Renowned mezzo-soprano Anita Rachvelishvili at the Roman Agora of Athens. (Photo by GNO/ Andreas Simopoulos)
ATHENS – The Greek National Opera (GNO) will relaunch culture in Greece with a special open-air concert by world-renowned mezzo-soprano Anita Rachvelishvili at the Roman Agora in the shadow of the Acropolis on Saturday, July 18, 8:30 PM Athens time/ 1:30 PM EDT. The Greek National Opera Orchestra will be conducted by Lukas Karytinos and the concert’s program will include famous arias by Verdi, Cilea, Gounod, Saint-Saëns.
The concert will launch All of Greece One Culture, a nationwide series of cultural events from the Ministry of Culture and Sports, to reboot Greece’s cherished cultural industries, which have been closed since March as part of the country’s pragmatic and effective response to the COVID-19 pandemic.
Culture has always been ingrained in Greece’s DNA, from pioneering modern theatre to setting the stage for a young Maria Callas, and before the pandemic struck the GNO had risen to a forefront of a cultural Renaissance in Athens, sparked by artistic responses to the financial crisis and supported strongly by government and public institutions.
Anita Rachvelishvili is considered a true opera star and one of the finest mezzo-sopranos of her generation. She has a close relationship with the Greek National Opera and is performing, for free, at the personal invitation of GNO Artistic Director Giorgos Koumendakis.
The GNO celebrates its 80th anniversary in 2020 and prior to lockdown had announced a hugely ambitious program to establish itself as one of the world’s great opera houses, including co-productions with some of the other great opera houses of our times and collaborations with artists such as Rachvelishvili, Yorgos Lanthimos, and Marina Abramovic. Its 2020/21 season is set to be even more ambitious and will be at the forefront of a series of national events to mark the 200th anniversary of the Greek Revolution.
The live streaming of the concert is made possible by a grant from the Stavros Niarchos Foundation (SNF) to enhance the Greek National Opera's artistic outreach. The exclusive trailer for the concert has already received over 250,000 views on YouTube alone.
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