CULTURE

Long-awaited premiere coming up

The much-awaited production «Opera of the Earth» is finally about to be staged – at the end of the summer 2005 and this year’s Hellenic Festival events – at the Herod Atticus Theater. The international production was originally scheduled to be presented last year as part of the Cultural Olympiad in a collaboration between the Ministry of Culture, the Orchestra of Colors and the Organization for the Promotion of Greek Culture. That, unfortunately, did not happen due to financial problems and the Cultural Olympiad’s poor organization. The world premiere of Albanian composer Vasil Tole’s opera «Eumenides» – the result of international competitions that were held as part of the «Opera of the Earth» project – had been postponed and will eventually take place on Friday and Saturday. The Orchestra of Colors will be conducted by Turkish maestro Alpaslan Ertungealp and will be joined by soloists from China, Japan, Russia, the Czech Republic, Greece and Mexico. Seven years ago, composer and artistic director of the Orchestra of Colors Giorgos Kouroupos conceived of the «Opera of the Earth» project. Various competitions (part of the Dimitris Mitropoulos International Competitions) were held on three occasions to determine the composer, the conductor and the remaining artists. Yiannis Kokkos was originally scheduled to be in charge of direction and the sets, but it turns out the opera will be presented in a concertante form… «I am very happy and proud that one of Albania’s major composers, Vasil Tole, is participating in this production, as is conductor Alpaslan Ertungealp, who is renowned throughout Europe. Despite the problems, the project is close to what I had visualized, although I have to say something, because it is a shame: The Orchestra of Colors has not been paid for eight months,» said Giorgos Kouroupos, among other things, at a recent press conference. Vasil Tole spoke about his composition. «The music is contemporary, but it is not aggressive toward the audience. It has full respect for Aeschylus’ work and follows the entity of music, dance and speech.» Free tickets to the performance will be available for immigrants living in Greece from the Organization for the Promotion of Greek Culture. For information, call 210.889.4860.