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MEDEA (Cherubini) Selections Athens 2023 Anna Pirozzi, Yanni Yannissis, Vassiliki Karayanni, Giorgio Berrugi

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ADDITIONAL INFORMATION ON THIS PERFORMANCE

Quote from GNO:

The Greek National Opera is launching its tribute marking the centennial of Maria Callas’ birth with Luigi Cherubini’s Medea. This major international GNO co-production with three leading North American opera houses –the Metropolitan Opera in New York City, the Canadian Opera Company, and the Lyric Opera of Chicago– is to be presented on 25, 27, 30 April and 2, 4, 9 May 2023 inside the Stavros Niarchos Hall, conducted by Philippe Auguin, directed and with sets by David McVicar, and with Anna Pirozzi making her debut in the title role. This production is made possible by a grant from the Stavros Niarchos Foundation (SNF) to enhance the GNO’s artistic outreach.

Overlooked for many decades, Italian composer Luigi Cherubini’s Medea –first presented in Paris in 1797, and at La Scala in Milan just over a century later, in 1909– was brought back into the limelight when Maria Callas first performed the title role in 1953 at the Florence May Festival. The revival was a huge success and, thanks to Callas’ extraordinary musical and acting abilities, the music world rediscovered a thrilling work that had so unjustly languished in obscurity. Medea is an opera inextricably linked with Greece: based on the Euripidean tragedy of the same title, and with the performance given by Maria Callas as part of the historic GNO production at the Ancient Theatre of Epidaurus in 1961 –directed by Alexis Minotis and with sets and costumes by Yannis Tsarouchis– leaving an indelible mark on the modern Greek cultural landscape.

Cherubini, who spent most of his adult life in Paris and made decisive contributions to France’s music scene, wrote the opera on the basis of a French libretto by François-Benoît Hoffman, with spoken dialogue (prose) set between the musical segments (arias, duets, choral sections, and so on). The text went on to be translated into Italian by Carlo Zangarini, with the dialogue set to music by the German composer Franz Paul Lachner. This was the version revived by Callas, and is the one being presented here by the GNO.

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