Ekaterina Gubanova, Dimitri Platanias, Catherine Foster, Cellia Costea Headline Greek National Opera’s 2023-24 Season

By David Salazar

The Greek National Opera has unveiled its 2023-24 season.

First up is a gala entitled “Callas at the Herodium” in honor of the legendary soprano. The gala will feature superstar singers from around the world performing works by Verdi, Wagner, Donizetti, and Beethoven, among others.

Performance Date: Sept. 16, 2023

The company will present “The Artist on the Composer” featuring Ioanna Pantazopoulou. The program curators include Giorgos Koumendakis and Elina Kountouri.

Performance Date: Sept. 22-24, 2023

The first full opera production of the year will be “Lady Macbeth of Mstensk” starring Svetlana Sozdateleva, Sergey Semishkur, Yanni Yannissis, and Yannis Christopoulos. Fabrizio Ventura conducts and Fanny Ardant directs.

Performance Date: Sept. 21 – Nov. 9, 2023

That is followed up by a new production of Philippe Hersant and Jean Echenoz’s “Les Éclairs.” The opera stars  Haris Andrianos, Nefeli Kotseli, Yannis Kalyvas, Chrissa Maliamani, Yannis Selitsaniotis, Marios Sarantidis, Michalis Platanias, Yannis Stamatakis, Panagiotis Pantoulias, Vassilis Kotsikoyannis, Nektarios Samartzis, Christos Lazos, and Theodoros Moraitis. Elias Voudouris conducts and Clément Hervieu-Léger directs.

This represents the second co-production with the Opéra Comique.

Performance Date: Nov. 16-21, 2023

The company will then feature “UNBOXING CALLAS: An Archival Exploration of the Dimitris Pyromallis Collection and the GNO Archive.” The performative will “showcase the private stories, memories, and archival effects of the legendary opera singer, chronicling her career through collectivist artistic means.” It will feature such artists as Aggeliki Bozou, Petros Efstathiadis, Panagiotis Evangelidis, Alexis Fidetzis, Eleftheria Kotzaki, Chrysanthi Koumianaki, Aristeidis Lappas, Lykourgos Porfyris, Antigoni Tsagkaropoulou, and Maria Varela and will be curated by Vassilis Zidianakis.

Performance Date: Nov. 26, 2023 – January 2024

Vasilis Louras’ documentary “Mary, Mariana, Maria – The Unsung Greek Years of Callas” will get a screening.

Screening Date: Dec. 2, 2023

The company will then present “Visualizing the Voice of Maria Callas” in partnership with the Digital Media Lab of the Technical University of Crete.

Presentation Dates: Dec. 7-21, 2023

Yannis Christopoulos, Vassiliki Karayanni, Cellia Costea, Dionysios Sourbis, Nikos Kotenidis,  and Tassos Apostolou headline “La Bohème.” Ondrej Olos conducts the Graham Vick revival.

Performance Date: Dec. 9, 2023 – Jan. 2, 2024

GNO TV will present a video recital “Maria Callas in Greece, 1937-1945: The Repertoire Never Heard.” The video, curated by Aris Christofellis, the showcase included performances by Fanie Antonelou, Artemis Bogri, Vassiliki Karayanni, Maria Kostraki, Nina Koufochristou, Violetta Lousta, Chrissa Maliamani, and Mary-Ellen Nesi. Audiences will hear repertoire that Callas performed early in her career but would never go back to.

Streaming Dates: Dec. 16-31, 2023

Nikos Karathanos directs a new production of “Cavalleria Rusticana” and “Pagliacci.” Paolo Carignani conducts a cast starring Arsen Soghomonyan, Dimitri Platanias, Ekaterina Gubanova, Cellia Costea, Dionysios Sourbis, and Yannis Kalyvas, among others.

Performance Date: Jan. 25 – Feb. 11, 2024

Next up is the company’s first staging of “Die Walküre” starring Catherine Foster, Tommi Hakala, Stefan Vinke, Marina Prudenskaya, and Petros Magoulas, among others. John Fulljames directs the production which will be conducted by Philippe Augin.

Performance Date: March 10 -31, 2024

That is followed up by “Rise and Fall of the City of Mahagonny” starring Anna Agathonos, Christos Kechris, Tassos Apostolou, Marissia Papalexiou, Yannis Kalyvas, Haris Andrianos, and Yanni Yannissis. Miltos Logiadis conducts a new production directed Yannis Houvardas.  

Performance Date: April 12 – 25, 202 

Andrei Șerban directs a new production of “Turandot” starring Catherine Foster, Cellia Costea, Petros Magoulas, Yannis Christopoulos, and Yannis Kalyvas. Philippe Augin conducts.

Performance Date: June 2 -11, 2024

There will be a tribute concert to composer Manolis Kalomiris featuring the orchestra and chorus of the Greek National Opera. Soloists will be announced at a later date. On the program will be the first-ever performances of “To the Freedom of Crete” for chorus and orchestra as well as the cantata “The Marble King.”

Performance Date: June 2024

Nadine Sierra, Freddie De Tommaso, Dimitri Platanias, and Vassiliki Karayanni star in “La Traviata.” Pier Giorgio Morandi conducts a production by Konstantinos Rigos.

Performance Date: July 27 – 31, 2024