CULTURE

Handel opera to premiere in Athens

Staged for the first time in Greece, Handel’s baroque opera «Alcina» is the National Opera’s first production for 2005. The premiere will take place on Sunday at the Olympia Theater. «I am glad to be given the opportunity to conduct this work. This is the third baroque opera produced by the National Opera (after ‘Xerxes’ and ‘Orlando’). So we are continuing the tradition of doing old music compositions in theater,» said Miltos Logiadis, who will conduct the National Opera Orchestra. «The difficulties in presenting a baroque opera have to do with stylistically rendering the era, something that orchestras abroad are specialized in. We tried for the best result possible, with the means we have at our disposal (for instance, the National Opera has no baroque musical instruments),» he added. Along with «Orlando» and «Ariodante,» «Alcina» completes Handel’s trilogy inspired by Ludovico Ariosto’s epic poem «Rolando Furioso.» Handel started writing the opera in February or March 1735 and completed it in April of the same year, just eight days before its premiere. The opera is set on the island of the witch Alcina. Like Homer’s Circe, Alcina charms men and after sleeping with them, she transforms them into wild beasts and holds them prisoner. The production is directed by Panagis Pagoulatos. The sets and costumes are by Paris Mexis and the choreography by Efi Karakosta. Aris Christofellis was the music coach. The production features interpreters Mata Katsouli, Mary-Ellen Nezi, Petros Magoulas and others. The remaining shows have been scheduled for February 4, 9, 13 and 19. The Olympia Theater is situated at 59-61 Academias, tel 210.361.1516/4433.