Greek National Opera Extends Artistic Director for Three More Years

By David Salazar

The Greek National Opera has announced that Giorgos Koumendakis’ tenure has been extended for another three years through 2026. 

The decision was announced by the Greek Minister of Culture and Sport, Lina Mendon.

Koumendakis, also a composer took over the position in 2017; this represents his third term as Artistic Director.

“While my first term (2017-2020) was focused on laying the foundations for the new artistic identity to be taken on by our organization, which had just made the move to its new home at the SNFCC—built and fitted out through a donation made by the Stavros Niarchos Foundation—and my second three-year term (2020-2023) essentially set about redefining how the organization operates, and oversaw its complete relaunch in the midst of a pandemic, my third term (2023-2026) will see us fix our attentions on further advancement and development, as well as greater outreach, with a view to realizing our vision for the creation of a truly 21st-century opera house,” Koumendakis said in an official press statement.

A Rethymno native, Koumendakis has composed four operas, including “The Murderess,” which premiered at the Greek National Opera back in 2014. The work was recently revived by the company in 2021. His works have been presented at such venues as Carnegie Hall, Wigmore Hall, the Concertgebouw, the Southbank Centre’s Purcell Room, France’s Salle Olivier Messiaen and Théâtre de l’Archevêché, Italy’s Teatro La Fenice, Auditorio Nacional de Música, and Piccolo Teatro, Belgrade’s Guarnerius Art Centre, Germany’s Alte Oper, China’s Forbidden City Concert Hall, and Japan’s Benesse Museum.