A Tribute to Manolis Kalomiris



Stavros Niarchos Hall


A Tribute to Manolis Kalomiris

  • 28 Jun 2024


Stavros Niarchos Hall of the Greek National Opera - SNFCC

Starts at: 19.30 | clock


GNO lead donor


The Greek National Opera's tribute to Manolis Kalomiris will take place on 28 June 2024 in the Stavros Niarchos Hall of the GNO at the SNFCC, conducted by Kornilios Michailidis and with Agathangelos Georgakatos as chorus master. This unique tribute has a dual significance: on the one hand, it aims to highlight the great Greek composer's relationship with melodrama and the Greek National Opera, and on the other, to shed light on two entirely unknown works of his.

The first part will feature the recently restored Symphonic fantasy from The Masterbuilder, the popular Suite from The Mother's Ring, and the fascinating symphonic poem Minas the Rebel, Corsair of the Aegean, which is based on the novel of the same title by Costis Bastias, the first General Director of the Greek National Opera. The second part will feature the first-ever performance of the pieces To the Freedom of Crete for chorus and orchestra, along with the Balkan-wars-inspired emblematic cantata The Marble King, for two voices, chorus, and orchestra - a composition created in 1914 and based on a poem by Myrtiotissa.

Manolis Kalomiris (1883-1962), a native of Samos, was born in Izmir. There he also took his first music lessons, which he then continued in Athens and Constantinople. He studied piano, music theory, and composition at the Vienna Conservatoire. He is considered as the founder of the Greek National Music School. He drew inspiration from the Greek tradition and Greek singing, as well as from the poetry and literature of his time. He composed more than two hundred pieces, including five operas, three symphonies, symphonic poems, a concerto for piano, song cycles for voice and orchestra and for voice and piano, piano works, chamber music, chorales, as well as pieces for children (chorales and piano works). His operas have been consistently performed by the Greek National Opera.

Musicologist Myrto Economides highlights aspects of Manolis Kalomiris' work: 'There's also another way one can define the purpose of music: to bring dreams to life on the one hand, and to portray Life as a dream on the other.' This conviction of Kalomiris, expressed in 1908, at the beginning of his career, would follow him throughout his trajectory as a composer. An idiosyncratic nature, his inspiration almost always comes from non-musical factors associated with the Greek tradition, literature, history, and personal experiences. To add a national character to his music, he used modes and rhythms from Greek folk songs and the Byzantine melos. In those cases when he employs unaltered traditional melodies (like in operas), his goal is to influence the audience's unconscious and emotional involvement, through their symbolic and dramatic function. The same thing also happens when he uses typical rhythms from traditional dances, creating associations of ideas and connections to their place of origin and the way they were used in their natural environment. These elements are present in almost all of the works included in the Greek National Opera's tribute to Manolis Kalomiris.

The GNO Orchestra will be conducted by Kornilios Michailidis, a prominent emerging conductor of his generation, known for his expertise in symphonic and operatic repertoires worldwide. He has recently completed his term as conductor in residence at the Iceland Symphony Orchestra, while during the periods 2016-2017 and 2018-2020 he served as an assistant conductor with the orchestras of the Finnish and French Radio Broadcasting Companies. He has collaborated with the Russian National Orchestra, the South Denmark Philharmonic, the Athens State Orchestra, and more. Furthermore, he delivers outstanding performances as a piano soloist and has been awarded at the 1st International Piano Competition in Mayenne, France. He is also the artistic director of the Koufonisia Classical Music Festival.

The GNO Chorus will be conducted by Agathangelos Georgakatos, who was selected as the Chorus master of the Greek National Opera in 2012, after winning an international competition. To this day, he has presented more than 240 opera performances with the GNO Chorus.

Performing alongside them will also be two exceptional and beloved soloists for the Greek audience, Maria Mitsopoulou and Tassos Apostolou.

Soprano Maria Mitsopoulou has received the Maria Callas scholarship and has won the first prize at the international competition Vincenzo Bellini (Catania, 2001). She has performed leading roles in works such as Le nozze di Figaro, Die Zauberflöte, La bohème, Carmen, Die Fledermaus, La traviata, Rigoletto, etc. She has participated in recordings of opera works and oratorios, and has also collaborated with renowned artists and celebrated orchestras.

Bass Tassos Apostolou has performed in numerous prestigious venues, including the Odeon of Herodes Atticus and the New York Lincoln Center, as well as in locations like Epidaurus, Italy, Germany, Qatar, Switzerland, Boston, Egypt, Cyprus, and more. He has collaborated with all the major Greek orchestras (Athens & Thessaloniki State Orchestras, National Symphony Orchestra, Orchestra of Colours, Cyprus State Orchestra, Alexandroupolis Chamber Orchestra, and Hellenic Broadcasting Corporation Orchestra, among others) and has taken part in concerts, world premieres, and recordings of prominent Greek composers.

With the Orchestra and Chorus of the Greek National Opera.



Symphonic fantasy from The Masterbuilder (1934?)
Co-edited by Yannis Tselikas, Myrto Economides

The Mother's Ring (1955)
Suite in three movements, from the music drama of the same title
I. Prelude (to Act I)
. Entry of Dame Destiny (from Act II)
. Christmas morn (prelude to Act III)
Edited by Yannis Samprovalakis

Minas the Rebel, Corsair of the Aegean (1940)
Symphonic poem based on Costis Bastias' novel of the same title
Edited by Yannis Tselikas


To the Freedom of Crete (1936)
for chorus and orchestra
Poetry by Ioannis G. Iliakis
Curated by Yannis Tselikas
World premiere

The Marble King (1914)
for soprano, bass, mixed choir and orchestra
For mixed chorus and orchestra with bass and soprano solos
Poetry by Myrtiotissa
Co-edited by Yannis Tselikas, Myrto Economides
World premiere

Curation of programme and music materials: Hellenic Music Centre

Conductor: Kornilios Michailidis
Chorus master: Agathangelos Georgakatos

Soloists: Maria Mitsopoulou,Tassos Apostolou

With the Orchestra and Chorus of the Greek National Opera

Ticket prices: €10, €15, €20, €25
Students, children: €10
Limited visibility seats: €10


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  • Friday 28 June 2024, 19:30 A Tribute to Manolis Kalomiris GREEK NATIONAL OPERA - SNFCC
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