

The Greek National Opera has plenty in store for audiences this summer, with a host of new and unexpected productions, among others.

The two biggest summer productions will be staged at the Herod Atticus Theater, in partnership with the Athens Festival. These are Mozart’s “Don Giovanni,” conducted by Lucas Karytinos and directed by Yannis Houvardas, on June 11-15, and Verdi’s “Otello,” conducted by Myron Michailidis and directed by Yannis Kokkos, on July 27-31.

The GNO Ballet will also be presenting “Zorba,” with choreography by Lorca Massine set to the seminal score by Mikis Theodorakis, a production that has not featured on the GNO’s program for some years and will this year be staged at the Panathenaic Stadium on June 29. Ticket prices for the show have been reduced in order to attract as big an audience as possible.

In line with its recent policy of reaching out to the public, the Greek National Opera will be staging a free open-air concert titled “Opera alla Greca” at the archaeological site of the Temple of Olympian Zeus. Arias, duets and choruses from the most popular operas will be interpreted in Greek by acclaimed GNO soloists and its choir.

The “Suitcase Opera” series, meanwhile, will travel around different parts of Attica with a scaled-down production of “Don Giovanni.” The tour is partly funded by the Stavros Niarchos Foundation as a part of the “Journey to the Stavros Niarchos Foundation Cultural Center” program.

The summer season at the GNO’s flagship Olympia Theater in central Athens is dedicated to young artists. Opera Studio soloists will perform Baldassare Galuppi’s comic opera “L’amante di tutte” on June 20 and 22, while seven dancers will introduce original works that they have choreographed themselves as well as extracts from the classical and contemporary repertoire in “A Showcase of the Greek National Opera Dance School” on July 4-5.

Yorgos Koumentakis’s new opera “The Murderess,” based on the landmark novel by Alexandros Papadiamantis, will go on tour starting from the island of Skiathos on July 6, where there will be a symposium on the work of the influential Greek writer including talks by professors, scholars and the production’s crew.