The lyrical works of Italian composer Giuseppe Verdi return to the National Opera Theater at the end of the week, with a gala performance of popular operatic tunes. Commemorating the centenary of Verdi’s death, the event will take place at the National Opera Theater on Sunday, December 9. (The first concert took place at the National Opera Theater on November 30.) Besides offering music, Sunday’s gala evening also has a further purpose in mind: Sponsored by AWOG, the dynamic American Women’s Organization of Greece and Phillip Morris Hellas, all the proceeds are destined to go to the Abused Women’s Shelter of Athens, which functions under the auspices of the mayor of Athens, Dimitris Avramopoulos. The Abused Women’s Shelter of Athens is one of four such institutions operating in Greece. Established in 1993, it is a safe haven for women and children who have been victims of domestic violence, offering a place to stay, meals, medical care, legal advice and psychological support. During the Verdi Gala, a number of popular arias and duets from various Verdi operas will be interpreted by soprano Marina Krilovic, mezzo Victoria Maifatova, tenor Vangelis Hatzisimos and bass Constantinos Sfyris. Also participating are the National Opera’s orchestra and choir, with musical direction by Ilias Voudouris and choir direction by Fani Palamidi. The concert will be followed by a reception at the National Opera’s foyer. Verdi Gala at the Olympia Theater’s center stage, Maria Callas (National Opera) 59-61 Academias, on Sunday, December 9, at 8.30 p.m. For tickets and more information contact AWOG, 23 Academias (Foreign Press Association) from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m., Monday to Friday, tel 362.4115. We are looking for opportunities all over the country, but there is nothing to announce yet. Cassandra Campbell, who is in charge of the Greek bureau, is constantly looking for areas and conducting market research. Athens is an obvious target for us. It is a vast city in which people find it hard to go from one place to another for entertainment purposes. There are opportunities, but we want to make sure that the spot we choose will not be served by others.