Four finalists battle it out for ‘The Opera of the Earth’

The Opera of the Earth, a work which will be unveiled at the Cultural Olympiad in July 2004, is an original score which has not yet been composed – at least not entirely. Scheduled to open at the ancient theater in Delphi, its composer will be determined tonight during the final phase of the International Dimitris Mitropoulos Competition which is taking place at the Athens Concert Hall. Four composers – two Italians, a Dutchman and an Albanian – have reached the final stage of competition and while all four finalists will present fragments of their own Opera of the Earth, it is tonight’s winner who will eventually compose the entire score. As a means of establishing communication and bringing nations together, the Cultural Olympiad is increasingly gaining ground, especially in view of the recent events which have shaken our world, said Giorgos Kouroupos, artistic director of the Orchestra of Colors, at a recent press conference (The orchestra will interpret the final composition). All of the production’s participants will be selected through a series of competitions, said Kouroupos. The composer is chosen this year, the maestro will be selected next year, while the singers and the rest of the performers will be chosen in 2003 […] We plan to hold auditions in various capitals around the world. As for the original score, Kouroupos explained that the themes put forward by the composers participating in the competition were principally inspired by Olympic ideals such as peace, culture and communication; though, he added, they deal with these themes in a broad and loose way. Also present at the press conference was Miltos Logiadis, who is scheduled to conduct the Orchestra of Colors tonight (the works will be presented in concert form without stage direction). The maestro talked about the difficulties involved in contemporary opera and he thanked all the participating musicians for their professionalism. In the first part of the concert, Francesco Venerucci will present his work Midsummer Night’s Dream. The artist describes his work as a musical study of the illusion of love. The soloists are Marina Fideli, Julia Souglakou and Tina Desylla. Robert Weirauch’s History of the Devil will follow, with soloists Loukia Spanaki, Marina Fideli, Dimitris Sigalos and Yiannis Yiannisis. In the second part of the evening, Vasil S. Tole will present his work, Eumenides, a piece inspired by a final reconciliation of ideas and cultures. The evening will conclude with Luca Belcastro’s Pheidippidis… Run Faster! Tonight’s jury committee will be chaired by Cesare Mazzonis, and includes G. Kouroupos., Th. Andoniou, G. Yiatromanolakis, Ch. Lambrakis, P. Dusapin and V. Kissine. Following its completion, The Opera of the Earth will be directed by the renowned Paris-based director Yiannis Kokkos.

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