PIRAEUS – The new opera ‘Iliad’ by Panagiotis Karousos was presented on May 25 at the Municipal Theater of Piraeus, organized by the Club for UNESCO of Piraeus & Islands, the Philharmonic Orchestra of the Municipality of Corinth, the Municipality of Piraeus, and the Directorate of Secondary Education of the Ministry of Education. More than 1000 students and teachers from the high schools of Piraeus applauded the singers and the Orchestra under the direction of chief musician Glykeria Moraitakis.
The production, directed by Vanessa Kalkani, also had the support of the Youth Sports and Culture Organization (OPAN) of the Municipality of Piraeus and the international organization International Action Art.
The production was introduced by Ioannis Maronitis, President of the Club for UNESCO Piraeus & Islands and President of International Action Art.
The Philharmonic Orchestra of the Municipality of Corinth participated under the direction of the chief musician Glykeria Moraitaki, and featured excellent soloists led by soprano Vanessa Kalkanis who played the role of Helen. The role of Andromache was played by the lyric soprano Rea Voudouri; Achilles, tenor Costas Thanellas; Paris, baritone George Housakos; Chryseis, soprano Nina Giatra; Priam, baritone Panagiotis Diplaros; Hector, tenor Dionysis Milidakis; Ekavi and Thetis, soprano/mezzo-soprano Vivian Ioannou; Briseis, soprano Maria Kioroglou; Odysseus, baritone Alexandros Piskioulis, and Patroclus, Argyris Kontonikolaou.
The soloists were accompanied on piano by Nikolaos Dedes. Soprano Vanessa Kalkanis was also stage director of the opera, rising to the challenge of combining all those school groups with the opera singers: the School Choir ‘Apostolos Pavlos’ under the direction of Grigoris Kontis, the Theatrical Group of the Apostolos Pavlos schools under the direction of Andreas Koutsopoulos and Matsouka Maria-Christina, and the School Theater Group of the 1st High School of Piraeus, who performed a dramatization of ‘Rhapsody π’ of the Iliad in adaptation – curated by the philologist Georgia Skotidakis.
The presentation of the Iliad in music and libretto by Karousos was presented in the context of the ‘Sea Days 2022’ festival events of the Municipality of Piraeus.
Honorary certificates of the Ministry of Education were awarded by the former School Counselor Dr. Chrysoula Tsigri, who honored Maronitis and Karousos for their contributions to education and culture of Greece, in turn, honorary plaques were awarded by Maronitis.
The opera has been approved to be presented in the context of the Approval of the Educational Program-Festival titled: ‘Neoi Omirides 2022’ for the school year 2021-2022 for schools in Greece and abroad. The first presentation of the opera was made on World Poetry Day 2022 at the Alexandreio Conference Center of the Municipality of Loutraki-Perachora-Agioi Theodoroi by the Department of School Activities of the Secondary Education Department of the Prefecture of Corinth and in the Amphitheater of the 4th High School of Corinth.
The Director of the Secondary Education Department of Corinth Dimitrios Asvestopoulos was represented on May 25 by the head of School Activities for Corinth Annita Tsapalou, who said, “the presentation of [the opera based on Homer’s Iliad] in music and libretto by Panagiotis Karousos aims to contribute dynamically to the cultural promotion of an important Greek melodrama based on the heroic epic poem of Homer. As a musician, I judge the work of Mr. Karousos as an important…instance… of artistic creation. Finally, in our time, a great work is born, and we are especially honored by the fact that it was born through an educational [endeavor].”