An urban fairytale about hope and love
The 3rd Online festival of the Greek National Opera "The Music of Language", curated by GNO Artistic Director Giorgos Koumendakis, was presented from 9 December 2020 to 6 January 2021 and featured five unique short stories that combine the art of the image with the power of music and narrative language through new readings of music works. Through all these works, the festival revealed imaginative ways of transmuting music and language into another form of art through the image, proposing new operatic, inspired film experiences filled with humour and an honest mood of self-sarcasm.
The festival was made possible by a grant from the Stavros Niarchos Foundation (SNF) [www.SNF.org] to enhance the Greek National Opera’s artistic outreach.
At a glance – Synopsis
Canzonetta spirituale sopra alla nanna by Italian composer, organist and violinist of the early baroque era Tarquinio Merula (1595-1665) is a moving song about the fear of death, hope and love. Tarquinio Merula, an exuberant figure, promiscuous, and with a rebellious spirit, produced cutting-edge compositions, that surprise even modern-day audiences with their boldness and originality.
In Tarquinio Merula’s Canzonetta sopra alla nanna, time is linear; it fades away and begins again, like a fairy tale that has no end. The concern about the inevitable future, the healing power of music, expectation and hope. This 16th-century lullaby, with its unadorned, minimalistic form, converses with modern music.
A female voice and two wind instruments explore baroque shadings and modern dynamics, plunging into the palimpsest of female emotions. Multiphonics and improvisations bridge Tarquinio Merula’s audacious –and extremely bold for his time– take on composition with the aesthetic of modern music, in an absolutely original approach to orchestration.
The video follows Greek and foreign female figures, walking around rooms of historic buildings in the city, ballrooms and interwar lounges. It focuses on their silent, personal narrative. Labyrinthine paths of an urban tale, heart-breaking experiences hidden behind glances, tapestries, and fabrics. The hybrid aspect of Athens becomes the fascinating canvas for real-life stories of pain, toil and hope.
Creative team – Cast
Director Elias Madouros
Free translation of prose into Greek Anastasia Kotsali, Guido de Flaviis
Director of photography Nikolas Karanikolas
Performers Anastasia Kotsali (mezzo-soprano), Guido de Flaviis (saxophone), Spyros Tzekos (clarinet)
Narrators Guido de Flaviis, Spyros Tzekos
With the participation of Margarita Amarantidi (actress-director), Maria Arvaniti (biologist), Miketa Arvaniti (IT consultant), Katy Giouvanou (pensioner), Nana Dimakou (lawyer), Iris Karayan (choreographer), Eleni Katsama (author), Eleni Kechayoglou (editor), Ioanna Kokolopoulou (jewelry designer), Natalia Manta (visual artist), Anahí Riquelme (educator), Eleni Stamidou (opera singer), Saynabou Thiang (freelancer)