The Greek National Opera presented its programme for the new season at a press interview that also included an appeal by its directors to the state for raising its funding to last year’s levels.
The Opera has reduced its accumulated debt from 17 million euros in 2011 to under 4.7 million, but a reduction in state funding from 16.8 million euros in 2012 to 9 million this year has put the institution in a difficult financial situation, officials said, adding that its inelastic expenditures amounted to 12 million euros.
Artistic director Myron Michaelides noted that the artistic programme cost 2,580,000 last year, with ticket revenues amounting to 2,220,000 euros, while board of directors Athanassios Thedoropoulos said that “we have been reassured both by Prime Minister Antonis Samaras and Culture Minister Panos Panagiotopoulos that the expenses will be met”.
Reviewing the past season, they said that there were about 90,000 people who attended its productions, besides those who attended the Maria Callas commemorative concert, and not including those who are estimated to have observed events off premises, in Athens and the country, amounting to over 20,000 people.
The National Opera’s repertoire will focus on Giuseppe Verdi, who is being commemorated this year globally. Nikos Petropoulos will direct Rigoletto at the Athens Concert Hall in December, Lorenzo Mariani will direct Verdi’s Macbeth at the same venue in January, and Yiannis Kokkos will direct Othello at the Herod Atticus Theatre in June 2014.
The season will open with Rossini’s Cinderella (La Cenerentola), directed by Rodoula Gaitanou, while veteran stage director Spyros Evangelatos will present Jules Massenet’s Bertherus a few months later. The first summer production, at the open-air Herod Atticus Theatre will be Yiannis Chouvardas’ production of Don Giovanni.
The Opera programme for the season includes ballet performances by its dance corps, free concerts at the foyer, extra-theatre productions and children-focused events.
On September 26, the Opera will give a free open rehearsal including the first three works of the 2013-2014 season – Rossini’s Cinderella, Tchaikovski’s Nutcracker and Verdi’s Rigoletto – at the port of Piraeus Gate E9, at 6:00 pm.
At end-October, the National Opera will present its strategic plan of action for 2014-2017, including the programming for its physical transfer tot the Stavros Niarchos Foundation Cultural Centre expected to be completed by end-2015.