The first concert of the national Opera of Greece shifted in the archaeological sites of the country in the form of post-confinement, on Saturday night. The rules of aloofness should be respected and the works adapted and chosen according to the place.
July 18, 2020 17h56
The national Opera of Greece gives voice against adversity
ATHENS — The voice of the mezzo-soprano Anita Rachvelishvili rises in the middle of ancient columns and bouncing off the facades at the foot of the Acropolis of Athens, the first recital of the season of the unpublished national Opera of Greece shifted in the archaeological sites of the country.
“After all these months of long break [for a pandemic], this is the first time that I sing”, explains to theAFP, the singer’s Georgian, “very moved” to occur “in this place” incredible ” that is the roman Agora in Athens.
“Only the music helped us get through this difficult period,” she said on the occasion of the dress rehearsal Friday night. “When the economy declines because everything stops, we have to remember that (…) the art feeds our soul”.
The first concert of the season on Saturday evening, sends “a clear message of support to the art to all the governments who refuse to support them,” pleads the Carmen of la Scala of Milan, already dressed as a priestess of the Greek.
The recital of Anita Rachvelishvili, broadcast live on the site of the opera house, gives the kick-off of an operation unique to the ministry of Culture, in partnership with the national Opera of Greece, and 10 other cultural organizations, aiming to revive some 70 archaeological sites that way since the health crisis. And be reborn to the sound of operas, ballets, and popular songs.
“Today, through this conditions so adverse that runs through humanity, we choose not to stay away from our public (…) and allow the economy of the show again in a safe environment,” said l‘AFP Giorgos Koumendakis, the artistic director of the national Opera of Greece.
80% of the intermittents du spectacle
Because one of the conditions of the government’s “All of Greece, a culture”, is the recruitment for each of the 111 performance of 80% of the intermittents du spectacle. “To create jobs”, stressed Stella Angeletou, production director of the Opera.
The top of the fortress of Zakynthos or the one of Nafplio, the ancient stadium of Olympia, as the site of Delphi or the ancient theatre of Epidaurus, will resonate until September 15, operettas Greek Theophrastos Sakelarridis, dances and music, traditional folk, or even a retrospective for the 95 years of the composer Mikis Theodorakis.
“This is the beginning of a tradition and of a new type of performance in these areas that are open to incredible,” predicted Anita Rachvelishvili, thanking Greece “to support as much as the art.”
“A technological achievement” held in a month, reports Stella Angeletou, referring to the difficulties to hoist a grand piano in the castle of the narrow village of Monemvassia, or to carry on remote sites, sometimes by 20 minutes of walking under the cooking sun, lighting equipment and sound systems.
The works have also been adapted and chosen according to the place. It was thus impossible to put in scene the Tosca of Puccini, at the Odeon of Herod Atticus. He was preferred to two galas, opera successive, combining arias and duets from Verdi to Giordano, Ponchielli and Puccini.
Health protocol “against the order of nature”
Another constraint of this season post-containment: establish the distances required on stage as for the audience, “a situation very difficult and demanding, which goes against the very nature of the show,” says Giorgos Koumendakis, who is proud, however, of having “succeeded”.
To the roman Agora, the chairs were spaced more than a meter, fountains operated with the foot to provide the hydroalcoholic gel and masks are distributed at the entrance on Saturday night.
In the presence of the president of the Republic Katerina Sakellaropoulou, the minister of Culture Lina Mendoni will be recalled by way of preamble that “the supreme value of life is health.”
In a country relatively unscathed by the sars coronavirus, with 194 dead to this day, Anita Rachvelishvili will sing Saint-Saens, Verdi and Bizet to thank an audience of health professionals and health authorities.
But for all the onlookers who bustled already for the rehearsal to the grids of the roman Agora, in the heart of the tourist district of Athens.