Capodistrias - Monodrama of a Secret Life



Music theatre

World premiere / Commissioned by the GNO Alternative Stage

Calliope Tsoupaki


Monodrama of a Secret Life

1, 2, 3 October 2021

Starts at 20.30 (Sunday 19.00)

Greek National Opera Alternative Stage

Stavros Niarchos Foundation Cultural Center

As part of the tribute to the 2021 bicentennial of the Greek Revolution

The Greek National Opera Alternative Stage kicks off the 2021/22 season with an ambitious commemorative production at the SNFCC: the new, original music theatre work Capodistrias: Monodrama of a Secret Life by Calliope Tsoupaki. The production , conducted by Nicolas Vassiliou and directed by Themelis Glynatsis, will be presented on 1, 2 & 3 October 2021.

The production is made possible by a grant from the Stavros Niarchos Foundation (SNF) [ ] to enhance the Greek National Opera's artistic outreach.

The unrequited love between the first governor of the modern Greek State, Ioannis Capodistrias, and Roxandra Sturdza, the lady-in-waiting of the Empress of Russia, serves as subject to the new monodrama by Calliope Tsoupaki, an important Greek-Dutch composer recently awarded the title of Composer Laureate (Componist des Vaderlands), the highest compositional distinction in the Netherlands.

In one of the most romantic episodes of the Greek struggle for independence, Capodistrias and Sturdza (the former a promising politician and diplomat, the latter an educated noblewoman, offspring of a rich Greek Moldavian family) met at the Russian imperial court in 1809 and shared a longstanding, deeply spiritual bond; nevertheless, their love was unconsummated due to their class difference and Capodistrias' self-sacrificing commitment to the Greek cause. Their relationship blossomed around music: apart from their common political activism concerning the Philomuse Society of Vienna (a notable nexus of philhellenic activity at the time), Sturdza is reputed to have played the piano to Capodistrias during their more private moments...

Based on their extensive correspondence as well as on Sturdza's memoirs, the composer renders their moving story in non-narrative terms and sensitively "stages" a compassionate immersion in the shared interiority of two people who lived separately - but are brought together retroactively on stage, thanks to the empathetic power of Tsoupaki's music, full of sensuality and repressed passion.

Conductor Nicolas Vassiliou

Stage director Themelis Glynatsis

Set & costume designer Alexia Theodorakis

Video designers Marios Gampierakis, Chrysoula Korovesi

Lighting designer: Stella Kaltsou

Research consultant Mando Malamou

With Timos Sirlantzis as Ioannis Capodistrias

Also featuring Marilena Germanou

With the participation of the Ergon Ensemble

Ticket prices: 15, 20

Students: 10

Tickets go on sale on 2 August 2021, at 12.00

Founding donor to the Alternative Stage & the 2021 bicentennial of the Greek Revolution
Stavros Niarchos Foundation (SNF) [


Greek National Opera

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