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1941-1942_τοσκα_02

Recitals

Maria Callas: The Repertoire Never Heard…

Aris Christofellis

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SNF Lead Donor of GNO & Production Donor

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Description

The Greek National Opera presents a musical photo book featuring the repertoire performed by Maria Kalogeropoulou in Athens from 1937 through until 1945, either for her conservatoire exams, or as part of production performances, auditions, events, and recitals.

The eminent opera artist and Callas expert Aris Christofellis presents a video recital produced under his artistic direction. Featuring performances by the emerging and established soloists Fanie Antonelou, Artemis Bogri, Vassiliki Karayanni, Maria Kostraki, Nina Koufochristou, Violetta Lousta, Chrissa Maliamani, and Mary-Ellen Nesi, the recital is a unique tribute offering both international audiences and coming generations an audio-visual treasure trove capturing –in chronological order, and meticulous historical detail– the “Greek” repertoire of Maria Callas. Sofia Tamvakopoulou performs on the piano. Also featuring the bass Tassos Apostolou.

Operas she would never sing again, songs by Greek composers, Tosca and Cavalleria rusticana translated into Greek, and popular “easy-listening” hits of the time comprise the “first, formative repertoire” of Callas’ career, shaped during those years in which she laid the foundations for her later professional path that would take her to the very top.

The arias and songs performed as part of this tribute offer modern-day audiences a complete overview of her repertoire across the eight years she spent in Athens, and serve as invaluable touchstones for understanding the highly particular and pivotal nature of her training and early professional appearances. They also affirm the unprecedented abilities of the then still up-and-coming singer, and the influence Greece had on forging her star quality. It is a diary-like journey in which the musical component is layered over the historical narrative in precise chronological order.

The pieces are performed in the exact same translations Callas herself sang, and it is worth noting here that most of these works were never to be performed again by the soprano at any point in her ensuing career. It is on precisely these works –the ones we have never heard her perform, and those she sang in Greek translation– that this tribute focus its attentions.

This musical journey is dedicated to the great Greek bass Nicola Zaccaria, a colleague and dear friend of Maria Callas from those early years in Greece who was born in the same year as her – 2023 thus also marks the centennial anniversary of his birth.

 

Trailer

At a glance – Synopsis

PROLOGUE

 

1937

 

Johann Sebastian Bach / Charles Gounod

Ave Maria

Reception on the Saturnia ocean liner, 4 March 1937

Soloist: Chrissa Maliamani

 

Dimitrios Rodios

Astéro

A 1928 nocturne with lyrics by Pavlos Nirvanas, taken from the romance feature Astéro produced by DAG Film

Audition for Lula Mafta, May-June 1937

Soloist: Maria Kostraki

 

Alfred G. Robyn

A Heart That’s Free (waltz)

Summer 1937

Soloist: Nina Koufochristou

 

Sebastián Yradier

La Paloma / The Dove

Audition for Maria Trivella, summer 1937. One of the first songs Maria ever learned, before even setting foot in Greece, and certainly the one she had sung the most till that point, often accompanying herself on the piano. The song is performed here in Greek translation, as recorded by Elvira de Hidalgo in 1937.

Soloist: Nina Koufochristou

 

1938

 

Charles Gounod, La Reine de Saba

Plus grand, dans son obscurité / Greater in His Obscurity

Greek National Conservatoire solo singing exam

Parnassos Literary Society Hall, 11 April 1938

Soloist: Artemis Bogri

 

Ioannis Psaroudas

Two Nights

Song dedicated to Alexandra Trianti

Greek National Conservatoire solo singing exam

Parnassos Literary Society Hall, 11 April 1938

Soloist: Nina Koufochristou

 

1939

 

Pietro Mascagni, Cavalleria rusticana

Inneggiamo… / Let Us Sing Hymns…

Santuzza’s aria from Act I (excerpt)

Greek National Conservatoire Opera singing exam,

in Greek translation by Georgios Karakantas, Olympia Theatre, 2 April 1939

Soloist: Violetta Lousta

 

Jacques Offenbach, Les Contes d’Hoffmann

Belle nuit, ô nuit d’amour / Beautiful Night, Oh Night of Love (barcarolle, excerpt)

Greek National Conservatoire solo singing exam

Parnassos Literary Society Hall, 22 May 1939

Soloists: Maria Kostraki, Artemis Bogri

 

Ioannis Psaroudas

Never Shall I Forget

A musical tragedy dedicated to Kleon Triantafyllou, aka Attik

Greek National Conservatoire solo singing exams

Parnassos Literary Society Hall, 22 May 1939

Soloist: Maria Kostraki

 

Jules Massenet, Thaïs

Dis-moi que je suis belle / Tell Me That I Am Beautiful

Greek National Conservatoire graduating & honours students’ concert,

Parnassos Literary Society Hall, 22 May 1939

& Charity Concert, Olympia Theatre, 29 September 1943

Soloist: Vassiliki Karayanni

 

1940

 

Georg Friedrich Händel, Atalanta

Care selve / Beloved Forests

Athens Conservatoire solo singing exam, 28 May 1940

& Recital at the Moussouri Open-Air Theatre, 21 July 1943

Soloist: Nina Koufochristou

 

Henri Duparc

Élégie / Elegy

Athens Conservatoire solo singing exam, 28 May 1940

Soloist: Fanie Antonelou

 

Giacomo Puccini, Suor Angelica

La grazia è discesa dal cielo / Her Grace Has Descended from Heaven

Aria of Sister Angelica

Athens Conservatoire opera singing exam, 16 June 1940

Soloist: Chrissa Maliamani

 

1941

 

Johannes Brahms

Damours éternelles (Von ewiger Liebe) / Eternal Love, Op. 43, No. 1

Athens Conservatoire solo singing exam, 19 June 1941

Soloist: Violetta Lousta

 

Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart, Die Entführung aus dem Serail

Ach ich liebte / How I Loved Him (excerpt)

Opera role preparation, 1941

Soloist: Vassiliki Karayanni

 

1942

 

Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart

Et incarnatus est / And Was Made Flesh

from Great Mass in C Minor, KV 427

Athens Conservatoire solo singing exams, 29 May 1942 & 27 May 1943

& Charity Concert, Olympia Theatre, 29 September 1943

Soloist: Fanie Antonelou

 

Ildebrando Pizzetti

Canzone per ballo from Tre canti Greci / Song for the dance ballos from the Three Greek Songs

Athens Conservatoire solo singing exams, 29 May 1942 and 27 May 1943

& Casa d’Italia, 21 April 1943

Soloist: Artemis Bogri

 

Ruggiero Leoncavallo

Mattinata / Morning Serenade

Argentina nightclub, July 1942

Soloist: Maria Kostraki

 

Luigi Arditi

Il bacio / The Kiss

Argentina nightclub, July 1942

Soloist: Vassiliki Karayanni

 

Giacomo Puccini, Tosca

Sempre con fe’ sincera… / Ever in Pure Faith

Floria Tosca’s aria from Act II

Twenty-one performances, in a Greek translation by Angelos Terzakis

Klafthmonos Square Open-Air Theatre, summer 1942 and 1943

Soloist: Violetta Lousta

 

Giovanni Battista Pergolesi, Stabat Mater

Cujus animam gementem / Whose Sighing Soul

Italian Institute, 22 April 1942

Soloist: Fanie Antonelou

 

1943

 

Ludwig van Beethoven

Piano Sonata Opus 2, No. 3

Scherzo: Allegro (excerpt)

Piano exams at the Athens Conservatoire Intermediate School, 25 May 1943

Soloist: Sofia Tamvakopoulou

 

Gioachino Rossini, Stabat Mater

Inflammatus et accensus

Work prepared in 1942, excerpts performed at the Italian Institute on 9 January 1943 as part of a concert marking 150 years since the birth of Rossini

Soloist: Chrissa Maliamani

 

Léo Delibes

Les Filles de Cadix / The Girls of Cádiz (bolero)

Athens Conservatoire, in class, 1943

Soloist: Vassiliki Karayanni

 

Menelaos Pallantios

Cemetery

Recital at the Moussouri Open-Air Theatre on Mavrommateon Street

21 July 1943 (Announced as part of the programme but cut for time)

Soloist: Artemis Bogri

 

Nikolaos Lavdas

They Are Marrying Off My Beloved (folk song)

Recital, Moussouri Open-Air Theatre, 21 July 1943

& Charity Concert, Olympia Theatre, 29 September 1943

Soloist: Fanie Antonelou

 

Gioachino Rossini, Otello

Assisa al piè d’un salice / Seated at the Foot of a Willow

Pallas Theatre in Thessaloniki, 31 August 1943

Soloist: Maria Kostraki

 

Joaquín Turina

Las locas por amor / Mad for Love

from the Poema en forma de canciones (Poem in the Form of Songs) song cycle

Charity Concerts at Olympia Theatre, 29 September 1943

& Kotopouli-Rex Theatre, 12 December 1943

Soloist: Artemis Bogri

 

1944

 

Eugen d’Albert, Tiefland

Ich weiß nicht, wer mein Vater war / I Know Not Who My Father Was

Marta’s aria from Act II

Eleven performances, in a Greek translation by Ioanna Boukouvala-Anagnostou – Olympia Theatre, 1944 and 1945

Soloists: Violetta Lousta, Tassos Apostolou

 

Pietro Mascagni, Cavalleria rusticana

Turiddu mi tolse lonore / Turiddu Took My Honour

Santuzza’s aria

Two performances, in a Greek translation by Georgios Karakantas, Olympia Theatre, 1944

Soloist: Violetta Lousta

 

Manolis Kalomiris, The Masterbuilder

Sun, O Sun

Smaragda’s aria from Part II

One performance at the Odeon of Herodes Atticus, 1944

Soloist: Vassiliki Karayanni

 

Ludwig van Beethoven, Fidelio

Abscheulicher… / Vile Monster…

Aria of Leonore from Act I

Eleven performances, in a Greek translation by Veta Pezopoulou

Odeon of Herodes Atticus, 1944

Soloist: Mary-Ellen Nesi

 

1945

 

Anonymous

The Willow Song

Elizabethan folk song from Shakespeare’s Othello (excerpt)

“English Music Evening”, Olympia Theatre, 20 March 1945

Soloist: Fanie Antonelou

 

Landon Ronald

Love, I Have Won You

From the song cycle A Cycle of Life

“English Music Evening”, Olympia Theatre, 20 March 1945

Soloist: Artemis Bogri

 

Gaetano Donizetti, La favorita

O mio Fernando / O My Fernando

Thessaloniki, May 1945

Soloist: Mary-Ellen Nesi

 

Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart, Don Giovanni

Batti, batti, o bel Masetto / Scold me, dear Masetto

Recital at Kotopouli-Rex Theatre, 3 August 1945

Soloist: Chrissa Maliamani

 

Carl Millöcker, Der Bettelstudent

Höchste Lust und tiefstes Leid / Greatest Pleasure and Deepest Sorrow

Laura’s aria from Act I

Seven performances, in a Greek translation by Evangelos Bezos

Alexandras Avenue Open-Air Theatre, September 1945

Soloist: Nina Koufochristou

 

 

EPILOGUE

 

A MUSICAL PHOTO BOOK

 

PROLOGUE                             01.04

1937                                       05.44

1938                                       22.56

1939                                       32.41

1940                                       51.39

1941                                       1.00.58

1942                                       1.08.31

1943                                       1.32.00

1944                                       1.57.27

1945                                       2.28.05

EPILOGUE                              2.46.57

 

During the course of the narration, short excerpts are heard of Elvira de Hidalgo singing the Valverde song Clavelitos (1910?), the Alabiev song The Nightingale (1910?), and the Meyerbeer aria Ombra leggera (1924). Maria Callas is heard singing this same aria (1954), as well as musical phrases drawn from Aida (1951), Oberon (1962), and La Cenerentola (1963), while part of her 1949 recording of I puritani plays over the closing credits.

 

 

 

 

 

Creative team – Cast

Concept, text, artistic direction: Aris Christofellis

Direction, production: The Stripes productions

Clothes: Vassilis Zoulias

Chothes Coordination: Tota Pritsa

Hair: Efthymia Nakou

Make-Up: Maria Braliou

Lighting: Dimitris Koutas

With the soloists: Fanie Antonelou, Artemis Bogri, Vassiliki Karayanni, Maria Kostraki, Nina Koufochristou, Violetta Lousta, Chrissa Maliamani, Mary-Ellen Nesi, and Tassos Apostolou

Piano: Sofia Tamvakopoulou

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