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Medea opens to thunderous applause at the Greek National Opera

Apr 26, 2023

The Greek National Opera (GNO) launched its tribute to Maria Callas, marking the centennial of the renowned soprano’s birth, last night with Luigi Cherubini’s Medea. This major international GNO coproduction with three leading North American opera houses—the Metropolitan Opera in New York City, the Canadian Opera Company, and the Lyric Opera of Chicago—will continue with five additional performances in Stavros Niarchos Hall at the Stavros Niarchos Foundation Cultural Center.

Italian composer Luigi Cherubini’s Medea was first staged in Paris in 1797. Overlooked for many decades, it was thrust back into the limelight in 1953 when Callas performed the title role for the first time at the Florence May Festival. Medea, based on the Euripidean tragedy of the same name, is an opera inextricably linked with Greece. The performance given by Callas in the historic 1961 GNO production at the Ancient Theatre of Epidaurus—directed by Alexis Minotis and with sets and costumes by Yannis Tsarouchis—left an indelible mark on the modern Greek cultural landscape.

The international partnerships behind this international coproduction of Medea, are made possible by a grant from the Stavros Niarchos Foundation (SNF) to enhance the GNO’s artistic outreach and international presence. The production premiered in New York last September, where it opened the Met’s 2022/23 season, and will travel to Montreal and Chicago after its run of Athens performances.

Photo credit: Andreas Simopoulos