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A CLOUD IN LOVE, Sofia Kamayianni

GREEK NATIONAL OPERA - SNFCC - ALTERNATIVE STAGE

PRESENTATION

Alternative Stage

Children's performances

A Cloud in Love

Sofia Kamayianni
Opera for children and young audiences
  • 08, 09, 13, 14, 15, 16 Jan 2022

Based on N?z?m Hikmet's fairy tale of the same title

World premiere / Commissioned by the GNO Alternative Stage

Evening performances - Start at 20.30 (Sunday 19.30|  clock 
8, 9, 13, 14, 15, 16 January 2022

Morning performances - Start at 11.00  |  clock
8, 9, 15, 16 January 2022

Greek National Opera Alternative Stage
Stavros Niarchos Foundation Cultural Center

Chorus Sponsor
Eurobank Logo in white new

 

The GNO Alternative Stage opens the 2022 season with an enchanting fairy tale from the East, a hymn to humanity. The new opera for children and young audiences A Cloud in Love by composer Sofia Kamayianni on a libretto by Eleni Zafiriou based on N?z?m Hikmet's fairy tale of the same title comes to the GNO Alternative Stage at the Stavros Niarchos Foundation Cultural Center to take audiences on a journey to far-away places and times through the power of music and poetry. A performance of high symbolisms and emotional richness, A Cloud in Love will run from 8 January 2022 for ten unique performances.

With eyes set on the dimension of collectivity, which marks the aesthetic and political standpoint of the original material, the operatic adaptation by composer Sofia Kamayianni and author Eleni Zafiriou stands out thanks to its bold dramaturgical choice to cast the award-winning Rosarte children's and youth choir in the narrator's role, as a character that gets involved in the events, comments, sympathises and takes a stand for fairness and brotherhood. The seven-member instrumental ensemble is conducted by Sofia Kamayianni; Eleni Efthymiou, one of the most remarkable directors of the younger generation, directs.

 

A Cloud in Love by celebrated Turkish poet N?z?m Hikmet is a genuinely romantic allegory for idealistic activism, which enduringly moves us to this date thanks to the honesty and sensitivity with which it praises universal values such as freedom, solidarity, friendship, the struggle for social justice, self-sacrifice, and deep love for life, while condemning the violence of war, exploitation and greed.

Among his other works, N?z?m Hikmet also penned short stories inspired by his home country's tradition. They are written in the form of didactic fairy tales targeted at children of all ages. A Cloud in Love is one of these short tales, ripe with elevated thoughts and lofty feelings.

Tenderness and sensibility, this fairy tale's main pillars, were the driving force for the creation of Sofia Kamayianni's new opera. «The special challenge in this particular work, and an inspiration for its conception, was my dramaturgical choice to have the (exceptional) Rosarte children's and youth choir, to whom the work is dedicated, starring as the author-narrator-chorus. It tells the story, highlights its meanings, and at times it takes part in what the roles say, sympathising with them and following the flow, while also determining to a great extent the style of the music writing. All this without a trace of children-centered «conveniences», in line and in cooperation with Eleni Zafiriou, who created an inspiring poetic adaptation of the fairy tale into a libretto. In the musical style, intense lyricism alternates with the rhythmic dynamism resulting from the constant action and the conflicts. They are of equal importance dramaturgically, that is why I gave special emphasis to their expression. The interpolating electroacoustic sounds - processed natural sounds -extend the imaginary space of the Land of the Flute or add qualities to the flowers (lament), creating peculiar sonic volumes alongside the live voices. The combination of all these elements into a contemporary musical language aims at the activation of symbolisms in the deepest levels of high vibrations-feelings, thoughts, and messages conveyed by this work. PS. Reading this note, two years after the abrupt cancellation of our first scheduled performance, I first thought I should write something completely different under the influence of the emotional vibrations and the huge changes brought about by the pandemic. In the end I left it unaltered; I only feel like adding two words: emotion and gratitude,» notes Sofia Kamayianni.

The poetic form and the references to the language of folk tradition running through Eleni Zafiriou's libretto as well as the dialogue between lyric expression, rhythmic activity and poetic use of technology imbuing Sofia Kamayianni's musical language are both employed in the service of the high symbolisms and emotional richness marking Hikmet's poetic work. «A Cloud in Love is the person who collectively fights for the vision of a new society and gives even their own life, if needed. The Cloud in Love loved life too much and gave his own life for it, living inside us forever,» notes Eleni Zafiriou.

In turn, Eleni Efthymiou's direction, in her first collaboration with the Alternative Stage, combines an austere stage aesthetic with the magic of fairy tales, creating an atmospheric theatrical form that is tantamount to the revolutionary lyricism of the original, both mysterious and dynamic, addressing young audiences with generosity, hope and faith in the future.

«We started working on A Cloud in Love with the goal of presenting it to audiences in March 2002. Two years later and amidst a very hard time for humanity -both in relation to the humanitarian and health crisis and to the environmental one-, N?z?m Hikmet's fairy tale comes, more topical than ever, to warm us with its poetic symbolisms and brighten us up with hope. We chose to render the story in a way that it serves the magic and strangeness of the fairy tale along with scenic austerity. To us, the characters serve as archetypes of human behaviour on the one hand, and as archetypes of nature itself (earth, water, fire) on the other hand. The elements of nature we encounter in the work are portrayed symbolically and come to life through the way they affect the ensemble of the characters, emotionally and in terms of movement. The atmosphere created by the synergy of music and visual design, at times mysterious and at times polemic, aims at highlighting the work's existential and political messages. The performance, imbued with love by its entire creative team, is delivered to the audience with the goal of inspiring them with strength and faith in a better future. Because, as the narrators in our work say, 'the new that's coming, is born by the pains of the old', notes Eleni Eftymiou.

The performance features 70 members of the Rosarte children's and youth choir, founded and run by conductor Rosie Mastrosavva. The capping stone of her career is the four gold medals she received at the three Choir Olympics she took part in (Graz 2008, Riga 2014, Tshwane South Africa 2018) as well as her being awarded by the Athens Academy for the highest contribution to Greece's artistic firmament.

The GNO Alternative Stage opens the 2022 season with an enchanting fairy tale from the East, a hymn to humanity. The new opera for children and young audiences A Cloud in Love by composer Sofia Kamayianni on a libretto by Eleni Zafiriou based on N?z?m Hikmet's fairy tale of the same title comes to the GNO Alternative Stage at the Stavros Niarchos Foundation Cultural Center to take audiences on a journey to far-away places and times through the power of music and poetry. A performance of high symbolisms and emotional richness, A Cloud in Love will run from 7 January 2022 for ten unique performances.

With eyes set on the dimension of collectivity, which marks the aesthetic and political standpoint of the original material, the operatic adaptation by composer Sofia Kamayianni and author Eleni Zafiriou stands out thanks to its bold dramaturgical choice to cast the award-winning Rosarte children's and youth choir in the narrator's role, as a character that gets involved in the events, comments, sympathises and takes a stand for fairness and brotherhood. The seven-member instrumental ensemble is conducted by Sofia Kamayianni; Eleni Efthymiou, one of the most remarkable directors of the younger generation, directs.

 

A Cloud in Love by celebrated Turkish poet N?z?m Hikmet is a genuinely romantic allegory for idealistic activism, which enduringly moves us to this date thanks to the honesty and sensitivity with which it praises universal values such as freedom, solidarity, friendship, the struggle for social justice, self-sacrifice, and deep love for life, while condemning the violence of war, exploitation and greed.

Among his other works, N?z?m Hikmet also penned short stories inspired by his home country's tradition. They are written in the form of didactic fairy tales targeted at children of all ages. A Cloud in Love is one of these short tales, ripe with elevated thoughts and lofty feelings.

Tenderness and sensibility, this fairy tale's main pillars, were the driving force for the creation of Sofia Kamayianni's new opera. «The special challenge in this particular work, and an inspiration for its conception, was my dramaturgical choice to have the (exceptional) Rosarte children's and youth choir, to whom the work is dedicated, starring as the author-narrator-chorus. It tells the story, highlights its meanings, and at times it takes part in what the roles say, sympathising with them and following the flow, while also determining to a great extent the style of the music writing. All this without a trace of children-centered «conveniences», in line and in cooperation with Eleni Zafiriou, who created an inspiring poetic adaptation of the fairy tale into a libretto. In the musical style, intense lyricism alternates with the rhythmic dynamism resulting from the constant action and the conflicts. They are of equal importance dramaturgically, that is why I gave special emphasis to their expression. The interpolating electroacoustic sounds - processed natural sounds -extend the imaginary space of the Land of the Flute or add qualities to the flowers (lament), creating peculiar sonic volumes alongside the live voices. The combination of all these elements into a contemporary musical language aims at the activation of symbolisms in the deepest levels of high vibrations-feelings, thoughts, and messages conveyed by this work. PS. Reading this note, two years after the abrupt cancellation of our first scheduled performance, I first thought I should write something completely different under the influence of the emotional vibrations and the huge changes brought about by the pandemic. In the end I left it unaltered; I only feel like adding two words: emotion and gratitude,» notes Sofia Kamayianni.

The poetic form and the references to the language of folk tradition running through Eleni Zafiriou's libretto as well as the dialogue between lyric expression, rhythmic activity and poetic use of technology imbuing Sofia Kamayianni's musical language are both employed in the service of the high symbolisms and emotional richness marking Hikmet's poetic work. «A Cloud in Love is the person who collectively fights for the vision of a new society and gives even their own life, if needed. The Cloud in Love loved life too much and gave his own life for it, living inside us forever,» notes Eleni Zafiriou.

In turn, Eleni Efthymiou's direction, in her first collaboration with the Alternative Stage, combines an austere stage aesthetic with the magic of fairy tales, creating an atmospheric theatrical form that is tantamount to the revolutionary lyricism of the original, both mysterious and dynamic, addressing young audiences with generosity, hope and faith in the future.

«We started working on A Cloud in Love with the goal of presenting it to audiences in March 2002. Two years later and amidst a very hard time for humanity -both in relation to the humanitarian and health crisis and to the environmental one-, N?z?m Hikmet's fairy tale comes, more topical than ever, to warm us with its poetic symbolisms and brighten us up with hope. We chose to render the story in a way that it serves the magic and strangeness of the fairy tale along with scenic austerity. To us, the characters serve as archetypes of human behaviour on the one hand, and as archetypes of nature itself (earth, water, fire) on the other hand. The elements of nature we encounter in the work are portrayed symbolically and come to life through the way they affect the ensemble of the characters, emotionally and in terms of movement. The atmosphere created by the synergy of music and visual design, at times mysterious and at times polemic, aims at highlighting the work's existential and political messages. The performance, imbued with love by its entire creative team, is delivered to the audience with the goal of inspiring them with strength and faith in a better future. Because, as the narrators in our work say, 'the new that's coming, is born by the pains of the old', notes Eleni Eftymiou.

The performance features 70 members of the Rosarte children's and youth choir, founded and run by conductor Rosie Mastrosavva. The capping stone of her career is the four gold medals she received at the three Choir Olympics she took part in (Graz 2008, Riga 2014, Tshwane South Africa 2018) as well as her being awarded by the Athens Academy for the highest contribution to Greece's artistic firmament.

 

 

 

 

 

 

The production «A CLOUD IN LOVE» is part of the GNO Alternative Stage's strand of programming titled «MUSIC THEATRE DAYS», which falls under the Act «FESTIVAL EVENTS OF THE GNO ALTERNATIVE STAGE» (MIS 5004053), code 2017ΕΠΑ08510107 (Axis 06 of the O.P. «ATTICA»), and is co-financed by the European Regional Development Fund (ERDF) and National Funds.
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Synopsis

In an undefined space and time, the ney's «magical» notes create the Land of the Flute and its inhabitants, the bad Kara Seyfi, a greedy, violent and murderous feudal lord, and the prudent, fair and generous-souled Ay?e. Kara Seyfi has his eyes on Ay?e's small piece of land and resorts to inhuman and criminal means to seize it: night attacks with his horse, threats and blackmailing. He is sure he will get what he wants, yet without taking into account Ay?e's mental strength and the valuable aid of her companions.

One day, at midday, while Ay?e and her companions, the rabbit and the pigeon, are enjoying the sun, a cloud appears in the sky. Gazing at Ay?e's beautiful and clear eyes, he gets struck by cupid's arrow and becomes «a cloud in love». The feelings are mutual. The «cloud in love» becomes a witness of Kara Seyfi's attacks against his beloved one and throws himself along with the others into the struggle to get rid of Kara Seyfi.

The strong resistance of Ay?e and her companions make Kara Seyfi secretly crawl into her garden one night and set all the flowers on fire. The final battle starts, but Ay?e's team is united. The «cloud in love» fights in the sky against Kara Seyfi's allies, the wind and the snake, and at the same time he helps the rest of the team down on the earth fight against Kara Seyfi. Ay?e comes out of the battle victorious. But all the flowers are burnt down. The «cloud in love» decides to sacrifice himself so that they are reborn and that life continues. He sheds his tears -tears of a high-minded conscience- like a pouring rain. The scorched land gets softly watered. The «cloud in love» is gone, but the rain has brought the charred land back to life. Ay?e and the rest of her companion's grief is tempered by the thought that her beloved one was sacrificed to give new life and that he will always be in their hearts.

Libretto
Eleni Zafiriou, based on N?z?m Hikmet's fairy tale of the same title

Conductor
Sofia Kamayianni

Stage director
Eleni Efthymiou

Set & costume designer
Evangelia Kirkine

Choreographer
Elena Gerodimou

Masks
Martha Foka

Lighting designer
Katerina Maragoudaki

Chorus mistress
Rosie Mastrosavva

Πρωταγωνιστές Παράστασης

Cast:
Miranda Makrynioti (Ay?e), Yiannis Filias (Cloud), Vassilis Dimakopoulos (Kara Seyfi)

Featuring the Rosarte children's and youth choir

 

Musicians: Stefanos Chatzianagnostou (flute), Filandros K?rras (clarinet, bass clarinet), Spyros Vergis (trombone), George Boukaouris (percussion), Elena Lazaretou (piano), Tasos Gousetis (violin), Dimitris Kottaridis (cello)
Ney (pre-recorded): Fotis Mylonas

 
 

 

 

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

In line with the restrictive measures for the protection of public health against the spread of the coronavirus (COVID-19), it is noted that according to the instructions of the Greek State, GNO's venues at the SNFCC will operate at a 100% capacity and only for persons who have been fully vaccinated or have recovered from COVID-19 (audience members need to present a respective valid certificate). Children from 4 to 17 years of age may present a certificate of vaccination or recovery from COVID-19 or a negative self-test result declaration, provided that the test has been taken within the last 24h.

The Greek National Opera does not collect or process any personal data during the certificate verification process.

- All measures to prevent overcrowding when entering and exiting the venue will apply, and mask-wearing is mandatory upon entering and exiting the venue and throughout the duration of the performance.

- You can find more detailed information at https://www.nationalopera.gr/en/tickets



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