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Silence, the King Is Listening

GREEK NATIONAL OPERA - SNFCC - ALTERNATIVE STAGE

PRESENTATION

Alternative Stage

Children's performances

Silence, the King Is Listening

Nikos Kypourgos
  • 29, 30 Oct 2022
  • 01, 02, 03, 04, 05, 06, 10, 11, 12, 13 Nov 2022

Music theatre for young audiences

Greek National Opera Alternative Stage
Stavros Niarchos Foundation Cultural Center

Matinées - Performances start at 11.00

30 October 2022 & 1, 2, 3, 4, 6, 10, 11, 12, 13 November 2022

Evening shows - Performances start at 18.00

29, 30 October & 5, 6, 12 November 2022

Production sponsor

Eurolife logo

After its successful tour in six Greek cities, Nikos Kypourgos' and Thomas Moschopoulos' sparkling musical Silence, the King Is Listening, one of the most popular works of contemporary Greek music theatre, returns to the GNO Alternative Stage to captivate the public with its humour, poetic vein and subversive spirit.

Inspired by Hans Christian Andersen's fairy tale The Emperor's New Clothes, the work is presented in the inventive staging by Theo Abazis, well-known for a series of productions that inseparably fuse the musical and theatrical element, and cast with a resplendent cast of opera stars accompanied by a 5-member instrumental ensemble. The themes, entertaining acting and extremely direct musical language help transmit the fundamentals of music even to uninitiated audiences, in the guise of a game.

Deftly poised between operatic traditionalism and playful postmodernism, Silence, the King Is Listening tells the story of a music-loving, though intolerable king who is never satisfied, no matter what pieces of music his court musician plays. The musician is roused from his despair by the Muse, who seizes the opportunity to return to a job she had not practised since the glorious eras of Schubert, Mozart and Bach. She enlists the help of the seven notes of the musical scale, inspiring the musician to write a wonderful piece - which once again fails to satisfy the king! It's time, therefore, for the imagination to give (as always!) a solution...

Onceuponatime...

The music king is never satisfied, no matter what pieces of music his court musician plays. The musician is roused from his despair by the Muse, who seizes the opportunity to return to a job she had not practised since the glorious eras of Schubert, Mozart and Bach. She enlists the help of the seven notes of the musical scale, inspiring the musician to write a wonderful piece - which once again fails to satisfy the king! It's time, therefore, for the imagination to give (as always!) a solution... The Muse thinks of something new: She goes to the king disguised as a famous musician from abroad, whose music can supposedly be heard only by those who have a really good taste in music and knowledge of it. Understandably, neither the king nor his courtiers dare admit that the masterpiece presented to them by the Muse, in reality, is nothing but a....

The work's music is by distinguished composerNikos Kypourgos. In 1993 the newly-established Athens Concert Hall - Megaron commissioned George Kouroupos and me to compose, each one of us, a little musical. It was Thodoros Antoniou's idea. He would conduct them himself with the ALEA III Orchestra of Boston. But as Antoniou was in the States and I had no information from Megaron, I heard that I was going to write the work from the newspapers. First reaction: Stress. How would I make it in time? Could I avoid it by saying: I can't make it in time, you should have notified me earlier, how could you take it for granted that I would accept? (This is how two out of the four persons commissioned reacted). Second reaction: There's an ideal chance to throw myself into work for a genre I have always dreamt of getting involved in! Third reaction: Perhaps I can combine the first two with a satire of the so-called serious music, the seemingly serious contemporary music, the Megaron itself in the end, with references to the process of commissioning and inspiration, and with a lot of self-sarcastic undertones? Fourth reaction: I returned to the second reaction. I took a piece of paper and a pen (I still had no computer). The audience and the press reserved a very warm reception for the two new works, Kouroupos'Little Red Riding Hoodand mine. Those in charge also reacted enthusiastically and promised to repeat the successful evening that only a few people managed to attend. However, the works were not performed again. Fortunately, Antoniou recorded them in studio with his orchestra and a while later they were released in an album, which however passed almost unnoticed. The revival ofSilence, the King Is Listeningwas made possible thanks to Kharálampos Goyós, who listened to the album 25 years later, transcribed it for five instruments and presented it at BIOS with the company The Beggars' Operas. I would like to note thatSilence, the King Is Listeningis not a work written for children. Only after its completion, some saw in it an educational character that makes it appropriate for children too. Therefore, in a way, what I've always believed became apparent: that the boundaries between works for adults and works for children are never too clear or too discernible., notes Nikos Kypourgos.

Theo Abazis, an important creator who combines contemporary theatrical language with music in an inseparable blend, returns to the GNO Alternative Stage after the great success of the children's performancePrince Ivan and the Firebird(October 201 - January 2018), stamping his mark on afascinating production with plenty of humour, enticing melodies and impressive sets and costumes.

Libretto:
Thomas Moschopoulos (in collaboration with the composer)

Transcription for chamber ensemble:
Kharálampos Goyós

Stage director:
Theo Abazis

Set & costume designer:
Kenny MacLellan

Lighting designer:
Nikos Sotiropoulos

Associate director:
Eleana Tsichli

Cast: Dimitris Nalbandis, Pavlos Pantazopoulos, Vassia Zacharopoulou

With the participation of a 5-member instrumental ensemble

Ticket prices (matinees and Sunday performances): €12, €15 - Students: €10

Daily performances for schools: €10

INFO

Greek National Opera

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


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Contact Information
How to get to GNU at SNFCC:
https://www.nationalopera.gr/en/how-to-get-here

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