Σάββατο, 22 Ιουλίου 2017

The opera "Olympic Flame" successfully presented to Sara’s Amphitheater in Markopoulo, Attica (Photos)

Wednesday, July 12, 2017. The artists were greeted with cheers and applause of an enthusiastic audience.
The "Olympic Flame" opera by Panagiotis Karousos, based on Sophocles' tragedy "Trachiniae", was presented with great success at the Open Theater of Sara in Markopoulo.
It was a fantastic performance with amazing voices and theatrical performances that made the audience happy. Despite the heat (42 degrees) was attended by over 500 spectators who applauded the starring director and soprano Irini Konsta and amazing co-star, bass Vasilis Asimakopoulos in the roles of Hercules and Hyllus, tenor Theodoros Birakos in the role of Eurystheus, soprano Dimitra Kamitsi in the role of Alcmena, and pianist Victoria-Fjoralba Kiazimi in the music direction.
The famous Greek soprano Irini Konsta achieved the greatest results in the effort to direct the play while playing the role of Deianira. Irene Konsta was a true tragedian with the air of an opera Diva, her voice of a dramatic soprano recognized by the complicated psychological and sonic role of Deianira.
Bass Vasilis Asimakopoulos was amazingly interpretive in acting with vocal powers, giving a tough and distant Hercules, and a dramatically impressive Hyllus in the human terms like another Hamlet.
Tenor Theodoros Birakos in the role of Eurystheus gave to the king the prestige and interpreted with bass Vasilis Asimakopoulos an amazing duet.
Soprano Dimitra Kamitsi in the role Alcmena showed all the affection to the doleful Deianira, enduring as a tragic figure silently, and interpreted a melodic aria and a touching lyrical duet with soprano Irini Konsta.
The piano's accompaniments was delighted by virtuoso pianist Victoria-Fjoralba Kiazimi, where, with her fine technique, she performed as the orchestra the hard work.
The Markopoulo Municipality authorities addressed to the public, Zoe Karapetsa, Vice-Mayor of Markopoulo Mesogaias, Ioannis Politis, President of the Public Benefit Society of Markopoulo KDEM, Sofia Moula, President of KDEM. The message of Mayor Sotiris Methenitis was announced to the audience. Among others attendees were Professor Dr. Anastasios Koutsoukos, Ms Sophia Papadatou, Dr. Chrysoula Tsigri, and the composer of the opera Panagiotis Karousos.
Opera "Olympic Flame" based on the tragedy "Trachiniae" by Sophocles
Modern masterpiece opera "Olympic Flame" Panagiotis Karoussos, made a triumphant debut at Lincoln Center in New York on March 26, 2016. On July 5, 2016 reappeared in ancient Greek costumes and directed by the United States in the Summer Festival of Astoria to the occasion Olympic Games of 2016 in Rio de Janeiro.
The Olympic Flame of Panagiotis Karousos is an opera in two acts relating to the mystery death and life of Hercules and the foundation of the Olympic games.
The opera as a whole is based on the Olympic flame and as it unfolds it gives the basic meaning behind the ancient Greek religious ritual, in order to bring people closer to the gods.

























Κυριακή, 9 Ιουλίου 2017

The opera "Olympic Flame" by Panagiotis Karousos at the Open-Air Amphitheater Saras Markopoulou Greece

The Municipality of Markopoulo Mesogeas 
presents a contemporary masterpiece opera.

The first Greek opera that presented in Lincoln Center of New York now will be heard in Greece with an exclusive cast 

OLYMPIC FLAME   
Music: Panagiotis Karousos   
Direction: Irene Konsta

Wednesday 12 July 2017. Time 9pm 
Open-Air Theatre “Sarah”
Theatre Saras Markopoulou, Attikis, Greece

Opera "Olympic Flame" based on the tragedy 
"Trachiniae" by Sophocles  

DEIANIRA Irene Konsta, soprano  
HERCULES  Vasilis Asimakopoulos, bass  
EURYSTHEAS Theodoros Birakos, tenor  
ALCMENE Dimitra Kamitsi, soprano  
HYLLUS Dimitris Papageorgiou, baritone 
   
Stavroula Menti, violin  
Victoria- Fjoralba Kiazimi, piano

Olympic Flame Presented in NY, First Greek Opera at Lincoln Center. The opera’s composer Panagiotis Karousos was inspired by Sophocles’ “Women of Trachis” or “Trachiniae,” the story of Heracles’ death and apotheosis. Deianira was tricked into poisoning Heracles, leading to an excruciating death. In her grief stabs and kills herself. It was a wonderful event. The singers were stupendous. They sang the Greek well and were a good team. The composition was original and fit the story well. It was innovative and charming, very dynamic and very exciting. (The National Herald, April 2014)

Κυριακή, 2 Ιουλίου 2017

THE OPERA "OLYMPIC FLAME" AT THE INTERNATIONAL FESTIVAL OF PETRA 2017

INTERNATIONAL FESTIVAL OF PETRA 2017
OLYMPIC FLAME
Music: Panagiotis Karousos
Direction: Irene Konsta

Opera "Olympic Flame" 
based on the tragedy 
"Trachiniae" by Sophocles

DEIANIRA Irene Konsta, soprano
HERCULES Vasilis Asimakopoulos, bass
EURYSTHEAS Theodoros Birakos, tenor
ALCMENE Dimitra Kamitsi, soprano
HYLLUS Dimitris Papageorgiou, baritone

Stavroula Menti, violin
Victoria- Fjoralba Kiazimi, piano

Tuesday 18 July 2017. Time 9:30pm
Petra Theater - "Peter Brook" Scene
Production: Hellenic American Center of the Arts

Olympic Flame Presented in NY, First Greek Opera at Lincoln Center. 
The opera’s composer Panagiotis Karousos was inspired by Sophocles’ “Women of Trachis” or “Trachiniae,” the story of Heracles’ death and apotheosis. Deianira was tricked into poisoning Heracles, leading to an excruciating death. In her grief stabs and kills herself. It was a wonderful event. The singers were stupendous. They sang the Greek well and were a good team. The composition was original and fit the story well. It was innovative and charming, very dynamic and very exciting. (The National Herald, April 2014)



Κυριακή, 11 Ιουνίου 2017

Triumphal presentation of Porphyra, A Grecian Rock Opera Anna and Vladimir: The love that ROCKED the world

Photos by Marilyn Hirsch-Wyler
Porphyra, A Grecian Rock Opera, Anna and Vladimir:The love that ROCKED the world, thrilled audiences with a historical and cultural journey into Greece's past at Flushing Town Hall "Where the Silk Road ends, a romance begins.” The Rock Opera was hosted by the Greater Flushing Chamber of Commerce and audiences got to experience for the first time in one of Queens’ most revered landmark theaters three shows; one on Friday June 2nd and two on Saturday June 3rd

First came Anthony and Cleopatra then, there was the drama-drenched Byzantine duo Anna and Vladimir. "Porphyra" is the rock opera that captures all the history, grandeur and power struggles behind their love story. Set in the year 988AD, the production chronicles the world-rocking marriage of Princess Anna Porphyrogenita of Greece to Grand Prince Vladimir the Great of the medieval Kievan Rus. Their tale of love, war and peace is brought to life through hard rock, melodic metal, and Greek folk music, all churned out by a rock orchestra. Based on the epic albums "Faith, Struggle, Victory" and "The Starmaker's Prophecy" (due to come out this summer), the performance weaves together theater, dance and visuals.

The Director, Production/Stage Manager, Costume stylist, Prop Master and Narrator was Despina Chrissochos (married to Billy Chrissochos), who masterfully helmed the production while seven months pregnant with the couple’s second baby. 
The protagonists were four of NYC’s most versatile and powerful Hard Rock/Heavy Metal vocalists; the charismatic and powerhouse vocalist Elaine Tuttle who portrayed the role of Princess Anna Porphyrogenita, the delightful Tommy Von Voigt who slayed as Prince Vladimir, the majestic vocal stylings of Ron Iglesias as Emperor Basil II, and the heavenly vocals of Christina Stavrou as Princess Olga. “Rock of Ages” has nothing on this group. And to boot it’s all original music! 
Photo by Shirley Huang
The band was composed of Billy Chrissochos on guitar, Mike “Risko” Savvas on guitar and tzoura (the smaller cousin of the bouzouki instrument), who enthralled the audiences with his unique instrument,  Jose A. Navia on bass, Richard Khuzami on percussion and what is a tour de force on drums, Mr. Tracey “Tre Boogie” Beavers, holding the entire ship together. The production was graced with three beautiful dancers from the Dena Stevens Shazadi Dance Project; Choreographer and Principal Dancer Dena Stevens, Principal Dancer and show’s Associate Producer Peishan Lo, and Principal Dancer Alicia Kubeck. The dancers marveled the audiences with sword balancing acts, beautiful costumes and all the right moves. 
Recognized by UNESCO, “Porphyra, a Grecian Rock Opera,” made its smash debut at Carnegie Hall’s Zankel Hall in May 2015 and triumphant Off Broadway debut at the famed West Village Players Theatre in may 2016. Porphyra’s album, “Faith, Struggle, Victory” also won the 2016 Best Rock Album in the Academia Music Awards. Porphyra’s Rock Opera debut at Flushing Town Hall was critically hailed as “PICK OF THE WEEK” from “It’s in Queens” popular online blog, the Queens Tribune and Queens Gazette. 
You can learn more about Porphyra, A Grecian Rock Opera at www.Porphyrarockopera.com
and on Facebook at https://www.facebook.com/PorphyraBand/, check out our merchandise and purchase your copy of "Faith, Struggle, Victory" and "The Starmaker's Prophecy” albums. Here is our new promo video https://www.facebook.com/greekrussianclub/videos/299670137112177/
Porphyra Foundation Inc, is a not for profit 501 (c) 3 and every donation and purchase of merchandise will go towards helping this production on its way to Broadway.
Here is what the press, local and civic leaders had to say about the show!

“The Greater Flushing Chamber of Commerce is pleased to present this wonderful cross-cultural performance of Anna & Vladimir. We hope this collaboration with Porphyra will strengthen our relationship between the Greek community and the many New Yorkers from around the world who now live and work in Flushing. We invite you to join us in this unique celebration of New York’s most diverse and dynamic community!”
Taehoon Kim, President of the Greater Flushing Chamber of Commerce.

 “My small country, Greece, which is going through troubled times now, has a very strong weapon; its culture, history and the arts. Byzantine History is a most attractive history and the way Porphyra has worked to create this very important show, has breathed new life to the pivotal story of Anna and Vladimir. On behalf of UNESCO club of the department of Piraeus and Islands I congratulate the work of our Director of Modern Music in NY, Mr. Billy Chrissochos, on his mission to educate and build Cross–Cultural bridges between the Asian and Greek communities and the greater American public.”
Mr. Ioannis Maronitis, President of the Club for UNESCO Piraeus and Islands and Member of the Board of the World Federation of Associations and Club Centers for UNESCO.

“Porphyra, A Grecian Rock Opera is a wonderful blend of Greek history and modern rock music. A new experience everyone should see.”
Queens Community Board 1 District Manager Florence Koulouris.

“Only in Flushing can you find Greek folk music, belly dancing and a full rock orchestra performing in sync. The Greater Flushing Chamber of Commerce put together a unique and colorful production of this classic tale, and we are very fortunate to have the opportunity to bear witness right here in Queens.”
Peter Koo NYC Council Member 20th District, Queens. 
The Spin on the relationship of Anna Porphyrogenitos and Prince Vladimir was well presented by the talented music and actors performing on stage.  I enjoyed all aspects of the performance from music to costumes and movement of the theme through the various acts of the opera; an effective way to bring alive historical themes from the past. Perhaps youth could come to appreciate history through such performances.”
Reverend Father Paul Palesty, St. Nicholas Greek Orthodox Church.

"This was a thrilling historical journey that has never been explored in such a unique way.”
Igor Kochan, President Russian Youth of the USA.

“A live band playing their original rock music accompanied by spectacular belly dancers. It is really worth it!”
World Journal. Most influential Chinese-language newspaper in North America.

"Porphyra is one of the most important cultural endeavors undertaken by members of the Greek American community. As a history presentation, it brings to life our Byzantine heritage, especially for our children. The musical compositions and performances are helping put Hellenes on New York's artistic map and the participants are an inspiration for our children."
Constantine Sirigos, journalist. 

“Billy Chrissochos has taken some obscure Byzantine history and transformed it into a vibrantly romantic musical experience that expands the parameters of the rock genre in most interesting ways. The performance I saw was flawlessly presented by talented musicians, attractive principals with strong voices, and dancers with all the right moves. Ranging from rock and heavy metal to tender ballads, the score beautifully captures both the political intrigue as well as the romantic nuances of the love story PORPHYRA has to tell. The audacity of the concept works beautifully, giving new life to a very old love story.”
Jimmy DeMetro Director, NYC Greek Film Festival.

“Porphyra's, A Grecian Rock Opera - Anna and Vladimir: The love that Rocked the World” was nothing short of fantastic. Everyone in the production was spectacular from the musicians to the singers. It was a phenomenal Rock concert with a Hellenic Byzantine Opera twist, and a must see. Congratulations to all!”
Lou Katsos, President, EMBCA (East Mediterranean Business Culture Alliance).

"Most of us can remember special moments in our lives, I can say I have experienced one of those when I attended the performance of Porphyra's: A Grecian Rock Opera, Anna & Vladimir: The Love That Rocked The World, on Friday June 2nd at the Flushing Town Hall. I'm happy and proud to have been there that night. It's not everyday, or even common for a Greek-American to be able to enjoy a magnificent and unique piece of entertainment, and also be proud of your heritage at the same time, Bravo Porphyra! You did it for me. I wish you continued success, and I hope to catch your next great experience.”
Peter Giakoumis, historian, author and Press Secretary for Club for UNESCO Piraeus and Islands NYC Modern Music Chapter. 
“What is there to say about the new Greek Rock Opera “Anna and Vladimir: The Love That ROCKED the World,” of Billy Chrissochos? It is exciting music that has fine musicians and majestic singers and a grandiose and highly successful cast and crew. I cheer and applaud the production and director Despina Chrissochos and Associate Producer Peishan Lo in all their hard work in achieving this!”
Panayiotis Karousos, world renowned opera and classical music composer.
President of The Hellenic American Center of the Arts.

Πέμπτη, 25 Μαΐου 2017

Repeat triumph of the opera "Prometheus Bound" at the 4th Gymnasium of Alimos in Athens Greece

Tuesday, May 23, 2017. And yet Greek education can triumph when there are remarkable visionaries of the level of our composer Panagiotis Karousos, and people able to welcome and coordinate such an important task.
Admired great performers of the height of bass / Stage-director Vassilis Asimakopoulos (Prometheus) and soprano Irene Konsta (Io) in the heavy roles of the Greek tragedy, and the fine tenor Theodoros Brakos (Ocean / Hermes), accompanied by the magnificent pianist Victoria - Fjoralba Kiazimi.
Perhaps it is the most perfect and best educational program that has been presented in the Greek Secondary Education for many reasons. Firstly, the most difficult and philosophical work of the ancient Greek writing is presented in a comprehensible way, which for the first time in the world's history of the opera was set to music in a classical-form of traditional opera. This was a remarkable event and it must be pointed out.
Secondly, the direct participation of students, in the presentation of the chorus of the Aeschylus tragedy Prometheus Bound, the presentation examples of the Prosody element, and also the direct conversation with the composer on the opera to analyzing the themes.
Third, the appreciable involvement of teachers, school counselors and school directors enriching the Seminar by offering to students an overall initial teaching lesson of critical analysis of the subject.
In the approval program of the Ministry of Education, Research and Religious Affairs (IEP), the project "Prometheus Bound" was preceded by the pedagogical seminar "The qualification as the link of the opera with the ancient Greek tragedy". 
The presentation of the seminar was attended by: Eleni Savaki Director of the 4th Gymnasium of Alimos, the composer Panagiotis Karousos, Chrysoula Tsigri School Counselor of French Publications PI05 A Athens, Evanthia Michou School Counselor of French, Dr. Anastasios Koutsoukos, who co-ordinated the seminar of the Ministry of Education and the musician of the 4th Gymnasium of Alimos, Manolis Kartsakis, who helped with the impeccable presentation of the Prosody example.
The exemplary way of presenting the most important opera work of Greece, and the work of the masterpiece ancient Greek Literature "Prometheus Bound", commemorates the modern Greek operatic culture within a contemporary music creation.
The opera "Prometheus Bound" by Panagiotis Karousos and the Direction of Vasilis Asimakopoulos move us to the magical world of the serious opera with the mysterious way of musical inspiration.
The unparalleled protagonist Vasilis Asimakopoulos joins the unwavering revolutionary Titan Prometheus with a sigh and kindness of a romantic hero.
The glamorous diva soprano Irene Konsta impresses with the power of her voice and the remote reality of her interpretation.
Theodoros Birakos interpreted the role of Ocean with the rigor, and the melodic aria of Hermes, which impressed all spectators. The artists accompanied by the outstanding pianist Victoria - Fjoralba Kiazimi.
Texts on the opera and the 2nd Chorus of the Tragedy "Prometheus Bound" in translation by I. Griparis read the students: Grigoris Bobirakis, Eleni Lourandou, Maria Menendiati, Dimitra Tournaviti, and Irene Fatsea.

The Director of the 4th Gymnasium of Alimos Eleni Savvaki gave a warm speech  to the crowd. The school with the teachers applauded the opera, the corridors from everywhere filled with students for the big event of the Greek opera in their school. It was an outstanding performance to all levels!