Rehearsal of the work Tristan and Isolde. Ann Petersen, Torsten Kerl, Katarina Dalayman © Stefanos
Despite the fact that in recent years there was a prevalent feeling that no matter what, the Greeks would never embrace opera, you managed to create the conditions that have reversed this. How was this achieved? At the Greek National Opera we believe that the ‘Greek’s difficult relationship with opera’ is simply a cliché that was cultivated over recent years as a symptom of the crisis of values experienced by the country as a whole. In our strategic planning, we always moved based on the assumption that Greek audiences love opera and have established a powerful relationship with it throughout the 20th and in the first years of the 21st century. In recent years, one of our main aims was to reverse the cliché that opera is addressed to select audiences with special knowledge and specific social characteristics. We believe that opera is a magical art form addressed to all. Bearing all this in mind, we decided to place particular emphasis on the GNO’s extroversion and opening it out to a broad audience. The combination of high aesthetic productions of opera, operetta, ballet with artistic activities outside the traditional settings of the GNO, have resulted in a new form of communication with audiences and the spectacular change of the image of the organisation which is now fully established in our audiences’ conscience as ‘our Opera’. I am sure you agree that matters connected to art and culture are of paramount importance to education. What policies and initiatives characterise the GNO’s educational role?
The bimonthly electronic journal of the Basil and Elise Goulandris Foundation