Friday, January 9, 2009

The new Athens Opera House! Let the countdown begin!

Renzo Piano presenting his designs to the prime minister

On the 24th of January, architect Renzo Piano, will reveal to the World his pre-study on the Cultural Park "Stavros Niarchos" that will include the new Athens Opera, the National Library and...a park!

The whole project will cost around 300 million euro and will be entirely funded by the Stavros Niarchos Foundation:

"The new building of the Greek National Opera will be a space with modern technological equipment that will fulfill all the prerequisites and specifications needed to accommodate demanding, internationally-produced performances. There are plans for the creation of a museum-display area in the building complex of the Opera, where for the first time the treasures of Greek musical theater will be collected and exhibited.

The new facilities of the Greek National Opera will be an attractive cultural center whose goal will be to engage and bring a broader population into contact with typical opera enthusiasts. Through a series of educational, entertainment, and informative programs and events, the Opera aspires to strengthen and consolidate its existing audience while also instilling in the general public, and particularly in young people, a love for theater, dance and opera.
Informative programs, such as lectures and seminars and the exchange of knowledge and ideas that will precede performances, as well as the possibility for subtitle use during performances, are some of the features that will allow audiences to become engaged in the performances.

An emphasis will be placed on children’s programming, like children’s performances, tours (of the various areas of the opera such as backstage, the dressing rooms, etc.), educational programs, seminars, and innovative activities for children that will encourage the establishment and development of a future audience for the opera. With the use of new technology, the Opera will be able to travel via Internet to other Greek cities while the Cultural Park, which will surround it, will be used as a grand outdoor theater where selected performances will be held. Particular emphasis will be placed on the accessibility of the new building of the Greek National Opera and the whole project, to people with special needs. This accessibility does not only concern physical access to the area (with the use of special signs, walkways, etc.) but its digital accessibility as well."

Renzo Piano will reveal his plans in a Press Conference on January the 24th and later the same day he will present them to the public during a speech at the Athens Megaron.


Hariclea said...

Wow, those are wonderful and very ambitious plans! I hope you get the most wonderful opera house! I am sure it was a long awaited project :-)

Willym said...

Sadly there's many a step between the plan and the reality - lets hope the economic situation allows them to do everything they want because it sounds ideal.

Went to the Verdi Requiem last night - not a great evening.