Greek National Opera to Celebrate Maria Callas’ Centennial with Series of Events

By Logan Martell

Greek National Opera has announced a series of events in tribute of legendary soprano Maria Callas.

Curated by GNO Artistic Director Giorgios Koumendakis, the tribute will focus on Callas’ early years in Greece, where she performed with the company within the year of its founding. Among the events are:

First up is Cherubini’s “Medea.” Paying homage to Callas’ 1953 portrayal, GNO will present David McVicar’s production of the work. Conductor Philippe Auguin will lead a cast featuring Anna Prozzi in the title role, with Giorgio Berrugi as Giasone, Yanni Yannissis as Creonte, and Vassiliki Karayanni as Glauce, among others.

Performance Dates: April 25, 27, 30, May 4, and 9, 2023.

“Unboxing Callas: From Callas to Medea – An Installation in Three Acts” is a celebration of her centennial which will take the form of an innovative arts installation within the foyer spaces of the Greek National Opera at the Stavros Niarchos Foundation Cultural Center. There will be sculptures, archival materials related to the production of “Medea” at the Ancient Theatre of Epidaurus, as well as materials from performances in Dallas, London and Milan, such as drawings, costume fragments, directors notes, sketches, and more.

Exhibition Dates: May 4 – June 9, 2023.

The new documentary ” Mary, Mariana, Maria – The Unsung Greek Years of Callas” by Vasilis Louras will explore the formative years of Callas in Greece and performances with GNO between 1937 and 1945, as well as three of her later appearances.

Premiere Date: December 2, 2023.

The video recital “Maria Callas in Greece, 1937 – 1945: The Repertoire Never Heard…” will be screened for free on GNO TV, and feature the repertoire Callas performed at conservatory exams, production performances, auditions, recitals, and more. Starring established and emerging Greek opera singers, the recital will be done using the same Greek translations Callas used.

Premiere Date: December 2023.

Led by Panagiotis Parthenios, Head of the university’s Digital Media Lab, “Visualizing the Voice of Maria Callas: A GNO partnership with the Digital Media Lab of the Technical University of Crete”  will follow prior project “Interactive 3D Model of the Main Stage and Backstage Areas of the Greek National Opera,” and aims to explore the relationship between architecture and music by experimenting with visualizations of Callas’ voice.

Workshop Dates: September – December, 2023.