The Greek National Opera was established in 1939. From early on, its program included operetta and dance, in addition to the opera. Inaugurating a new period in its long history, the GNO is now settled in its new home at the SNFCC complex. Its new facilities enable it to further develop its wide range of activities as an organization for education and the arts, including opera, ballet, experimental projects, shows for children, educational programs, as well as training the next generation of dancers and developing public benefit projects. With its wonderful acoustics, fine ambiance, and advanced specifications, the Stavros Niarchos Hall and the Alternative Stage – a versatile space for experimentation and research – along with state-of-the-art auxiliary spaces, enable the GNO to play an ever more important role promoting the arts in Greece.
The year 2017 was a landmark for the Greek National Opera, which relocated from the small scale Olympia Theatre in the center of Athens to its new, state-of-the-art premises at the Stavros Niarchos Foundation Cultural Center. It did not cease its full artistic operation during the transitional period: people living in the Athens metro area had the opportunity to watch Verdi’s Macbeth, and the dance triptych Landscapes by the GNO Ballet, at the Stavros Niarchos Hall (SNH). The Alternative Stage proved to be the highlight of the year: the first GNO musical commission, Erotokritos by Dimitris Maramis, premiered with great success.
The GNO opened officially at the SNFCC in October 2017 with the production of Elektra by Richard Strauss at the Stavros Niarchos Hall. An ambitious production with international impact, it was the first of several leads the GNO is proud of: it was the first time for the GNO to present this play, and it was the first time for internationally acclaimed Greek mezzo-soprano Agnes Baltsa to sing at the GNO.
The programme of the 2019/20 season of the Greek National Opera, including the celebration of its 80th anniversary, marks a new era of dialogue and interaction with the global developments in the art of opera, while focusing on the support of the artistic creation of major Greek artists.
The programme designed by the Artistic Director Giorgos Koumendakis aims to increase the GNO’s artistic outreach through strategic co-operations and co-productions with international partners, invests in new creations through commissions, takes decisive steps towards the expansion of the operatic repertoire, investigates the interaction of lyric theatre with performance and visual arts and brings on stage unique opera, operetta and ballet masterpieces in ambitious productions.
Four world premieres, one Greek premiere, seven new opera productions, two new ballet productions and three revivals of productions, as well as concerts, performances, projections accompanied by live music, shape the programme that will be presented at the Stavros Niarchos Hall and the Odeon of Herodes Atticus from autumn 2019 until summer 2020.
In the new programme, along with the great artistic staff of the GNO, we will have the chance to enjoy the fruits of our cooperation with major artists, such as, among others, Yorgos Lanthimos, Olivier Py, Anita Rachvelishvili, Marina Abramović, Dimitris Karantzas, Nikos Karathanos, Katerina Evangelatos, Marco Arturo Marelli, Benoît Jacquot, etc.
For further information, you may visit the official website of the Greek National Opera at www.nationalopera.gr/en/