SNF has extensively supported the work of the Greek National Opera (GNO), most significantly by creating its new home as part of the Stavros Niarchos Foundation Cultural Center (SNFCC). As part of this transition, SNF initiated as founding donor the GNO’s Alternative Stage, which emphasizes innovative creation, education, and social engagement. SNF has supported the GNO’s public outreach since before the construction of the SNFCC and has also supported its educational and social activities for diverse age groups, vulnerable populations, and specialized audiences.
In January 2019, SNF announced a major grant of €20 million to GNO for the implementation of a four-year programming and development plan that will enhance its artistic outreach and international presence. This plan includes the development of targeted artistic collaborations, co-productions, guest productions, and international tours that will contribute to the formation of a new artistic identity for the GNO. The grant also supports a yearlong program of events to commemorate the 200th anniversary of the Greek Revolution of 1821, as well as a large promotional campaign in major media outlets across the world that will extend the GNO’s international reach. The launch of the new campaign, centered on the theme of birth, coincides with the 80th anniversary of the first GNO performance in 1940, celebrating the organization’s new philosophy, storied past, and creatively rich present.
With SNF’s support, the GNO’s four-year outreach program includes collaborations with celebrated Greek and international artists, such as Yorgos Lanthimos, Olivier Py, and Marina Abramović, partnerships with prestigious opera houses, such as La Monnaie (Brussels), London’s Royal Opera House and Paris’ Opéra Comique, the Royal Danish Opera (Copenhagen), the Göteborg Opera, and the Finnish National Opera (Helsinki), as well as with some of the most important opera festivals across the globe, like the Festival d'Aix-en-Provence, the Rossini-Pesaro Festival in Italy and the Baden-Baden Festival in Germany. In addition, the new SNF grant bolstered the GNO Ballet with eight new dancers, and scholarships to continue their studies abroad were awarded to top students.
Adapting its artistic activities to the reality of the pandemic, the GNO launched a series of online festivals, each exploring a different theme. The first GNO online festival was held in May and June, 2020, and the second later that year in September and October.