Greece goes to the opera at Cadogan Hall, London, with Royal Philharmonic

London’s fall music season got off to a good start with nine Greeks participating in a concert titled «Greece at the Opera» at Cadogan Hall, with the Royal Philharmonic Orchestra directed by Alessandro Ferrari. Under the auspices of the Greek Foreign Ministry, the concert was organized by Apollonian Enterprises, subsidized mainly by National Bank of Greece, Mega Television, Sotheby’s and the law firm of Haris Economopoulos. The program featured sopranos Vassiliki Karayianni, Rosa Kapon-Poulimeiou, Medea Iasonidou, Anna Morfidou, Elena Kokka, mezzo-soprano Marita Paparizou, tenor Mario Zefiri (Yiannis Votsarakos), baritone Dimitris Platanias and the pianist Alexandros Kapelis and included arias and duets from operas and operettas inspired by Greece. According to the firm’s artistic director, Elena Matthaiopoulou, an author of music books, people who love opera, which Greeks consider an foreign import, do not know that it was born in Italy in the 16th century thanks to Greece. The ancient Greek gods, myths, heroes and heroines have inspired many of the most popular operas and greatest composers since the Renaissance. The Greek singers performed arias from Strauss’s «Ariadne on Naxos,» Offenbach’s «Belle Helene,» the duet from Purcell’s «Pausanias» and songs from Mozart’s «Mithridates» and Cherubini’s «Medea.» The audience was particularly enthusiastic about Ali Pasha’s aria from the opera «Kyra Frosini» by the Ionian Island composer Pavlos Karrer (sung by Dimitris Platanias), reminiscent of Donizetti and the early Verdi. Perhaps, the same program could be performed here in Greece by the same artists.

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