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World premiere / Commissioned by the GNO Alternative Stage

Kolokotronis Contemplating the Future
Women Preparing for the Revolution
and I'll Be Thinking of Something

9, 10, 14, 15, 16 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 new production directed by Michail Marmarinos and Akillas Karazisis

Kolokotronis Contemplating the Future
Women Preparing for the Revolution

and I'll Be Thinking of Something

is coming to GNO Alternative Stage on 9, 10, 14, 15, 16 October 2021. The production, part of the 2021 bicentennial of the Greek Revolution, is commissioned by the GNO Alternative Stage and involves a high-profile artistic team led by directors / performers Michail Marmarinos and Akillas Karazisis as well as noted composer Antonis Anissegos.

Via the means of a theatrical language where stage and sonic elements are intertwined in unpredictable and novel ways, the new production by Michail Marmarinos and Akillas Karazisis sets out to approach the Greek War of Independence as a field of constant critique and self-critique, thus putting forth a dramatic treatment at once playful, poetic and historically informed.

The production is made possible through a grant from the Stavros Niarchos Foundation (SNF) [ www.SNF.org ] that supports the Greek National Opera's artistic outreach.

The Greek War of Independence has often been seen as the beginning of the modern Greek state's tribulations. Critique of the national narrative bolstering the revolutionary struggle that began in 1821 was part and parcel of the process of its formation. The Greek War of Independence was not implemented by a uniform and cohesive front, as is evident from the fate of the revolutionary heroes, many of whom met with derision and condemnation during their lifetime, the disputes between factions and the rivalries among the Great Powers; rather, it was constituted by many different approaches, which led to a commensurate proliferation of narratives.

Critique (of opponents, of Others, of companions) is a constituent part of the modern Greek state. This agonistic as well as antagonistic dimension of the Revolution and its reception in the continuum of modern Greece is accentuated by this commission to directors / performers Michail Marmarinos and Akillas Karazisis and their valuable collaborators by the GNO Alternative Stage. Their new project creates a bold, diverse and creative paradigm, that develops by recovering lived experience from past evidence. Lived experience of dead people and of perished human collectivities, into which only performative reconstitution can breathe new life.

In the production

Kolokotronis Contemplating the Future

Women Preparing for the Revolution

and I'll Be Thinking of Something

Michail Marmarinos and Akillas Karazisis bear witness to faraway persons, events and locations in the present tense. Onstage, they collect "slices of life" coming from another time and represent them in the theatrical "now". They emphasise successful and unsuccessful attempts of encountering the past and present onstage the discoveries of their "excavations". They treat their material like sketches or unfinished canvasses, that demand the intervention of live participants in order to be completed, commented upon or given meaning. The actors present onstage, with their voices, bodies and being, fill the historical revelations with living colour, formulating their own version of the genealogy of the present.

A stage production made out of thoughts and ideas, narrations and songs, poetry, dance and painting, faces and bodies, light and sound - out of what is enunciated and displayed.

Among other things, the production uses the received texts of the era as evidence of a "multilingual" reality. Here is an unruly, rich body of material, written in all kinds of dialects and languages and constituting an immediate, synchronous reaction to the historical events.

Composer Antonis Anissegos, who, during the performance, was constantly trying out new ideas on piano and electronics, attempting to "re-act" in an improvisatory way to what happened onstage, comments: " The role of the music in the show is something we discovered every day from scratch, always following the narrative and content. In our case, we had a very charged, complex and enormous theme. The production's music is rather focused in its psychological and emotional aspects. At the same time, it converses with the actors' musicality and inner rhythm. The collaboration with the directors, as well as the actors, was ideal. A mental red carpet was laid out on our rehearsal space - everyone was welcome to contribute to the work's creation, to try out our ideas. Each one of us had the option to influence the development of a scene. Other ideas were born during the breaks, when we were simply 'jamming'. Finally, the two directors composed a narrative out of the processed material ."

Regarding their method of juxtaposing partial histories to the narrative of official History, the production's directors and dramaturgs Michail Marmarinos and Akillas Karazisis state the following: " Repulsion for official History is fundamental. Education and national narratives have taken care of that. On the contrary, thirst for oral or written accounts, paralipomena, evidence, in a word: for fragmentary History -histories- is immense. This is our material and our method. That History may open itself to fiction. That it may function uninhibitedly as a psychotropic substance, transporting us (almost physically) outside the barrier of self-evident and self-fulfilling reception. By clothing ourselves in the words and clothes of the heroes and authors, we attempt (sometimes awkwardly, timidly) to explore the possibility of a stealthy entry into the root of impression, the point where the past becomes an expanded present. That is sufficient. For us, for History, for the theatre ."

Stage directors: Michail Marmarinos, Akillas Karazisis

Dramaturgs: Akillas Karazisis, Michail Marmarinos

Music: Antonis Anissegos

Set designer: Kenny MacLellan

Costume designer: Kathrin Krumbein

Lighting designer: Alekos Anastasiou

Performers: Lambros Grammatikos,Akillas Karazisis, Evangelia Karakatsani, Ektoras Lygizos, Electra Nikolouzou, Marios Sarantidis, Maria Skoula

Guest: Michail Marmarinos

Also featuring Mary Karazisi

Antonis Anissegos piano, electronics

Ticket prices: 15, 20

Students: 10

Tickets go on sale on 9 September 2021, at 12.00

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


Greek National Opera

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