A double bill of opera comedies

The Greek National Opera offers yet another new innovative collaboration, this time with the Maro Dikaki Athens Chamber Opera in a double-bill that began yesterday at the Olympia Theater (59-61 Academias, tel 210.361.2461) in central Athens, in which new opera talent will take the stage to perform works by Mozart and Giovanni Battista Pergolesi. Further performances run daily until Sunday. The program begins with Mozart’s «Impresario,» an opera written while the composer was taking a break from «Le nozze de Figaro,» and which premiered in Vienna on February 7, 1786. In this singspiel that was commissioned by Emperor Joseph II for a party, Mozart presents a world-weary opera manager with dreams of retiring to the country who is coerced by a wealthy businessman to take on a has-been prima donna and make her a star. The performance is directed by Panagis Pagoulatos, the orchestra is conducted by Giorgos Aravidis and the lead roles are performed by Stefanos Kakavoulis, Vassilis Costopoulos, Constantinos Stavridis and Vassiliki Karayianni. The second part of the evening presents Pergolesi’s «The Servant Landlady,» one of the composer’s most popular works. The amusing intermezzo in two acts tells the story of a young servant girl who manipulates her master into marrying her so he will not go out in search of another wife who would cast her from the house. The lead roles are performed by Petros Magoulas, Irene Kyriakidou and Zoe Kissa. The Maro Dikaki Athens Chamber Opera was founded in 1988 and has since searched for rising talent in the ranks of Greek opera, serving as a nursery for new performers. Many former students of the Chamber Opera have gone on to perform leading roles at the Greek National Opera.

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