Πέμπτη, 14 Απριλίου 2016

Soprano Elisabeth Shoup was amazing as Deianira at Lincoln Center in the opera Olympic Flame by P. Karousos

Composer Panagiotis Karousos with soprano Elisabeth Shoup

Soprano Elisabeth Shoup performed the leading role of Deianira in Olympic Flame opera by Greek-Canadian composer Panagiotis Karousos at Lincoln Center of New York.

Her performance was magical, she has the majestic stage presence and vocal powers that are needed for this tragic character. She is the ideal artist for the role. Her voice is huge full of dramatic tones that give justice to that glorious and very difficult role. 
Her vocal and dramatic powers never over-projected in front, she didn't need it, they just were truthfully naturally by nature.
Soprano Elisabeth Shoup with maestro Jestin Pieper
The role of Deianira is similar to Madama Butterfly's character who waited for Hercules to come home. Instead Hercules had an affair with another woman. Deianira furious by jealousy send him a tunic with a magic potion, the blood of the dying Centaur from Hydras poison. She didn't know that would kill Hercules, and waited for the result. Her son Hyllus brought the news, that Hercules arrives at home dying poisoned from her. Deianira's nightmares force her to go to the summit. She commits suicide with a knife in front of everyone,  desperate from extreme guiltiness and sadness. 
It is not easy to find a voice in opera for this dynamic role,  

soprano Elisabeth Shoup is a tragedian of the highest caliber. She is the role. 

OLYMPIC FLAME was the first Greek opera presented successfully at Lincoln Center





 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
111 Amsterdam Avenue New York, NY 10023 

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 Heracles 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.

Δευτέρα, 11 Απριλίου 2016


With a huge artistic success presented the opera "Prometheus Bound" by Panagiotis Karousos at La Sorbonne on Monday, April 4, 2016 in the Auditorium Richelieu (Sorbonne) under the auspices of the Club for UNESCO Piraeus and Islands in collaboration with the Club for UNESCO Kefalonia, Ithaka & Zakynthos.
It was the first time that staged an opera at the University of Paris, the biggest French-speaking University in the world. The music moved the select audience where praised with a big applause the composer and all artists.
The presentation made by Mr. Ioannis Maronitis, President of the Club for UNESCO Piraeus and Islands and Member of the Executive Council of the Clubs World Federation of Associations and UNESCO Centres (WFUCA) for Europe and North America, who dedicated the show to return the sculptures of the Parthenon at the Acropolis Museum.
Prometheus performed by bass Vasilis Asimakopoulos that has now been identified with this great tragic role. Io sung by soprano Irini Konsta with tragic vocal fluctuations. Tenor Philip Modinos interpreted the roles of Hephaestus, Ocean and Hermes giving the right style at the diametrically opposed characters with nice melodic voice.
The impressive mezzo-soprano Kassandra Dimopoulou interpreted the role of cruel violence, with tragic lyrical voice Amphitrite, and intensity the warier Goddess Athena. The soprano-coloratura Vanessa Kalkanis interpreted Oceanid with a velvet voice and amazingly the difficult aria of Goddess Hera. The excellent artists accompanied well by fine pianist Victoria Kiazimi.
The inspired stage direction made by Vassilis Asimakopoulos brought the work so close to the ancient tragedy that immobilized the public. The excitement of the Parisian audience was so great that were over ten curtains at the end of the opera.
Comments were strongly wormed and excited for all artists.
Yann Migoubert, director of the Cultural Department of the University of Sorbonne greeted the artists and the composer and prefaced the show: "It is a great honor for the Sorbonne University to present this great work of Mr. Panagiotis Karousos in Paris with a team of wonderful performers with exceptional talent".
Dr. Anastasios Koutsoukos, Professor in Sorbonne University, who had coordinated the opera said: "Today is a historic day for the Greek opera, "Prometheus Bound" is established as a masterpiece of world music-making, genius composer Panagiotis Karousos has created a divine work. The performers worthy of the composer's confidence was beyond all previous excellent, well done to everyone for their amazing work".
Philippe Brunet, artistic director of the Choir Company of Sorbonne said: "A great moment for the artistic world, the fantastic artists of the opera came from Greece brought the soul of their famous country of culture and light, this modern opera "Prometheus Bound" by genius composer Panagiotis Karousos will stay forever in memory".
George Dimou, director of Secondary Education of Athens said: "Panagiotis Karousos is a new genius composer who raises Greece on the highest pedestal of art. The opera performers moved all of as with their great talent".
Professor Athanasios Evangelou thrilled with the opera said: "It is a great pleasure for us in Paris to attend the unique opera "Prometheus Bound" by Panagiotis Karoussos.
A unique work with a passionate music writing, interpreted by such notable artists who literally moved all of us".
Senior Brigadier Sophia Papadatou said: "The opera "Prometheus Bound by "Panagiotis Karoussos must occur everywhere to learn the whole world, is a work that represents the ancient but also the modern Greek culture. The artists who came from Greece are so attached vocally and theatrically with the work that sets the project stands worthy like the productions of major opera theaters in the world. Well done to all".
Anastasia Papadatou – Apostolopoulou, president of UNESCO Club for Kefalonia,  Ithaca and Zakynthos said: "It's so much talented the composer Panagiotis Karousos that renewed the Greek opera and gave the ancient breath of our ancestors. The group of artists that has repeatedly presented the opera in Kefalonia, Ithaca and Zakynthos is stunning".
Mr. Ioannis Maronitis, President of the Club for UNESCO Piraeus and Islands and Member of the Executive Council of the World Federation Clubs, Associations and Centres UNESCO (WFUCA), awarded with the UNESCO MEDAL all the artists. Referring to the opera said: "We brought the Greek this opera in Sorbonne seeing it’s great worthy. We support strongly culture in all its forms, let alone such a universal for Greece and around the world creation that we will be remembered. Panagiotis Karousos is an enlightened man with vision, a pioneer who grapples with great values ​​and ideas of the ancient Greek civilization and brings nowadays so simplistic that it is impossible not to excite even the most naive viewer thrilling even the most demanding. The worthy group of performers follows with passion and admiration the great composer on the international stage opera and triumphs with him wherever will go. Sorbonne is the beginning of a glorious journey for all of us".