Monday, January 18, 2010

Any given Sunday

“Silence, the King is Listening”, is the title of an one-act opera in Greek composed by Nikos Kypourgos back in 1993 for the Athens Megaron, where it also received its premiere in 1994. 16 years later, our favourite guys, “The Beggars’ Operas” re-stage the work in a non-operatic venue, the bar/cultural space BIOS.

The result is once again stunning and the 3 singing actors manage to astonish the audience. And this is no typical audience: mostly children of any age that watch breathless an adaptation of the well-known Hans Christian Andersen tale “The Emperor's New Clothes” (text by Thomas Moschopoulos and Nikos Kypourgos) - where the music takes the place of the clothes-, with the orchestration of Haralambos Goyós and the stage direction of Marianna Kalbari who works miracles with very scarce -almost inexistent- means.

Ioanna Forti is the Muse, in a a fantastic acting tour de force, Zafiris Koutelieris (an almost legendary - in greek opera circles- lookalike of Rolando Villazón) is a hilarious King, and Dimitris Dimopoulos as the Musician, manages to be the kids’ favourite.


Second stop for today, the Benaki Museum, where a Retrospective of the work of Yannis Tsarouchis takes places. Be sure that you have more than 2-3 hours at your disposal and enter the world of this myth of the Greek Fine Arts. The Retrospective gathers a huge amount of Tsarouchis works, mainly from private collections, the Tsarouchis Foundation and the National Gallery.

Tsarouchis' "Memories of Maria Callas", 1978

1st floor of the museum is dedicated to his work for the theatre, sets and costumes for operas (Aida, Thais etc) and sketches of the sets for the 1960 Epidaurus production of Norma with La Divina but also the sets and costumes for the mythical Callas-Minotis-Tsarouchis Medea(s) in Dallas 1958, Covent Garden 1959, Epidaurus 1961, La Scala 1961.

Callas and Tsarouchis at La Scala, 1961

This was obviously not just any given Sunday and a visit to Zonar's, a historic café/patisserie downtown and its orgasmic macarons was the best way to finish it. The window of the shop, themed "Nights at the Opera" was just part of the operatic conspiracy on this laid-back, cool Sunday.


Willym said...

what a marvelous way to spend a Sunday... you are very lucky.

Anonymous said...

Nice presentation Parsi. Thanks for the ideas and the suggestions.
I'll follow your footsteps there next Sunday.