THE EMPEROR'S NIGHTINGALE
A unique work by Lena Platonos, based on Andersen’s fairy tale of the same title, became an animated opera by the Greek National Opera. Lena Platonos, whose work has been associated with the world of children through the legendary Lilipoupoli, wrote The Emperor’s Nightingale as a melodious parable about the uneven relationship between technology and man. It is a work of rare beauty and sensitivity in an impressive production, in which opera becomes accessible to children through animation, creating a new, magical and exciting world. The work’s modern message, the co-existence of analog and electronic music, natural and artificial sound, the ingenious use of animation and live performance, the melodic lines of Lena Platonos and the masterly vocal writing render The Emperor’s Nightingale an ideal means of introducing children to the magical world of lyric art.Lena Platonos wrote The emperor’s nightingale, a “musical fairy tale with operatic features and neo-impressionistic music”, as she herself has described it, in 1989, to a libretto by Giorgos Voloudakis, based on Hans Christian Andersen’s tale of the same title.
In one of the most beautiful palaces in the world, the emperor of China is moved by the singing of a nightingale with an enchanting voice. When the emperor receives as a gift an electronic nightingale that monotonously sings the same song, the real nightingale leaves the palace. Many years later, when the emperor is very sick and the electronic nightingale no longer works, the real nightingale’s song manages to move even Death.
Andersen’s tale is transformed into a parable about the rel
ationship between art and technology, which nowadays is more topical than ever. The work’s modern message, the co-existence of analog and electronic music, the irresistible melodic lines of Platonos and the masterly vocal writing render the Emperor’s nightingale an ideal way to introduce children to the magical world of lyric art.
The direction bears the stamp of Katerina Petsatodi, the animation has been designed by Eirini Vianelli, the sets by Evangelia Therianou and costumes by Alexia Theodoraki.
Creative team – Cast
Emperor Nikos Kotenidis
Courtier / Death George Roupas
Nightingale Marilena Striftobola
Fisherman / Chamberlain / Technician Yannis Filias
Nightingale's friend / Technician Myrto Bokolini
Violinist / Conductor Dimitris Nalbandis
Narrator Maria Skoula