with magnificent arias and epic choruses- like the widely known Anvil– Verdi’s romantic opera “Il Trovatore” at Herodion thater was the most suitable choice for a warm june evening. I also enjoyed the artistic direction and costumes of Stefano Ponta- although the cast must had been suffocating for two and a half hours, under the heavy leather-like coats
Backstage at the rehearsal of “Romeo & Juliet” balletthe other day, me and Christos had the chance to take a close look at the costumes, all made by Celia Kritharioti and her brother Nikos. And if you like these, wait until you see the costumes of the prima ballerina that played Juliet.
A few days ago together with Christos Alexandropoulos we went over the Athens Concert Hall for a very good reason: To have a sneak peak at the first rehearsal of Romeo & Juliet ballet, the masterpiece of Sergei Prokofiev and the latest production of the National Opera, choreographed by Renato Zanella.
This is the first post, with a small backstage video from the rehearsal, just to tease you for what is to follow soon: backstage photos of the dancers and the costumes designed by Celia Kritharioti.
The most wonderful tale of eternal love based on the Shakespearean tragedy,Romeo and Juliet has been a source of inspiration for a large number of choreographers and dancers over the years. This major literature-based ballet will be Renato Zanella’s first piece specifically crafted for the Greek National Opera’s Corps de Ballet. “I was waiting for the day that I’d be commissioned to do this piece. I know how important it is to have this major ballet in the Greek National Opera’s repertoire. The personality and talent of the dancers in the G.N.O’s Corps de Ballet inspired me to take this decision”, he commented.
having spent last weekend pretending to be on vacations, on saturday evening i took the walk to Herodion Theater to watch Bellini’s Norma. i always catch a play every summer at Herodion, the atmosphere cannot be compared to anything else
i was pleasantly surprised to see a modern direction of the play, with costumes and sets following the same minimalism. In the story, the male co-star falls in and out of love TOO many times with Norma and that doesn’t make him very popular, as you can imagine, but they die together hand-in-hand at the end. i strongly believe Norma should never have followed him into the fire but women in love are so stupid.
after that and for many hours i stayed at my friend’s balcony at Thissio enjoying the view above, and found it extremely difficult to take the decision and actually leave. who can blaim me.
The most popular aria from the play, Casta Diva (which always reminds me of that Aparadektoi episode with Spyros’s boss eating chicken listening to Casta Diva, hilarious) by Montserrat Caballe.
friday’s coming closer and i can’t wait because a few weeks ago i purchased tickets for Puccini’s “Madama Butterfly”, at the Athens Concert Hall. Madama Butterfly it’s in the top 3 of my favorite lyric plays, among Puccini’s “Turandot” and Bizet’s” Les pecheurs de perles” and i had a chance to see it a couple years ago at the Greek National Opera- not a very succesfull cast though. there’s a love story (of course! what were you thinking?) but it’s not as simple as that, because there’s also some strong motherhood nuance that makes the story dramatic and heart-breaking in a different way than other romantic operas.
here for you is the most well known aria from the play, by Maria Callas, since i suppose there isn’t any other better version
Butterfly’s dreaming of the day that her beloved husband will return home after a long absence and describes it with every detail: One beautiful day we will see a puff of smoke on the far horizon. Then a ship will appear and enter the harbor. I won’t go down to meet him,no, i’ll wait on the hill for him to come. After a long time, i’ ll see in the far distance a man beginning the walk out of the city and up the hill. When he arrives, he will call “Butterfly” from a distance- but i will not answer, partly for fun and partly not to die from the excitement of the first meeting. Then he will speak the names he used to call me: “Little one. Dear wife. Orange blossom.” I promise you that this will happen.