The emperor's nightingale



Lena Platonos
Available for on-demand streaming
until 31 August 2022

A unique work by Lena Platonos, based on Andersen's fairy tale of the same title, became an animated opera by the Greek National Opera. Lena Platonos, whose work has been associated with the world of children through the legendary Lilipoupoli, wrote The Emperor's Nightingale as a melodious parable about the uneven relationship between technology and man. It is a work of rare beauty and sensitivity in an impressive production, in which opera becomes accessible to children through animation, creating a new, magical and exciting world.

The work's modern message, the co-existence of analog and electronic music, natural and artificial sound, the ingenious use of animation and live performance, the melodic lines of Lena Platonos and the masterly vocal writing render The Emperor's Nightingale an ideal means of introducing children to the magical world of lyric art.

The production was recorded on 3 November 2019 in the GNO Stavros Niarchos Hall at the SNFCC. The subtitles are available only in Greek

Music: Lena Platonos
Orchestration: Lena Platonos - Stergios Tsirliagos
Libretto: Giorgos Voloudakis
Director: Katerina Petsatodi
Animation: Eirini Vianelli
Sets: Evangelia Therianou
Costumes: Alexia Theodoraki
Music coaching/Conductor: Michalis Papapetrou
Lighting: Christos Tziogkas
Sound design: Stergios Tsirliagos

Emperor: Nikos Kotenidis
Courtier / Death: George Roupas
Nightingale: Marilena Striftobola
Fisherman / Chamberlain / Technician: Yannis Filias

Nightingale's friend / Technician: Myrto Bokolini

Violinist / Conductor: Dimitris Nalbandis
Narrator: Maria Skoula

Lena Platonos wrote The emperor's nightingale, a "musical fairy tale with operatic features and neo-impressionistic music", as she herself has described it, in 1989, to a libretto by Giorgos Voloudakis, based on Hans Christian Andersen's tale of the same title.

In one of the most beautiful palaces in the world, the emperor of China is moved by the singing of a nightingale with an enchanting voice. When the emperor receives as a gift an electronic nightingale that monotonously sings the same song, the real nightingale leaves the palace. Many years later, when the emperor is very sick and the electronic nightingale no longer works, the real nightingale's song manages to move even Death.

Andersen's tale is transformed into a parable about the relationship between art and technology, which nowadays is more topical than ever. The work's modern message, the co-existence of analog and electronic music, the irresistible melodic lines of Platonos and the masterly vocal writing render the Emperor's nightingale an ideal way to introduce children to the magical world of lyric art.

The direction bears the stamp of Katerina Petsatodi, the animation has been designed by Eirini Vianelli, the sets by Evangelia Therianou and costumes by Alexia Theodoraki.


With the admission of 5€ the viewers:

  • can enjoy the show using the platform of GNOTV in the comfort of their home, during the time of their preference, through a PC, an ipad, a TV or even a smartphone.
  • can watch the show an unlimited amount of times for a 30-day period, since the first watch.
  • can gain access to the online programme of the show.


Lead Donor of the GNO / Emperor's Nightingale
Stavros Niarchos Foundation (SNF) []

Emperor's Nightingale Sponsor



The emperor's nightingale

Ticket purchase for on demand streaming

Available until 31 August 2022

  • Online streaming of the GNO TV performances are accessed using a ticket purchased here.
  • After the purchase you will receive an email with the unique ticket code to use in the GNO TV platform
  • After purchasing a ticket, you can view the video at the GNO TV platform here: (Please note: a user account should be created at the GNO TV platform - different than the one created at
  • To watch the videos on demand, viewers must have access to the internet and use a device (PC, laptop, smartphone, tablet, etc) through a browser that supports HTML5, EcmaScript 6+. They must also ensure that cookies are enabled in the browser.
  • Smart TVs are supported by connecting the TV with the playing device through an HDMI cable. Some SmartTVs may provide web browsers that support the embedded player.

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