The Magic Pillows
George Dousis / Eugene Trivizas



Stavros Niarchos Hall

Children's performances

The Magic Pillows

George Dousis / Eugene Trivizas
  • 11, 12, 13, 20, 30 Nov 2022
  • 01 Dec 2022

Opera for all the family - Revival

Stavros Niarchos Hall of the Greek National Opera - SNFCC

Matinée performances at 11.00 / Evening performances at 18.30 | clock

Lead Donor of the GNO & Production donor


The Magic Pillows, a hugely successful opera production for all the family, is returning to the Stavros Niarchos Hall stage for six performances, from 11 November to 1 December, before transferring to the small screen to reach children, and adults too, on their phones and tablets, their computers and television sets, premiering on GNO TV on 5 December. This well-known work by Eugene Trivizas -which met with great success both as a novel (translated into many other languages, and the winner of numerous awards) and as a theatre play- was adapted by the author himself to debut as an opera for all the family, set to music by George Dousis, and breathing life into the dreams of young and old alike. This production is made possible by a grant from the Stavros Niarchos Foundation (SNF) to enhance the GNO's artistic outreach.

This hopeful, moving, and meaningful fairy tale by Eugene Trivizas tells the story of a band of children at an unloved school and their inspiring teacher, who together take a stand against the greedy King Glorious the Omnificent, quite determined to reclaim their lost dreams. The author had this to say about the work: I hope everyone who sees the Magic Pillows takes to heart the words spoken by the teacher in that freezing classroom, inside that run-down school: 'No matter what they take from you / there always still will be / something they can never touch / something yours to keep! / In times of woe and sorrow / your dreams shall ever be / a pot of gold, a hope to hold / your place of sanctuary!'

The story unfolds as follows:

In a mythical land far, far away, the greedy ruler -King Glorious the Omnificent- decides to boost production in his realm's emerald mines by banning birthday parties, Carnival season, summer holidays, make that all holidays, and even Sundays, which he decrees are now to be called Pre-Mondays - days in fact no different from Mondays, not in the slightest. And not only that: he also bans funfairs and playgrounds, and in their place builds prisons in which to lock up anyone who dares blow out candles on their birthday, or anyone who dresses up as a Pierrot for Mardi Gras, or anyone who doesn't turn up for school on a Pre-Monday. The weary people of this land, forced to toil ever harder down the emerald mines and in the barbed wire factories, finally protest against their fate.

At first, King Glorious the Omnificent just cannot understand what might be causing this public discontent, until that is a shrewd courtier explains it's clearly because of their dreams: they dream they can fly, when in reality they're scrabbling around. That's why they're not satisfied! And besides, dreams are a threat to the regime. The teeniest of dreams, mere trifles -slight, fleeting, miniscule- can flare up at times, flare up like fire to flip the world upside down. His advice: Only if you take away their dreams will they find peace, your Eminence. And so, King Glorious the Omnificent -with the help of his dastardly chief sorcerer Reptilious Serpentilious, and the supreme commander of the royal guard Baron Bulimian Lustblast- tricks them all, forcing the people of this land to sleep on pillows that bring them terrible nightmares.

This heinous plot seems to have the intended result: the protests stop. Meanwhile, the mining of emeralds and the making of barbed wire - everything skyrockets. King Glorious the Omnificent and his courtiers are elated.

But what they don't yet know is that somewhere far, far away from the palace, in an unassuming school, the resistance is in fact just beginning. A band of children and their inspiring teacher are quite determined to reclaim their lost dreams, snatching them from the jaws of mortal danger.

The emotionally rich and melodious music of George Dousis winningly winds its way around breath-taking palace halls, neglected classrooms, and gloomy emerald mines, breathing life into this spirited band of characters. The composer notes: It was such a pleasure, wandering the palace gardens and quaint alleyways of this fantastical world - of Ouranoupolis. A place at once exotic and quite real. The Magic Pillows is a work that's ever relevant. The plot structure and words offered up by Eugene Trivizas guided me -with a sense of absolute safety- through a compositional process that proved almost entirely instinctual.

The fast-paced, funny, and emotion-filled staging by Natasha Triantafylli goes straight to the poetic heart of this redemptive and limitlessly rich classic tale. As the director herself notes: The Magic Pillows is a story that shows us anew what stuff we are made of - courage and high spirits and zest for life. Stuff that stows itself, secret and eternal, deep inside us and can never be wiped out by the injustices of the world. Stuff that makes you gaze up at the sky and realise you are great, no matter how small! Such stuff as dreams are made on!

Conducting the production is GNO maestro Nicolas Vassiliou. Starring are the GNO soloists Nicolas Maraziotis, Nikos Kotenidis, Dionisios Melogiannidis, Vangelis Maniatis, George Mattheakakis, Kostis Rassidakis, and Yannis Kavouras, as are the following members of the GNO Children's Chorus: Irini Konstantopoulou, Sophia Lachana, Markos Levogiannis, Marios Paschalis, Angeliki Tamvakopoulou, Dimitra Vassilakopoulou, and Franzesca Vassilopoulou. With the participation of a small orchestral ensemble, a vocal ensemble, and members of the GNO Children's Chorus conducted by Konstantina Pitsiakou. With atmospheric sets by Tina Tzoka, colourful costumes by Ioanna Tsami, movement direction by Dimitra Mitropoulou, and impressive lighting by George Tellos.

Two performances -on 20 and 30 November- will be fully accessible, presented in partnership with ATLAS E.P. to provide unimpeded audio-visual access for all. At both these performances, there will be places available for the D/deaf and hard-of-hearing who use Greek Sign Language (GSL), places for people who make use of captioning (CAPS) that describes a range of non-verbal auditory elements, and places for persons who are blind or have low vision, who will be offered use of an audio description service (AD). Guide dogs for the blind are also welcome.

GNO Accessibility Sponsor


Available to stream on GNO TV from 5 December

Nicolas Vassiliou

Natasha Triantafylli

Tina Tzoka

Ioanna Tsami

Dimitra Mitropoulou

George Tellos

Lighting revival
Kostis Mousikos

Children's chorus mistress
Konstantina Pitsiakou

Christofer the Teacher
Nicolas Maraziotis

King Glorious the Omnificent
Nikos Kotenidis

Sir Syrup Superlick
Dionisios Melogiannidis

Baron Bulimian Lustblast
Vangelis Maniatis

Reptilious Serpentilious
George Mattheakakis

Kostis Rassidakis

Yannis Kavouras

Dimitra Vassilakopoulou, Franzesca Vassilopoulou, Angeliki Tamvakopoulou

Markos Levogiannis, Marios Paschalis, Sophia Lachana

Markos Levogiannis, Marios Paschalis, Irini Konstantopoulou

Vocal ensemble
Olga Balomenou, Efi Papadopoulou, Anna Smerou, Vivi Sykioti, Dimosthenis Vlachos, Konstantinos Zabounis, Andreas Karaoulis, Stamatis Pakakis, Georgios Papadimitriou, Marinos Tarnanas, Dionisos Tsantinis

With a small orchestral ensemble and members of the GNO Children's Chorus (as part of its educational mission)

Ticket prices: €8, €10, €12, €15, €20
Students, children: €12
Limited visibility seats: €5
Daily performances for schools: 12€

GNO TV ticket price: €10. With their ten-euro ticket, audiences will be able to enjoy this production in the comfort of their own home via -on their computers, tablets, television screens, or even their phones- whenever they like, and as many times as they like for 30 days, starting from their first stream.


Greek National Opera

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

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

Student tickets
For a student discount where applicable it is necessary to provide the student card on purchase (at the box offices) and also during admission.

For information regarding tickets with discounts and their availability, please contact the box office at (+30)2130885700

Contact Information
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Terms and conditions
  • Wednesday 30 November 2022, 11:00 The Magic Pillows
    George Dousis / Eugene Trivizas
    - The Magic Pillows
    George Dousis / Eugene Trivizas
    This show is for school visits only
    no tickets available for the public
  • Thursday 01 December 2022, 11:00 The Magic Pillows
    George Dousis / Eugene Trivizas
    - The Magic Pillows
    George Dousis / Eugene Trivizas
    This show is for school visits only
    no tickets available for the public
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