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Culture & Arts

Greek National Opera Has Opened Its Curtain on Enchantment for 80 Years

March 7, 2020

ATHENS – Eighty years ago, the Greek National Opera (GNO) staged its inaugural performance, Johann Strauss II’s famous operetta Die Fledermaus. To mark the anniversary, hundreds have gathered for a contemporary production of the same operetta, celebrating the GNO’s rich past and ambitious future.

The Stavros Niarchos Foundation (SNF) has been proud to support the GNO for more than 20 years, since the Foundation’s earliest days. The bond had become even stronger in recent years, with SNF providing support for the GNO to relocate to its new home at the Stavros Niarchos Foundation Cultural Center (SNFCC) in 2017, for creation of the GNO Alternative Stage, and for the establishment of its Department of Educational and Social Activities.

More recently, a €20 million SNF grant has helped bolster the GNO’s artistic outreach, as well as the development of targeted artistic collaborations, co-productions, guest productions, and international tours. This latest grant was the natural extension of the productive collaboration between the organizations and a reaffirmation of faith in the potential of the GNO beyond the boundaries of Greece.

In addition to the production of Die Fledermaus, the GNO has also marked the occasion with a monumental 80th anniversary publication.*

In the introduction, SNF Co-President Andreas Dracopoulos writes, “Our collaboration over the years, but especially with the current Artistic Director, Mr. Giorgos Koumendakis, shows us a way in which a lyric theater can reach a point where it is discussed triumphantly in the international press and, more importantly, where it is warmly embraced by the general public. It inspires us; it drives us; it shows us again and again how it can reach even higher and further. Our hope is that the GNO continues, with passion, knowledge, and humanity, to reach new peaks, without forgetting its roots.”

*The 80th anniversary publication is available at the GNO Box Office at the SNFCC, at the SNFCC Store, and in select bookstores.

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