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The SNF Supports the Artistic Outreach of the Greek National Opera with a New Grant Totaling €20 million

Jan 03, 2019
On Thursday, January 3, 2019, the Co-President of the Stavros Niarchos Foundation, Mr. Andreas Dracopoulos, and the Artistic Director of the Greek National Opera, Mr. Giorgos Koumendakis, announced a major new grant of €20 million by the Stavros Niarchos Foundation (SNF) to the Greek National Opera (GNO).

The grant will support the implementation of a four-year programming and development plan that will enhance the artistic outreach of the GNO and the promotion of its work abroad. 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 will also support a year-long program of events to commemorate the 200th anniversary of the Greek Revolution of 1821, while at the same time a large promotional campaign in major media outlets across the world will amplify the GNO’s international appeal.

The Co-President of the Stavros Niarchos Foundation, Mr. Andreas Dracopoulos, stated: “The relationship between the SNF and the GNO is not circumstantial or ephemeral. The SNF has been supporting the GNO for years. From supporting the GNO’s outreach to society at large, even before the construction of the SNFCC [the Stavros Niarchos Foundation Cultural Center], the establishment of its new facilities, the development of the new Alternative Stage, and the inclusion of vulnerable groups through its educational activities, we have stood side by side with the GNO to support its goal to progress. For us, as Greek citizens, the GNO stands as a national treasure. We deeply appreciate the vision, the “philotimo” and the dedication that the people of the GNO exhibit, under the guidance of Giorgos Koumentakis. Within the framework of the excellent and harmonious cooperation that we have had over the years, we continue to support the GNO in claiming its place in the sphere of opera theaters, through synergies with international operas, artists, and composers. In addition, with the new SNF grant, the GNO, this significant national cultural organization, will participate with all its might in the celebration of the 200th anniversary of the Greek Revolution of 1821.”

The Artistic Director of the Greek National Opera, Mr. Giorgos Koumendakis, stated: “The new four-year grant by the SNF to the GNO, totaling 20 million euros, which was just announced by Andreas Dracopoulos, will give great impetus to our international presence. It will substantially support our artistic vision and essentially help us to work systematically towards a truly new artistic identity, the first examples of which we have already exhibited in the two years we have been here, at the SNFCC. The announcement of this new grant by the Stavros Niarchos Foundation, beyond the great joy that it brings us, emphasizes our own commitment to developing an integrated four-year plan.

The main axes on which we will work systematically, with sensitivity and perspective, are the following:

- Partnerships, co-productions, collaborations with important lyrical—and other—theaters, ballets, and dance groups from around the world, in productions with a unique artistic point of view, which can take our artistic identity one step further.

- Guest appearances/residencies and performances by great conductors, directors, soloists, choreographers, stage designers, costume designers and dancers, who articulate a special artistic discourse, are at the cutting edge of their careers, and with whom we can develop an equal and creative relationship.

- The export of our artistic work. An essential need of the GNO, but also of modern Greek culture in general, is the targeted and systematic export of primary artistic creation. Greek artists, Greek ensembles, and our composers create artistic work of the highest quality and the time has come for this work to travel and become known outside of Greece. As you know, in recent years, the GNO has commissioned many new works, debuts and interesting artistic creations. This new grant will allow our performances to travel, the new musical works—already written and about to be written—will be presented in theaters and festivals, and Greek artists who deserve it will have the opportunity to try their creations with new audiences

- A year-long GNO tribute to the Greek Revolution of 1821. For 2021, as part of the 200th anniversary celebration of the Greek Revolution, we are planning new opera and ballet productions, commissions of new plays, and co-productions with important ensembles and distinguished Greek and foreign artists. The main objective of the tribute is to interpret the Greek Revolution as an international rather than local historical event, but also to demonstrate the connection with the revolutions that led to the creation of the major independent nations of the modern world, i.e., the French and American Revolutions.

- Lastly, in order to be able to showcase our artistic work inside and outside of Greece, part of the grant is allocated to the promotion of our organization.

I would like to thank Andreas Dracopoulos from the bottom of my heart, and publicly, for this very important contribution, the sustained support of the SNF to the GNO, and, above all, for his personal perseverance in rewarding the common good.
It is important to clarify that the new SNF grant is in no way a substitute for the role of the Ministry of Culture and Sports, which is responsible for ensuring the smooth functioning and survival of the GNO.”