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SNF extends support for the Greek National Opera with an €11 million grant

Jul 01, 2024

At a press conference organized by the Greek National Opera (GNO) at the Stavros Niarchos Hall on Monday, July 1, Stavros Niarchos Foundation (SNF) Co-President Andreas Dracopoulos announced an extension of the Foundation’s support for the GNO with a two-year, €11 million grant aiming to further support the organization’s artistic outreach in Greece and abroad. At the same time, GNO Artistic Director Giorgos Koumendakis announced the artistic program for the 2024-2025 season, which will be supported by the new SNF grant. 

The new two-year grant (2024-2026) follows the completion of a four-year SNF grant to support the GNO’s outreach efforts (2019-2023). Of the €11 million, €10 million is an outright grant and €1 million will be provided once the GNO secures matching funds from other international sources. The grant, which covers the 2024-25 and 2025-26 artistic seasons, aims to work along 5 main axes. It is intended to further develop the GNO’s artistic outreach in Greece and abroad through the continuation of international co-productions, residencies by great artists, and an international touring program. Furthermore, in the context of the new grant, emphasis will be placed on GNO tours in the Greek provinces, with the mission of enhancing the accessibility of its work to a wider audience within the country. At the same time, the GNO, with the support of the SNF grant, will implement a development plan to attract donors and strategic sponsorship partnerships, mainly from abroad, to ensure the high level of the GNO’s future programming. The third axis concerns strengthening its policy for the provision of a specific number of free tickets to each of its performances at Stavros Niarchos Hall for groups who have not yet had the opportunity to enjoy its performances. Moreover, thanks to the new SNF grant, the GNO will continue to promote its work in Greece and abroad through communication campaigns and, for the next two years, it will continue to enrich the content of its streaming service, GNO TV, as well as its partnership with international TV channels associated with opera. Last but not least, a particularly important aspect of the grant involves investing in the education and training of the GNO’s artistic personnel.

Photos credit: Valeria Isaeva

Andreas Dracopoulos said, “We are delighted to be extending our creative collaboration with the Greek National Opera (GNO), having already built a longstanding relationship of trust spanning more than a decade. Since the launch of this collaboration in 2012 with an eye toward the GNO’s subsequent move to the Stavros Niarchos Foundation Cultural Center (SNFCC) in 2017, SNF’s steadfast support for the GNO has now covered a multitude of initiatives and totals €39 million, including the new grant. Moreover, we would like to believe that the creation of the SNFCC and the state-of-the-art facilities designed by Renzo Piano have contributed to the GNO’s journey into a new era. It is always an honor to be able to contribute to the persistent efforts the organization’s entire team is making for its continuing evolution under the leadership of Artistic Director Giorgos Koumendakis.

With the new SNF grant to the GNO that we are announcing today, we are very happy to have the opportunity to further support its vision of enhancing its artistic outreach, primarily around Greece, but also on the international stage. The GNO has already enjoyed a dynamic debut on the international stage and, with the strengthening of the international partnerships that are also part of the new grant, we look forward to seeing the work and value of our National Opera even better appreciated on a global scale. Lastly, in cooperation with the GNO and with a view to its future financial development, we are introducing through this grant the practice of matching funds, in which the GNO will seek part of its resources from financial sources outside Greece, which SNF will then supplement with its own resources, thus expanding the GNO’s network of supporters.”

For his part, GNO Artistic Director Giorgos Koumendakis spoke in depth about the multi-faceted and wide-ranging 2024-2025 artistic program, Surpassing Limits, and stressed the importance of SNF’s continued support, stating, “With the valuable support of SNF’s grant from 2019-2023, the GNO has managed to redefine itself and establish a recognizable artistic identity, addressing a global audience, either from its facilities at the Stavros Niarchos Foundation Cultural Center (SNFCC) or via its online streaming service, GNO TV. We are grateful to the Stavros Niarchos Foundation (SNF) for such a creative collaboration, for its understanding and our harmonious coexistence […]. On behalf of the Greek National Opera, I would like to thank Andreas Dracopoulos and his associates at SNF from the bottom of my heart for renewing their trust in the GNO.”

SNF’s total support for the GNO through 2026 will amount to over €39 million. The initiatives supported by SNF have included activities to support the GNO’s outreach to society at large, even before the construction of the SNFCC; the development of the new Alternative Stage for the inclusion of new artistic communities; and the inclusion of new communities in the GNO’s educational activities. In addition, the most significant milestone in the long-term partnership between the two organizations has been the creation of the SNFCC, which provides the GNO’s state-of-the-art facilities, designed by Renzo Piano and the Renzo Piano Building Workshop, which contributed to its transition into a new era.

More detailed announcements that will outline the key areas of focus for the new SNF grant to the GNO will follow soon.