Kharálampos Goyós • Six free streaming broadcasts
Stream starts at 9pm*
* After streaming starts, the show will be available on-demand for 24 hours
Anthony's Death, Kharálampos Goyós' latest work, an outrageous, iconoclastic “opera of the absurd”, arrives on GNO TV for six free streaming broadcasts on Sundays 23, 30 May & 6, 13, 20, 27 June 2021 at 9pm. The production, on a libretto by Yannis Filias and Kharálampos Goyós based on the memory of the Japanese anime TV series Candy Candy and on the writings of Slavoj Žižek, is staged by noted director Dimitris Karantzas in his first collaboration with the Alternative Stage.
Anthony's Death is an exciting contemporary opera dedicated to all boys ashamed to admit that they cried while watching Candy Candy; a weird, psychoanalytically-inspired “infernal machine” in which the legacy of the aforementioned Japanese anime TV series provocatively meets the thought of the notorious Slovenian philosopher Slavoj Žižek, occasioned by the memory of a fall that traumatised an entire generation.
A co-production with the music theatre company “The Beggars’ Operas”.
This production and the creation of GNO TV are made possible through a grant from the Stavros Niarchos Foundation (SNF) [www.SNF.org] that supports the Greek National Opera’s artistic outreach.
Filmed on the GNO Alternative Stage at the SNFCC on 3 & 5 March 2021. Greek and English subtitles available.
— How did you sleep?
— Fine. I dreamt that I was Van Gogh.
— I didn’t sleep a wink. I was thinking of Anthony.
Two men, stuck in a clearing out of Dante or Heidegger, smugly indulge in the pleasures of speech and are faced with trauma, fantasy, the death drive, repetition compulsion, their fear of woman and their omnipresent narcissism – with intermediate stops at the Epistles of St Paul, the Seminars of Jacques Lacan and the hit songs by Ruslana and Eleni Dimou. Their obsessional, unstoppable discourse is shot through with insistent questions: Does Woman exist, or not? Why is “fox” written with a lowercase initial in Greek, though with an uppercase initial in German? And most of all: Why did we cry so hard when Anthony Brown, Candy’s blond boyfriend, fell from his horse at the end of that fatal, twenty-fourth episode in the mid-’80s?
Anthony’s Death, a conceptual chamber opera in the tradition of the Verdian “opera of intentions” (as well as, at the same time, an oblique satire of the fake fashion for the neo-baroque), sets out to articulate the insecurities and anxieties of a generation raised on VHS, Dynasty and Chernobyl, and eternally confronted with the spectre of an impending (financial, ecological, geopolitical, health-related…) catastrophe that haunts our dreams – until the inevitable, self-destructive finale: “We have all fantasised our own funerals”.
Eminent Greek composer and conductor Kharálampos Goyós presents an extremely personal work. He notes: “Yannis Filias and I conceived Anthony during the afterglow period of the victorious Euro tournament, the Olympics and the Eurovision Song Contest of 2004-2005, at a time when suburban maisonettes were rising in Athens and public opinion dictated that Greece was at the apex of its glory and the future was bright. We were then two young men who shared, apart from our operatic learning, the same sensitivity to the disquieting undertow of the era. So, one night, we decided to creatively unload our uneasiness on a cartoon idol of our childhood and return to the trauma that had marked our generation twenty years earlier… In the mid-1980s, a Japanese anime soap opera called Candy Candy afforded today's fortysomethings an unforgettable event. At the end of the twenty-fourth episode, Candy's blond boyfriend fell from his horse during the foxhunt and was instantly killed, plunging the heroine in gloom and us young, privileged viewers, in bewilderment: Can life indeed be so cruel, so unjust? Can it strike so abruptly? Is nothing we love secure? The trauma of Anthony's death and Candy's devastating lament over his fallen body haunted our generation's imaginary, and is still often discussed as the ancestral matrix of whatever psychic wounds or insecurities torment us.”
"MUSIC THEATRE DAYS" is part of the framework of the Act "GREEK NATIONAL OPERA ALTERNATIVE STAGE FESTIVAL PRODUCTIONS" (MIS 5004053), under the code 2017ΕΠΑ08510107, co-funded by the European Regional Development Fund (ERDF) and by national funds.
Sergius and Paulus, two men brought up in the ’80s, find themselves in a forest clearing during a foxhunt, carrying their shotguns. They have separated themselves from the main hunting party. Hunting horns can occasionally be heard in the woods, just out of reach. It is clear that the men are staking a lot on the outcome of the hunt; nevertheless, they spend most of their time in idle talk. Sergius is writing a play, in which Paulus expects to play the lead; the play’s title is Anthony’s Death and it relates the tale of Anthony's fatal fall from his horse, also during a foxhunt. The two men ambitiously look forward to finding the fox (gendered as female in Greek), which takes more and more fantastical forms in their imaginations; they start referring to her as “the Red One”, and imagine plentiful rewards for catching their projected booty: fox skin boots, a trip to Ukraine, membership in exclusive clubs…
Their idealised talk of “the Red One” leads presently to a discussion of stereotypical Lacanian topics, such as the non-existence of Woman and the definition of the objet petit a (the men taking their cue from the Greek word for “fox”, alepou, which is written with a lowercase “a” – unlike “Woman”, or the German Fuchs). They later have a picnic, take a nap and carry on with the talk.
Progressively, in a series of shocking parapraxes, the men start shooting at, and wounding, each other. Their inadvertent and traumatic actions lead the men to a consideration of St Paul’s concept of sin as “doing what [they] hate to do”, and their bloody wounds suggest to them the notion that the true location of the Red One is not outside, but inside themselves; therefore, taking shots at each other is appropriate to their goal, namely to externalise the fox / Woman “hiding within”.
At last, the discussion comes to the traumatic dimension of Anthony’s fall and death for males of their generation. They talk about how VCR technology allowed them to relive the trauma in a continuous circle of enjoyment, as they watched and re-watched the scene on video during their childhood in the ’80s. What they now realise is that they wanted Anthony dead all along, identifying with him in an endless thanatophiliac loop. The realization leads them to a frenzied, orgasmic re-enactment of the “primal scene” from Candy Candy; the two men ride their shotguns like horses and take turns pretending to be Candy and Anthony, respectively screaming in over-the-top horror and falling to their “death” from their imaginary mounts…
Music Kharálampos Goyós
Libretto Yannis Filias, Kharálampos Goyós (based on the memory of the TV series Candy Candy and the writings of Slavoj Žižek)
Conductor Kharálampos Goyós
Stage director Dimitris Karantzas
Set designer Artemis Flessa
Costume designer Ioanna Tsami
Lighting designer Alekos Anastasiou
Electronics programming Panos Iliopoulos
Music coaches Christos Sakellaridis, Nicolas Vassiliou
Assistant director Manos Petrakis
Assistant costume designer Ifigeneia Daoudaki
Paulus Georgios Iatrou
Sergius Vassilis Kavayas
The Red One Marissia Papalexiou
Alexandros Drymonitis (electric guitar)
Iason Marmaras (harpsichord)
Dionisis Vervitsiotis (violin I)
Vanessa Athanasiou (violin II)
Eleftheria Togia (viola)
Angelos Liakakis (cello)
Yiorgos Arnis (double bass)
Kostas Siskos, Angelos Sioras (natural horns – pre-recorded)
Spyros Arkoudis, Sofia Siora (natural trumpets – pre-recorded)
Theo Vazakas (percussion – pre-recorded)
Video director, post-production Konstantinos Arvanitakis
English translation Helena Grigorea
Two boys’ attachment to the ’80s, Candy Candy and the fall of Anthony – the young blond beloved who died an inglorious death, falling from his horse. His fall defined them forever. In an artificial garden in full bloom, during hunting, the two friends write a play about this fall, face the hunt for the fox, the hunt for inspiration, the hunt for Woman (with a capital “W”), the hunt for ideas. A journey through sexuality, through the past that defines the present, the woman who is inside us and the denial of adulthood. The clearing as a site of freedom, where the two friends will come in contact with the existential void, their deep love, the eroticism between them and an innocence they want to keep alive at all costs. Amid gunshots, galloping, transformations and picnics among the flowers.
— Dimitris Karantzas
Kharálampos Goyós Music, conductor, libretto
Born in Athens in 1977. Active in the fields of opera and music theatre as composer, conductor and musicologist. He has collaborated with several institutions in Greece and abroad (Athens and Epidaurus Festival, GNO, Athens and Thessaloniki Megaron, National Theatre of Greece, Hellenic Broadcasting Corporation, Greek Art Theatre “Karolos Koun”, Onassis Stegi, Orchestra of Colours, Documenta, Athens Biennale, Neuköllner Oper, etc). His music has won awards in Greece, the UK and the Czech Republic. In 2012, the political opera in paraphrase Yasou Aida! was honoured by the Association of Greek Theatre and Music Critics. In 2016, his music for Antigone by Sophocles (National Theatre of Greece) was awarded Best Music in the Cyprus Theatre Awards. He is a co-founder of the music theatre group “The Beggars’ Operas”. He taught at the Music Theatre Workshop of the Municipal and Regional Theatre of Patras and the Drama School of the National Theatre of Greece. He currently teaches musical analysis at the Athens Conservatoire.
Yannis Filias Libretto
Born in Athens. He studied piano, music, dance and classical voice at the Hellenic Conservatory of Music and Arts, as well as acting at the Greek Art Theater “Karolos Koun” Drama School. He is a graduate of the Faculty of Music Studies of the University of Athens. He worked as a soloist with music and theatre companies such as Greek National Opera, Music Ensembles of the Hellenic Broadcasting Corporation, National Theatre of Greece, Orchestra of Colours, Armonia Atenea, Onassis Stegi, Athens Concert Hall; with composers such as Theodore Antoniou, Giorgos Koumendakis, Alkis Baltas, Christos Leontis, Mimis Plessas, Dionisis Tsaknis, Kharálampos Goyós as well as with directors such as Spyros Evangelatos, Costa-Gavras, Kostas Koutsomytis, Olga Malea, Thomas Moschopoulos, Stamatis Fasoulis, Simos Kakalas, Esther André Gonzales, Themelis Glynatsis, etc. Until today he has written dozens of translations for the stage, plays and librettos. Since 2018, he has been working as a radio producer for the Third Programme of the Hellenic Broadcasting Corporation.
Artemis Flessa Set designer
Born in Athens. In 2006, she graduated from the Greek Art Theatre “Karolos Koun”. She collaborated as set and costume designer with the National Theatre of Greece, Athens and Epidaurus Festival, Onassis Stegi, National Theatre of Northern Greece, Cyprus Theatre Organisation, Municipal and Regional Theatre of Kalamata, Neos Kosmos Theatre, Porta Theatre, AM Theatre, etc. She has also collaborated with Georgia Mavragani, Dimitris Karantzas, George Koutlis, Giannis Dalianis, Aris Balis, Taxiarchis Hanos, Margarita Trikka, Tsokara Theater Company, Lefteris Giovanidis, Foulis Boudouroglou, Theano Metaxa, etc.
Ioanna Tsami Costume designer
Born in Piraeus. In 2008 she studied costume and set design at the Motley Theatre Design Course in London. Since 2001, she has worked with Dimitris Karantzas, Yannis Houvardas, Michail Marmarinos, Akillas Karazisis, Nikos Chatzopoulos, Theo Abazis, George Kakanakis, Anna Kokkinou, Effie Theodorou, Aris Retsos, Yannis Kalavrianos, Albrecht Hirche, Barbara Weber, Oskaras Koršunovas, Alison Chitty, Ioanna Portolou, Apostolia Papadamaki, Sophia Vgenopoulou, Marianna Calbari, Haris Fragoulis, George Sachinis, Yannis Skourletis, Georgia Mavragani, Natasha Triantafylli, Maria Protopappa, Panagiotis Fafoutis. She has repeatedly collaborated with the Greek National Opera.
Alekos Anastasiou Lighting designer
Born in Athens. He received degrees both in electronics and the cinema. For many years he has worked in the film and television industries. As a cinematographer, he has worked in feature films and short films, TV series and in several informative and entertainment programmes and documentaries. As a lighting designer, he has worked in approximately 500 theatrical productions, in performances given in theatres mainly located in Athens, for National Theatres as well as for commercial, mainstream and independent theatres. In addition, he has taken part in many theatre festivals and events in Greece and abroad. He has worked with the majority of renowned Greek directors and choreographers. He received numerous awards.
Panos Iliopoulos Electronics programming
Born in Greece, where he studied piano, music theory as well as musicology at the Faculty of Music Studies of the National University of Athens. He subsequently studied composition and piano at the State University of Music and Performing Arts in Mannheim, as well as harpsichord and historical keyboard instruments at the Conservatorium van Amsterdam. As a composer, arranger and performer of early keyboards, he has participated in numerous concerts, festivals and music theatre productions across Europe, e.g. at the Oude Muziek Festival Utrecht, Muziekgebouw Amsterdam, Greek National Opera, Athens Festival, National Theatre of Greece, Konzerthaus Vienna, Theater an der Wien, Nationaltheater Mannheim, Deutsche Oper Berlin, Badisches Staatstheater Karlsruhe, in collaboration with orchestras and early music ensembles such as the Geneva Camerata, Nieuwe Philharmonie Utrecht, Athens State Orchestra and Thessaloniki State Symphony Orchestra.
Georgios Iatrou Paulus
Greek baritone, he studied at the State Conservatory of Thessaloniki, his hometown, at the Cologne University of Music and at the Robert Schumann School of Music in Düsseldorf. He has cooperated with opera theatres in Dublin, Cologne, Bonn, Dortmund, Aachen, Avignon, Saint-Étienne, Fribourg, Montepulciano and Thessaloniki, and, since 2015, he has been a member of the Aalto Theatre in Essen, Germany. He has interpreted roles such as Figaro (Il barbiere di Siviglia), Valentine (Faust), Guglielmo (Così fan tutte), Marcello and Schaunard (La bohème), Gabriel von Eisenstein (Die Fledermaus). He participated in the Young Artists Festival in Bayreuth, Germany, and won first prize at the Schmolz + Bickenbach Competition (Düsseldorf), third and Βest performance award at the International Competition Riccardo Zandonai (Riva), a Lieder award at the Coop Music Awards (Milan), as well as an audience award in the Young Voices International Competition (Luxembourg). He has recorded the CD Recital (Mahler and Strauss songs), songs by Hanns Eisler (WDR) and participated in the Jubiläums-CD für die Staatskanzlei with Schumann songs. He received the third prize in the international competition Goodmesh Concours with the Drauma project, connecting classical music with the art of drag.
Vassilis Kavayas Sergius
Greek tenor, he studied at the Department of Music Studies (Ionian University) and voice under Christina Yannakopoulou at the Municipal Conservatory of Kalamata. He continued postgraduate studies with Barbara Bonney at the Mozarteum University, Salzburg (grants from the Alexander S. Onassis Foundation and the State Scholarships Foundation, Greece). Further, he studied with Aris Christofellis. He received the first prize at the Competition of The Yamaha Music Foundation of Europe (2007). He has performed in leading roles in such operas as Il barbiere di Siviglia, La cenerentola, L’Italiana in Algeri, Il viaggio a Reims, Don Giovanni, Così fan tutte, Die Entführung aus dem Serail, Die Zauberflöte, La sonnambula in prestigious theatres and festivals like the Greek National Opera, Athens Concert Hall, Linbury Studio Theatre (ROH), Rossini Festival (Pesaro), Teatro Comunale (Bologna), Teatro Nacional de São Carlos (Lisbon), Salzburger Landestheater, Heidelberg Theatre Company, Teatro Lirico Cagliari, Teatro Verdi Trieste, Prague State Opera, Hungarian State Opera (Budapest), Göteborg Opera and Royal Swedish Opera. He has participated in recordings of such works as Semiramide (Naxos), Il trionfo di Clelia (MDG), Joseph Weigl’s Il sacrifizio (Newplay).
Marissia Papalexiou The Red One
Greek mezzo-soprano, she studied law at the University of Athens and voice at the Athens Conservatoire, from where she graduated with honours and first prize. She completed her music studies in Paris and Düsseldorf. She was a member of the Greek National Opera Chorus. She participated, as a soloist, in productions of the Athens Concert Hall, Thessaloniki Concert Hall (Die Frau ohne Schatten, Madama Butterfly, La traviata, Carmen). She participated in independent productions as Plouplou in The Daughter of the Storm, Dido in Dido and Aeneas, Hélène in La belle Hélène, as well as in concerts with works by contemporary Greek composers. She collaborated with the Athens State Orchestra, Thessaloniki State Symphony Orchestra, Armonia Atenea, National Symphony Orchestra of the Hellenic Broadcasting Corporation and Thessaloniki City Symphony Orchestra. She appeared in GNO productions singing the roles of Maddalena, Suzuki, Carmen, Mercédès, Myrto, Lola, Prince Orlofsky, etc. She has collaborated with the Cottbus State Theatre (Germany). She participated in Elektra, inaugural production of the GNO at the SNFCC, in the world premiere of the opera Medea by Nikos Kypourgos, and starred in the opera Frikandela, the witch who hated carols by Alkis Baltas, based on the eponymous tale by Eugene Trivizas.