National Opera is losing its voice

Greece’s only state opera has been starved of more than 3 million euros in funds from the government over the last two years and its artistic director told Kathimerini yesterday that, despite handing in his resignation two months ago, he has not yet received a reply from the Culture Ministry. The Greek National Opera (GNO) finds itself starting the new season without a home, any leadership or repertoire and no funding, leading to questions about the way the government has handled its operation. Loukas Karytinos resigned as the GNO’s artistic director on July 6 and the organization has remained rudderless since then. «I had prepared a repertoire at the start of the summer but I cannot and will not put it into place,» he told Kathimerini. «That is the job of the next director who, had he been appointed in good time, would have had time to get familiar with the organization.» Meanwhile, the Culture Ministry has failed to pass on some 3.3 million euros in funding to the GNO this year and last. The money is allocated to the ministry from the receipts from various lottery games run by the state. A committee that has been set up by the ministry to find the GNO a permanent home has also failed to come up with any solution so far. Venues in Gazi, the Faliron Delta and Hellenikon have all been suggested as candidates but seem to have fallen by the wayside. Despite the wilting of the state opera, there seems to be a discernible market in Athens for the music, as four operas are to be mounted at the privately run Athens Concert Hall this autumn.