Mikis Theodorakis: French and Greek Poets


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Alternative Stage


Mikis Theodorakis: French and Greek Poets

  • 16 Oct 2022

Mikis Theodorakis cycle

Greek National Opera Alternative Stage
Stavros Niarchos Foundation Cultural Center

Starts at 19.30|

A unique concert titled Mikis Theodorakis: French and Greek Poets will be presented by the acclaimed bass Christophoros Stamboglis and pianist Giorgos Konstantinou on the Greek National Opera Alternative Stage at the Stavros Niarchos Foundation Cultural Center (SNFCC) on Sunday 16 October 2022 at 19.30, as part of the three-year cycle Mikis Theodorakis.

The concert will offer audience members the chance to enjoy a special programme including rare songs composed by Mikis Theodorakis in Paris in 1958 based on the poetry of Paul éluard, as well as a series of poems written by Greek poets Manolis Anagnostakis, Manos Eleftheriou, Kostas Karyotakis, Tasos Livaditis and Giorgos Seferis set by Theodorakis himself.

The programme also includes settings of French poetry by composers Edgar Varèse, Reynaldo Hahn and Kurt Weill, as well as a miniature for piano by Iannis Xenakis.

At the end of the 50s, right in the frontier zone of transition between the art and popular sides of Mikis Theodorakis' creative path and at the cusp of composing and recording the legendary Epitaphios song cycle, the Paris-based composer set to music a series of Paul éluard's poems for voice and piano, after the suggestion of the great operatic mezzo-soprano Jane Bathori.

The new pieces' career started promisingly enough, until they were prohibited by order of the poet's descendants, not to resurface until the 80s.

These rare pieces, typical of the young Theodorakis' immersion in French culture and prophetic of his later style, are introduced on the GNO Alternative Stage by the pre-eminent bass Christophoros Stamboglis, accompanied by the pianist Giorgos Konstantinou.

The works are presented alongside later settings of Greek poets (Manolis Anagnostakis, Manos Eleftheriou, Kostas Karyotakis, Taso Livaditis, Giorgos Seferis) by Theodorakis himself, as well as a fascinating collection of settings of French poetry (Paul Verlaine, Maurice Magre) by three very different composers, all of them having passed part (or the whole) of their careers as émigrés in cosmopolitan, early- and mid-20th century Paris: namely the French Edgar Varèse, Reynaldo Hahn from Venezuela and Kurt Weill from Germany.

The programme comes complete with the virtuosic miniature for piano ? r. - an homage to Maurice Ravel - by Iannis Xenakis, who was also one of the émigrés in Paris and a close friend of Theodorakis during the 50s.

Works by Mikis Theodorakis, Reynaldo Hahn, Kurt Weill, Edgar Varèse, Iannis Xenakis

Christophoros Stamboglis bass

Giorgos Konstantinou piano

Ticket prices:: 12€, 15€
Students, children:10€


Greek National Opera

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Stavros Niarchos Foundation
Cultural Center (SNFCC)
09.00 - 21.00 every day

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Children under 6 years old are not allowed (4 years old for children's performances).

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