Left to right: Alla Milchtein, Victoria Davis, Stephanie Ribero, Samuel White, Sasha Gutiérrez, Melina Jaharis, Eugenia Forteza, and Stefanos Koroneos, following the performance at the Archdiocesan Cathedral of the Holy Trinity in New York City. Photo by Eleni Sakellis
NEW YORK – The Consulate General of Greece in New York and Teatro Grattacielo presented ‘The 10 Faces of Maria Callas’ on November 16 at the Archdiocesan Cathedral of the Holy Trinity in New York City.
The event celebrated iconic soprano Maria Callas in honor of the centennial of her birth this year with pieces of music by well-known opera composers Verdi, Spontini, Bellini, Donizetti, Puccini, Mascagni, Bizet, and Mozart performed by young artists highlighting the various phases of Callas’ illustrious career. Also on the program was the world premiere of a piece from a new opera about Maria Callas, currently being written by C. Borzoni with libretto by E. Coppinger, both of whom attended the event at the Cathedral.
The talented artists, sopranos Sasha Gutiérrez, Stephanie Ribero, and Victoria Davis; mezzo sopranos Melina Jaharis and Eugenia Forteza; tenor Samuel White, and pianist Alla Milchtein, impressed the audience with their performance.
Consul General of Greece in New York Dinos Konstantinou gave the welcoming remarks, noting that the Cathedral was also where Callas was baptized nearly 100 years ago. He thanked all those who helped make the event possible, including F. Crysostomos Gilbert and Stella Pantelidis from the Cathedral “who was instrumental in carrying out this event, our kind supporters, the Stavros Niarchos Foundation, Astra Foods and the Vasiliou family who came all the way up from Philadelphia, and above all, the mastermind behind this Maria Callas event… a great artist and great artistic director, my friend, Stefanos Koroneos.”
“Today, we gathered her to celebrate the timeless legacy of Maria Callas, an extraordinary soprano whose voice continues to resonate through the corridors of history,” Konstantinou said. “Her unparalleled talent, unparalleled passion, and undying commitment to the art of opera have inspired countless artists across generations. Just as the stars shine in the night sky, so does Maria Callas’ brilliance illuminate the world of opera.”
Stefanos Koroneos, General and Artistic Director Teatro Grattacielo, served as the presenter for the event, introducing each piece with historical facts about Callas’ life and career. In his opening remarks he said: “We are here tonight to celebrate a legend, Maria Callas, but we are here tonight to also celebrate new artists who are the future.”
Koroneos continued: “Young artists need to be educated, promoted, and really sustained as much as possible and that is what we do at Teatro Grattacielo.”
“I would like to thank, first of all, Consul General Dinos Konstantinou, and Evelyn Kanellea [Consulate General of Greece in New York Director of Public Relations and Cultural Attache]… we started in March, we went through La Vestale, and now here we are, it is Maria Callas year, with this beautiful concert,” he said.
After thanking the supporters and all those present for attending, Koroneos then introduced the “first face” of Callas, “the blossoming diva,” and shared biographical details about her early years. Greek-American mezzo-soprano Melina Jaharis then sang an aria from the opera Cavalleria Rusticana by Mascagni and received a warm round of applause from the audience.
The concert continued with performances by the young artists through the subsequent faces including The Operatic Prodigy, The Love and Loss Chronicles, Humanitarian Heart, The Comeback, The Legacy Builder, and The Eternal Diva.
“Today, as we remember Maria Callas, she remains an eternal diva, an icon of opera whose voice and spirit transcend time,” Koroneos said in the introduction to the final piece of the evening, a duet from Cavalleria Rusticana, performed beautifully by Jaharis and White.
Among those present were His Eminence Archbishop Demetrios formerly of America, Consul of Greece Dimitris Papageorgiou, Holy Trinity Cathedral Dean Fr. Chrysostomos Gilbert, Paulette Poulos, Lila Lalaounis, Greek Public Diplomacy Office Head Mary Vaxevanidou, Dr. Miranda Kofinas, Marilena and Aris Christodoulou, Dr. George Dangas, and Dr. George Liakeas.
NEW YORK – Consul General of Greece in New York Dinos Konstantinou in collaboration with the Greek Orthodox Archdiocese of America hosted the opening reception of the moving exhibition Echoes of Asia Minor: Life, Catastrophe and Resilience on November 29 at the Consulate General of Greece in New York.
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