CULTURE

‘Orlando Furioso’ at the National Opera with an audience of diplomats

When diplomats go to the opera, look out for the Egons, Matti and Nicholas, who always keep an open house at Deinocratous St in Kolonaki, and at Katakali, in Corinth, for art-loving diplomats. The musical evening was perfectly planned for them to see the first-ever production in Greece of Antonio Vivaldi’s opera «Orlando Furioso» – set to a libretto written by Grazio Braccioli and based on the poem by Ariosto – performed by the National Opera at the Olympia Theater. Mezzo-soprano Marita Paparizou, who plays the male lead Orlando, has already won renown as an up-and-coming star, thanks to the support of music writer Roula Mattheopoulos. Tall, striking and dressed all in black, Paparizou displayed the broad range of her vocal talent in the dramatic moments where Orlando goes mad when his beloved Angelica prefers Mendoro – played by Margarita Syngeniotou. Vivaldi’s music is enchanting and the National Opera Orchestra, under the baton of the successful young conductor Vassilis Haritopoulos, was exceptional. In the interval, the diplomats exchanged impressions over Greek white wine and after the final curtain the Egons took them to the Aigli Restaurant in the National Gardens to dine. Among the group were French Ambassador Jean-Maurice Ripert, Luxembourg Ambassador Fernan Kartheizer with his wife Ulrike, Belgian Ambassador Claude Rijmenans and his wife Marie Therese, the new German Ambassador Albert Spiegel and his wife Maine, Czech Ambassador Janna Bulena and her husband Vladimir, Swedish Ambassador Martin Grunditz, and, of course, the star Paparizou, dressed in female attire once again, and accompanied by her husband Giorgos Achladiotis, her parents, and her brother Alexandros, accepting congratulations. Glorioso!