‘Marathon-Salamis’ returns to the National Opera’s stage

A largely unknown 19th century opera opened at the National Opera last night, with two additional performances scheduled for this week. This is the second time that Greek composer Pavlos Carrer’s «Marathon-Salamis» is going on stage. Though the opera was composed between 1886 and 1888, it was never actually staged until two years ago, when the National Opera undertook its world debut, aided by music critic Giorgos Leotsakos. A romantic oeuvre with references to ancient Greek history, the story unfolds following the Greek victory at Marathon and before the Battle of Salamis. The opera’s opening scene is set during a service in remembrance of Marathon’s fallen soldiers, when Themistocles is encouraging the Greeks. Alexander, a Macedonian general fighting on the Persians’ side, comes to Athens as their special envoy. While Themistocles awaits Pythia’s oracle, two women – his daughter Myrti and Asian Phedimi – are both in love with Alexander. Xerxes, the king of the Persians, also comes to Athens, taking on the air of a future conqueror. Abandoned by Alexander, tragic heroine Phedimi decides to help Themistocles and betray her country and her king. At the National Opera, «Marathon-Salamis» is directed by Isidoros Sideris, the musical direction by Vyron Fidetzis, set and costume design by Yiannis Metzikoff, choir direction by Fani Palamidi and lighting by Costas Blougouras. The National Opera cast is led by Martha Arapi in the role of Phedimi, Andreas Kouloumbis as Themistocles, Yiannis Christopoulos interpreting Alexander and Lydia Angelopoulou taking the role of Myrti. National Opera, Olympia Theater, 59-61 Academias, tel 210.364.3700. Additional performances on Wednesday and Saturday.

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