THE FEDERATION OF HELLENIC SOCIETIES OF GREATER NEW YORK PRESENTED AT LINCOLN CENTER THE OPERA
BY PANAGIOTIS KAROUSOS
A MODERN MASTERPIECE BASED ON SOPHOCLES’ TRAGEDY TRACHINEAE
Internationally acclaimed composer, Panagiotis Karousos, went to New York for a historic presentation of the first Greek opera at Lincoln Center, to mark the Olympic Games 2016 in Rio de Janeiro. The presentation was marvelous with a standing ovation from the worm audience, cheer applauses and overwhelming crowd made the artists to extend one extra hour at the stage of the Bruno Walter Hall, receiving calls and take pictures.
It was a fabulous performance from all artists, young talented New Yorkers that promises more future presentations of the opera.
The composer Mr. Panagiotis Karousos congratulated the fine conductor Jestin Pieper, the performers Elisabeth Shoup, Soprano, Demetrios John Tsinopoulos, tenor, Kofi Hayford, bass, Stella Papatheodorou, soprano, Viktoriya Koreneva, mezzo-soprano, as well the Stage director Elias Markos, and Production manager Billy Chrissochos, for an excellent work and dedication to his work.
Saturday, March 26th 2016 at 8pm
Bruno Walter Auditorium
OF THE PERFORMING ARTS
HELLENIC AMERICAN ORCHESTRA
CONDUCTED BY JESTIN PIEPER
Deianira: Elisabeth Shoup, Soprano
Heracles: Demetrios John Tsinopoulos, tenor
Hyllos & Prometheus: Kofi Hayford, bass
Macaria & Iole: Stella Papatheodorou, soprano
Alkmene: Viktoriya Koreneva, mezzo-soprano
Stage director: Elias Markos
Production manager: Billy Chrissochos
A co-production of the Hellenic American Center of the Arts
THE OLYMPIC FLAME by Panagiotis Karousos
The Olympic Flame (Montreal 2005) is an opera in two acts related to the legend of Heracles and the founding of the Olympic Games.
It is the second operatic work by Panagiotis Karousos, which along with “Prometheus” (first performed in Greek at the Place des Arts, in June of 1994 and subsequently in its French version in June of 1996) and “Alexander the Great” (Canada 2007) is part of a trilogy depicting the greatness of the human spirit and the humanism of the “Hellenes” as is stated in the philosophical works of Greek antiquity and clearly indicates that we are all descendants of the culture and civilization of that era.
The opera in its entirety is based on the Olympic flame and as it unfolds gives us the fundamental meaning behind this ancient Greek religious ritual, for that is what it is.
The flame as we know it furring the Olympics is basically a simple commemoration/re-enactment of the flame as was stolen from the Gods by Prometheus and brought to the people. The flame of knowledge, from which civilizations were born. In Greek antiquity it was a religious ritual, with the purpose of bringing of the people closer to the Gods. Its second act is based on the tragedy “Trachiniæ” by Sophocles. In the Trachiniæ, are described the sufferings of and the levity of Dëianira, atoned for by her death; “The Olympic Flame” is a presentation of a major work of Greek mythology and philosophy, and in turn its contribution to world civilization.
The composition and orchestration of the opera is influenced by the post-romantic era in music and by other classical elements in Greek antiquity thus making it an avant-garde opera of the new millennium. Dominant in this work as in others by Panagiotis Karousos is the exaltation of lyricism, which relates well to ancient Greek tragedy due to the fact that they are both lyrical works and Greek tragic poetry is lyrical.
The opera World Premiered in Montreal’s Cathedral at Notre-Dame Basilica with soloists, choir and large Symphony Orchestra conducted by maestro Andre Gauthier. The Olympic Flame choir was presented with the Symphony Orchestra and the Choir of Gunst wat'n Kunst at Hague, Holland, with maestro R. Pylarinos. In Greece the opera presented at the Old Parliament House of Greece with costumes directed by bass Vasilis Asimakopoulos. Maestro Eleftherios Kalkanis of Athens Symphony Orchestra conducted highlights of the opera in concert halls and radio programs Broadcasted live from Greek National Radio and Attica TV.
The bel-canto style of the arias and melancholic romanticism praised the work as a major operatic masterpiece of the new era in opera “An exaltation of lyricism never hear before”. Among with Prometheus and Alexander the Great contribute as the most important operatic works in Greek history of classical music.