CONFERENCE "OPERA AND POLITICS"

June 18, 2012

In conjunction with the production of the opera Yasou Aida! at the Athens Festival, the music theatre company "The Beggars' Operas" and the Michael Cacoyannis Foundation are organizing a conference on the subject "Opera and Politics". The conference will take place at the Michael Cacoyannis Foundation (206 Peiraios str., Tavros, Athens) on Saturday, June 30 and Sunday, July 1st. The language of the conference is Greek. Admission is free.
 
The conference aims to bring people who serve opera as either theorists or artists into contact, and have them discuss in an open and democratic way several issues that are traditionally discussed privately or behind closed doors, but only rarely in public. For instance:
―Is opera an intrinsically bourgeois or conservative genre?
―Does opera have a dynamic, politically active potential, or its value is to be found solely in its aesthetic dimension?
―Is really immigration the only way for Greek opera professionals?
―Are contemporary alternative approaches to music theatre really "opera"?
―Is opera in modern Greece meaningful beyond its dimension as a museum art?
The programme of the conference is as follows:
 
Saturday, June 30, 2012

15.30
Introduction: Kharálampos Goyós (Composer, The Beggars' Operas)

15.45
Short presentation: "Art and politics: intervention levels and strategies" Yannis Stavrakakis (Associate Professor, School of Political Sciences, Aristotle University of Thessaloniki)

16.00
"Opera at the baricades: topicality and aesthetic autonomy in the history of music theatre"
Round table discussion with:
Fotis Papathanassiou (Founder and President of the Greek Wagner Society)
Yannis Svolos (Music Critic)
Yannis Stavrakakis (Associate Professor, School of Political Sciences, Aristotle University of Thessaloniki)
Skype intervention: Mauro Guindani (Director, Professor, State University of Music and Performing Arts Stuttgart)
Moderator: Vassilis Pelantakis (Lawyer, Music Researcher)

LISTEN TO THE DISCUSSION

17.30
Short presentation: "The King is dead, long live the King; opera as political theatre during the reign of individualism" Lenia Safiropoulou (Soprano)

17.45
"Modernization and tradition in contemporary institutional music theatre"
Round table discussion with:
Victor Arditti (Director, Αssociate Professor of Directing, School of Drama, Aristotle University of Thessaloniki)
Alexandros Efklidis (Director, Theatrologist)
Christos J. Carras (Executive Director & Head of Music, Onassis Cultural Centre, Athens)
Paris Mexis (Director, Designer)
Georgios P. Tsomis (Assistant Professor, Department of Greek Literature, Democritus University of Thrace)
James Robert Carson (Director, Co-founder, NOISE – New Opera In Scotland Events)
Michael Seibel (Director)
Moderator: Lenia Safiropoulou (Soprano)

LISTEN TO THE DISCUSSION

19.15
"'Is this opera?' Self-management in music theatre"
Round table discussion with:
Erifili Giannakopoulou (Mezzo-soprano, Oper(O))
Kharálampos Goyós (Composer, The Beggars' Operas)
Anastasios Symeonidis (Conductor)
James Robert Carson (Director, Co-founder, NOISE – New Opera In Scotland Events)
Feli M (Director, Mezzo-soprano, Bitchy D)
Moderator: Anastasia Kotsali (Mezzo-soprano, Director)

LISTEN TO THE DISCUSSION

Sunday, July 1st, 2012

16.00
"Opera, decentralization and alternative production models"
Round table discussion with:
Dimitris Ktistakis (Pianist, Conductor)
Christos Ktistakis (Pianist, Conductor, Artistic Director, Musical Association of Larissa)
Costas Lamproulis (Director, SMouTH – Synergy of Musical Theatre)
Grigoris Pyrialakos (Baritone, Director, SourLiBoom)
Georgios P. Tsomis (Assistant Professor, Department of Greek Literature, Democritus University of Thrace)
Andreas Altenhof (Director of Public Relations, Neuköllner Oper)
James Robert Carson (Director, Co-founder, NOISE – New Opera In Scotland Events)
Michael Seibel (Director)
Skype intervention: Graham Vick (Director, Founder, Birmingham Opera Company)
Moderator: Alexandros Efklidis (Director, Theatrologist)

LISTEN TO THE DISCUSSION

17.30
"Operatic immigration"
Round table discussion with:
Rodula Gaitanou (Director)
Myrsini Margariti (Soprano)
Vaggelis Chatzisimos (Tenor)
Michael Seibel (Director)
Written interventions:
Aris Argyris (Baritone)
Antonis Koroneos (Tenor)
Dimitris Tiliakos (Baritone)
Video intervention:
Petros Magoulas (Bass)
Moderator: Dimitris Nalmpantis (Tenor)

LISTEN TO THE DISCUSSION

19.00
"Giants and Nibelungs: bridging the gap between avant-garde theatre and opera"
Round table discussion with:
Thodoris Abazis (Composer, Director, OPERA Theatre Group, Artistic Director, Municipal and Regional Theatre of Patras)
Alexandros Efklidis (Director, Theatrologist)
Themelis Glynatsis (Director, Co-founder, Knot Gallery)
Anastasia Kotsali (Mezzo-soprano, Director)
Yannis Filias (Actor, Tenor)
Moderator: Kharálampos Goyós (Composer, The Beggars' Operas)

LISTEN TO THE DISCUSSION