Wednesday, April 9, 2008

Oldies but goodies! A tribute to Greek Mastersingers

L ' Assedio di Corinto, the Greek National Opera sets the work in it's original setting (Ancient Corinth)

"
The Greek National Opera is the only lyric theatre of Greece, established in 1939 as a part of the then called Royal Theatre, which matured during the years of the occupation of Greece by the German forces. In particular during that period the Greek National Opera was one of the very small free voices left in our enslaved country and since the year 1944 the Greek National Opera operates as an autonomous organisation. Many famous names of the lyric singers participated in performances presented by the Greek National Opera, who later on became famous abroad. Among them was Yiannis Angelopoulos, whom the Italian Press characterised as the first "Rigoletto" of the world.

Mireille Flery

Also Zoi Vlachopoulou, known as the "Butterfly" of the period of war, because she sang the part of Madame Butterfly the day the war was declared. There were also many others, such as Ulisse Lappas, Titos Xirellis, Giorgos Kokolios, Nikolas Moschonas, Margarita Perra, Petros Epitropakis, Konstantinos Egolfopoulos (Ego), Elena Souliotis, Helen Vlachopoulos, Evangelos Magliveras, Antonios Delendas and some new ones like Kostas Paskalis, Nicola Zaccaria, Tatiana Troyanos, Antigone Sgourda, Vassili Jannoulakos, Dimitris Kavrakos, Kiki Morfoniou, Luis Manikas, Giorgos Pappas, John Modenos, Jeanette Pilou, Daphne Evangelatos and many others.

Maria Kalogeropoulou in Athens, in a very rare foto

Certainly the most important of them all is Maria Callas, who signed the first professional contract with the Greek National Opera on June 20, 1940. Some twenty years later she came back here to sign a new contract, again with Kostas Bastias, for performances of the Greek National Opera at the ancient Theatre of Epidaurus...

Mireille Flery


Vickers, Gobbi, Pobbe, Otello 1965

The presentation of G. Verdi's "Otello" in 1965, under the conduction of Andreas Paridis, with Tito Gobbi, John Vickers and Marcella Pobbe drew the enthusiastic attention of the International Press. The same thing happened with the presentation of "Aida" in the same year and with the same conductor and with actors Carlo Bergonzi and Vassilis Giannoulakos.

This is what we read on a website (last updated some decades ago) about the History of the Greek National Opera.

Tatiana Troyanos and Antigone Sgourda, Athens 1971

Most of these are known and the majority of these singers had international careers (Moscona, Lappas, Kokolios, Souliotis, Ego, Paskalis, Zaccaria, Troyanos, Sgourda, Pilou, Filacuridi, Irma Kolassi etc etc).

Kostas Paskalis as Macbeth, very rare foto

What about the older ones? The ones that we never had the chance to listen to, the ones that left few or none recordings? Thank god there are collectors all around the globe 'cause if we depended on the archive of the Greek National Opera we would have very few recordings.

Maria Kerestetzi


Here are some clips of great greek singers of the past

Ulysses Lappas (1888-1971), Vesti la giubba

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Petros Epitropakis, (1894-1977) Questa o quella (in greek, rec.1924)

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Yiannis Angelopoulos (1881-1943), Cortigiani, vil razza (rec. 1932)
(Tita Ruffo said: I never sang Rigoletto in Greece, Angelopoulos was there to sing it)

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Yiannis Angelopoulos (1881-1943) - Mireille Flery (1907-1996)
Si, vendetta! (rec. 1931)

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Antonis Delendas, Yiannis Angelopoulos, Vako Anglou, Clio Karantinou
Bella Figlia del amore (rec. 1931)

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Antonis Delendas (1902-1966), O lola (rec.1930-39)

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Antonis Delendas (1902-1966), Vesti la giubba

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Nicola Moscona

Nicola Moscona (1917-1975), Mefistofele, Prologo

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Fofi Sarantopoulou, Der Hölle Rache

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Sotos Papoulkas (b.1943), Una furtiva lagrima

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Thanos Petrakis (b. 1939), Che gelida manina

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Dimitri Kavrakos (b.1946) Infelice, e tu credevi (Ernani)

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Kiki Morfoniou, Mon coeur s´ouvre a ta voix

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11 comments:

Willym said...

What a marvelous post Parsi, sadly most of these singers were an unknown quantity to me but no longer.... a great deal of work for you but wonderful. Thanks.

By the way the Fidelio was one of "those" nights - pure and utter magic.

Rena Fan said...

εξαιρετικό post! Δεν έχω ξεχάσει τις εκπομπές που σου υποσχέθηκα! Δώσε μου λίγο χρόνο μόνο...

Felipe Cunha said...

Hi Parsi, that photo is not of Maria, but her sister, Jackie. ;-)

Parsifal said...

Hi Felipe! Are you sure? I 'll have to check it, it looks like Maria, and the Archive of the Greek National Opera claimed it was Maria too...

Anonymous said...

Why no mention of Agnes?

Parsifal said...

Agnes Baltsa never sang at the Greek National Opera and she is a lot younger than the people i refer to here. Actually the first time she performs in Greece is 1984 with Zurich Opera (Carmen, with Carreras in a Ponnelle production) and then again some years later she gives a recital at the theatre Pallas. Agnes becomes a regular of Greece in the 90's when she sings Carmen, Capuleti, Komponist in Ariadne Auf Naxos and some years later Cavalleria Rusticana, Klytemnaestra and L italiana, and that is pretty much all her greek career- well together with some recitals).

DemisL. said...

Καταπληκτικό τό μπλόγκ σου ρέ φίλε, πόση δουλειά θά χρειάζεται γιά νά βγαίνει ἔτσι!... Μπράβο πού θυμίζεις σέ ὅλους μας τραγουδιστές πού ἔγραψαν ἱστορία καί ἐλάχιστοι πλέον ἀθθυμοῦνται, τό καλλίτερό σου ππόστ ἦταν αὐτο.
Ἕνα μικρό παράπονο ἔχω μόνο, ἄν μοῦ ἐπιτρέπεις: ξέχασες τήν ἀγαπημένη μου ἑλληνίδα μεσόφωνο ὅλων, τήν Ἑλένη Νικολαΐδη (ὄχι, δέν ἐννοῶ τήν πολύ καλή Elena Nicolai ἀπό τήν Βουλγαρία), ἡ ὁποία ἔκανε τεράστια καριέρρα καί στήν Ἑλλάδα τό '30 καί στήν Γερμανία τόν πόλεμο καί στήν Ἀμερική μετά (ἡ ἠχογράφησή της σέ μιάν ἄρια τῆς Εὐρυάνθης τοῦ Βέμπερ πού ἔχω εἶναι ὅ,τι συγκλονιστικότερο ἔχω ἀκούσει!) Τήν ξέρεις καθόλου;
Συνέχισε ἔτσι! Χαιρετίσματα ἀπό Κύπρο, Ντέμης.

Parsifal said...

Νομίζω οτι η Ελένη Νικολαϊδη αξίζει μόνη της ένα ποστ . Έχω μια σειρά ηχογραφήσεις της για την ORF οπου τραγουδάει από Κάρμεν και Τροβατόρε μέχρι Λαυράγκα αλλά και μια σειρά απο ντοκουμέντα της περιόδου 1943-1950 και όπου τραγουδαέι Λαίδη Μακμπέθ, Σεμιράμιντε, Έμπολι, Αζουτσένα, Ουλρίκα, και διάφορα λίντερ μεταξύ των οποίων τον αγαπημένο μου Erlkönig. Στη διάθεση σας αν θέλετε κάποιο απο αυτά...

DemisL. said...

Πωπώ, τρελλάθηκα τώρα, δέν ἤξερα ὅτι ὑπῆρχαν τέτοιες ἠχογραφήσεις τῆς Νικολαΐδη! Ἕνα live "Τραγούδι τῆς Γῆς" ἀπό τό 1953 ἤξερα ἐγώ, κί αὐτό ἐξ ἀκοῆς! Καί ὅ,τι εἶχα ἀκούσει πρίν καμμιά δεκαριά χρόνια στό Τρίτο, σέ κἄτι ἐκπομπές γιά τό Ἑλληνικό Μελόδραμα. Τό Erlkönig (ἤ Βασιλιάς τῶν Σκλήθρων, ἄ ρέ Κυριάκο Λουκᾶκο τί μοῦ ἔκανες....) τό λατρεύω, τό ἔχω σέ 6-7 διαφορετικές ἐγγραφές.
Τί ἐννοεῖς "στή διάθεσή σας"; Ὑπάρχει περίπτωση νά μοῦ ἔστελνες κἄτι, κἄπως;! Δέν ἔχω ἰδέα ἀπό ἴντερνετ δυστυχῶς.... Ἄν αὐτό ἐννοεῖς, θά ἤθελα Λαίδη Μακμπέθ παρακαλῶ. Ἄν λαλῶ πελλάρες, συγγνώμη! Ντ.

Parsifal said...

Ντέμη, στείλε μου ένα mail. Θα το βρεις αν πατήσεις στο view my profile κάτω από το chatbox.

SSapon said...

Καταπληκτική δουλειά! Όπως και όλα τα άλλα posts σου που εχω διαβάσει. Δεν θα μείνω μόνο στον πολυαγαπημένο μου δάσκαλο Κώστα Πασχάλη, αλλά όλα αυτά τα ονόματα που βρίσκονται σε αυτήν τη σελίδα άξιζαν ένα τέτοιο αφιέρωμα. Και τα ηχητικά αποσπάσματα σπάνια και μεγάλκς αξίας! Όσο για αυτήν τη συλλογή της Έλενας Νικολαίδου με Λαίδη Μάκβεθ, Ατσουτσένα κλπ, είναι ένα απο τα πιο υπέροχα πράγματα που έχω ακούσει ποτέ! Η Ελλάδα τελικά έχει βγάλει μεγάλες φωνές!

ΣΣ.