National Opera set for move to Faliron

Greece’s neglected state opera will most likely be permanently housed in a state-of-the-art complex on the Faliron Delta in southern Athens by 2008, sources told Kathimerini yesterday. The coastal complex has reportedly been chosen over two sites in central Athens to accommodate the cash-starved National Opera, as well as the Athens State Orchestra, on the grounds of a new «musical park,» the sources revealed following Tuesday night’s meeting between Economy and Finance Minister Giorgos Alogoskoufis and Deputy Culture Minister Petros Tatoulis. The project, which is reportedly to be realized on the basis of a Public-Private Partnership (PPP), also foresees the construction of an open-air theater, restaurant and exhibition halls in the vicinity of the tae kwon do Olympic venue in Faliron. According to the sources, the aim of the complex is to provide a cultural hub combining music halls, museums and galleries such as that in the Spanish town of Bilbao, famed for its striking architecture. It was unclear whether the project would be assigned to a particular contractor or whether there would be a tender process for the job. The two other sites being considered as permanent homes for the opera house – in Kerameikos and at the old army radio and television headquarters on the junction of Mesogeion and Katehaki streets – were rejected in favor of the Faliron Delta, sources said.