Wednesday 24, Thursday 25 & Friday 26 of November 2021
"Andreas and Maria Kalokairinou" Concert Hall
Cyrcle | Lyrical Theatre
Co-production of Cultural Conference Centre of Crete and Grattacielo Theatre of New York
Premier of the Opera in full stage and music version in the Cultural Conference Centre’s facilities.
“One of those works that even a first-class genius like Mozart manages only once in his lifetime.” That is how Alfred Einstein defined Idomeneo, King of Crete, Mozart’s third venture into the “opera seria” genre, demolishing its traditional boundaries, to open the way to lyric drama. Blending youthful earnestness with mature mastery, Mozart uses – while profoundly changing – the elements of a genre based on arias that come one after another with no real concern for dramatic progression. The hero bound by an oath that forces him to sacrifice a loved one, a popular theme in the 18th century, offered him wonderful resources. The presence in Munich of the famous Mannheim Orchestra, considered the best in Europe at the time, contributed to the development of an exceptional symphonic richness. This innovative opera was Mozart’s first great success featuring the abdication of a king in favour of his son just as he was freeing himself from his father’s protection.
Idomeneo, re di Creta
Athens Philharmonia Orchestra, conducted by the maestro Myron Michailidis, with the Heraklion Choir, under the guidance of Yannis Kiagiadakis, in cooperation with distinguish soloists from Grattacielo Theatre of New York, will perform the first opera seria of Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart. Gianbattista Varesko has written the libretto and Stefanos Koroneos is the director.
The opera was written by Mozart during the years 1780-1781 and the premier took place on 29 of January 1781 at the Cuvilliés Theatre of Munich. According to the composer, this was the last opera of this kind, as later he turned to more free forms of opera composing. The inspiration of the libretto comes from Pietro Metastasio. The whole style and construction seem French and the wreck scene in the end of the first Act is not much different than a dramatic scene from the opera Iphigénie en Aulide of Christoph Willibald Gluck. Although it’s French style, thanks to Mozart, the opera keeps visible its Italian roots.
The story unfolds after the fall of Troy, King Idomeneo can finally dream of returning to his homeland after a long absence, during which his son Idamante ensured the continuity of his reign and guarded Trojan prisoners, including Ilia, King Priam’s daughter. To escape from a terrible storm that is keeping him from reaching Crete, Idomeneo promises Neptune to sacrifice the first living being he encounters upon landing. Unfortunately, it is his own son who greets him in his native land. By offering her own life in exchange for that of Idamante, whom she loves and who loves her, Illia manages to get Neptune to yield and to deliver Idomeneo from his fateful vow.
In the first Act, Illia, daughter of King Priam, is held prisoner at the court of the King of Crete, Idomeneo, whose imminent return is announced after the end of the Trojan War. The young princess is distressed by her feelings for her enemy and jailer, Idamante, son of Idomeneo. Her passion is reciprocated. Idamante decides to free his Trojan prisoners to celebrate the long-awaited return of his father, provoking the jealous fury of Electra, daughter of Agamemnon, who came to Crete after her mother’s murder by Orestes. Electra loves Idamante passionately and is fiercely jealous of her rival, Illia. For his part, hoping to escape a furious storm threatening his fleet, Idomeneo promises Neptune to sacrifice the first mortal he encounters on the shore. But when he lands safe and sound, it is his own son Idamante coming to meet him. Frightened, Idomeneo pushes him away and flees.
In the second Act, Idomeneo reveals to his confidant, Arbace, the terrible vow hanging over his son. They decide to send Idamante away, asking him to accompany Electra to Greece. The young man despairs at the idea of abandoning Illia, his father and his homeland, while Electra is delighted to be able to reconquer the one, she loves. But as they are about to depart, a terrible monster rises out of the waves. Neptune has foiled Idomeneo’s ruse; Idomeneo offers himself in sacrifice as the frightened Cretans flee.
In the third Act, Idamante and Ilia acknowledge their mutual passion. They are surprised by Electra and Idomeneo, who begs his son to leave. The angry people and the High Priest want to know the name of the one stirring up the gods’ wrath. Idomeneo admits that he promised his son’s life to Neptune. After defeating the sea monster, Idamante comes to offer himself as sacrifice. Just as Idomeneo is about to strike the fatal blow, Illia steps in and offers to die in his place. The voice of Neptune’s oracle then resounds, demanding that Idomeneo renounce the throne in favour of his son, who will reign with Illia as his wife. Electra disappears, gripped by rage. Idomeneo fulfils the god’s wish, and peace returns to his soul.
Athens Philharmonia Orchestra
Music direction: Myron Michailidis
Direction: Stefanos Koroneos
Scenography, costume design: Tasos Protopsaltou
Lighting: Dimitris Koutas
Video design and editing: Nikos Motsios
Video Art Projections: Matthew Deinhart
Stage manager: Konstantina Strani
Costumes: Chrisa Katsioula
Make up: IEK AKMH
Music preparation: Pavlos Kordis
Cembalo / piano: Pavlos Kordis
Basso continuo, cello: Renato Ripo
Translation / Subtitles: Elda Kladaki
Assistant director: Zacharis Perogamvrakis
Assistant set designer / costume designer: Maria Paragiotopoulou
Choir conductor: Yannis Kiagiadakis
Idomeneo: Thomas Massey / Donghyuk Chung
Ilia: Anny Fassea / Clara Iranzo
Elettra: Kristel Vinter / Wing Kwan Chung
Idamante: Kirsten Scott / Eva Marco
Arbace/High Priest: Marios Maniatopoulos
The voice of Neptune: Rick Agster / Manos Christofakakis
Cretan women: Anastasia Patsakidou / Sofia Simeonidi / Amalia Askordalaki / Konstantina Sifaki
Trojans: Klavdios Voutsinos / Theodoros Paltoglou / Konstantinos Palaiologou / Emmanouil Zoumpoulakis
Athens Philharmonia Orchestra
The Athens Philharmonia Orchestra is a symphony orchestra founded in November 2016. Its constitutional aim is to systematically contribute to discovering, studying, restoring, reviving, performing, and recording music works of the Modern Greek Art-Music production. This cultural production is virtually only scarcely performed in its home country and remains practically unknown among the international public, although it includes a vast repertory of works composed during the 19th, the 20th, and the 21st century by composers of Greek nationality or Greek origin. A significant part of the works performed by the orchestra has been discovered and edited through important scholarly research, which took place in musicology departments of Greek Universities. The Chairman of the Orchestra is Dr. Nikos Maliaras, Professor of Musicology at the University of Athens and director of the Laboratory for the Study of Modern Greek Art Music.
The Orchestra’s concerts always include at least one work by a Greek Composer as well as and works of the international repertoire which are not widely known to the public. Many of the works performed by the orchestra are World premieres or recorded for the first time worldwide. BIS Records Sweden released the first CD prepared by the Athens Philharmonia in February 2020. In contains several important works by Nikos Skalkottas, one of Greece’s major composers, including his Symphony in B flat Major, or Sinfonietta, NAXOS GREEK CLASSICS has published the orchestras second CD in August 2020. In contains three works, including the only symphony (in a-minor) of the Greek-Russian composer Vassily Kalafaty. Three more CDs, featuring works by Papaioannou, Kalomiris, and Mantzaros are under preparation. All recordings are World premieres and were prepared under the supervision of the internationally renowned sound engineer Mr. Hans Kipfer of BIS Records. In December 2019 and January 2020, the APhO realized a 20-day tour in China. Chinese Authorities and international Art Bureaus invited the Orchestra to visit 10 major cities including the capital Beijing and Shanghai and give 11 symphonic concerts. In many cases, the Athens Philharmonia was the first European Symphony orchestra ever to convey European music culture to this vast country if the Far East.
Myron Michailidis | conductor
Widely regarded as one of the most important Greek conductors, Maestro Myron Michailidis is currently General Music Director of the Philharmonic Orchestra and Theatre Erfurt, Germany, as well as the very first Artistic Director of the new Heraklion Cultural and Conference Center in Greece.
Appointed “Chevalier de l'Ordre des Arts et des Lettres” by the French Republic in 2016, Michailidis served as Artistic Director and Chief Conductor of the Greek National Opera from 2011 to 2017. His contributions to the institution’s achievements and successes were honoured with the Society of Friends of the Greek National Opera’s prestigious “Apollo Award” in his final year. Maestro Michailidis’ conducting style is characterized as impassioned and vivid, yet authoritative, allowing him to deliver outstanding dynamic control as well as wide-ranging musical expression. The Greek Critics Award bestowed upon him “Honourable Award for Music and Theatre”. Prior to his tenure as Artistic Director and Chief Conductor of The Greek National Opera, Michailidis was Artistic Director and Chief Conductor of the Thessaloniki State Symphony Orchestra, a post he held from 2004 to 2011. From 1999 to 2004 he further served as Permanent Conductor at the Eastern Saxony Opera in Germany.
With a repertoire spanning over 250 symphonic works and 40 operas ranging from the Baroque to the Contemporary, Maestro Michailidis is particularly known for his interpretations of Beethoven, Tchaikovsky and Rachmaninoff, as well as the operatic works by Verdi, Puccini, Gounod and Wagner. Throughout the years, Michailidis has collaborated with internationally distinguished musicians such as Paul Badura-Skoda, Salvatore Accardo, Cyprien Katsaris, Aldo Ciccolini, Ivo Pogorelich, Lars Vogt, Shlomo Mintz, Misha Maisky, Vadim Repin, Martino Tirimo, June Anderson, Cheryl Studer, Paata Burchuladze, Fazil Say and Barry Douglas, among many others. He has conducted some of the most renowned orchestras throughout Germany, China, Israel, Italy, Czech Republic, Russia, Mexico, Slovakia, Poland, Romania, Portugal, Taiwan, including the Berlin Symphony Orchestra, Vienna Chamber Orchestra, Rome Symphonic Orchestra, Shanghai Opera House Orchestra, Slovak Philharmonic Orchestra, Jerusalem Symphony Orchestra, Bucharest National Opera, Staatsorchester Braunschweig, Philharmonisches Orchester Erfurt, Astrakhan Symphony Orchestra, Orchestra della Fondazione Teatro Lirico Giuseppe Verdi di Trieste, George Enescu Philharmonic Orchestra, Prague Radio Symphony Orchestra, Sofia Philharmonic Orchestra, Mexico State Orchestra, Odessa Philharmonic Orchestra, as well as all of the major orchestras in Greece. While with the Thessaloniki State Symphony Orchestra, Michailidis led concerts at various festivals in Greece as well as abroad. In December 2007, during the celebration events of the Cultural Year of Greece in China, he took the Orchestra on tour to Beijing China, host of the 2008 Olympic Games.
Maestro Michailidis has conducted numerous opera productions at opera houses, festivals and on international tours. Over the years, he has performed with some of the finest singers, stage directors and set designers. He has further led numerous spectacular productions at the legendary Odeon of Herodes Atticus in Athens. In 2015 his production of Gounod's Faust with Eric Cutler, Alexia Voulgaridou, Paata Burchuladze and Dimitri Platanias, directed by Renato Zanella, marked the Greek National Opera’s first DVD release. In 2017 he led a production of La Fille du Régiment at Shanghai Grand Theatre. As Theater Erfurt’s new General Music Director, he has conducted new productions of Carmen (2018), Aida (2019), Rimsky-Korsakov’s Tale of Tsar Saltan (2019), Lohengrin (2020) and Mozart’s Der Schauspieldirektor (2020), as well as performances of Lehar’s Merry Widow (2019). Upcoming productions with Theater Erfurt scheduled for the 2021/22 season include Manon Lescaut and Luisa Miller as well as a new production of Nabucco. In March of 2021 Michailidis was scheduled to conduct Norma at The Göteborg Opera, a production that unfortunately had to be cancelled due to the pandemic.
A prolific recording artist, Michailidis’ 2012 EMI Classics recording of Beethoven's 3rd and 4th piano concertos with the legendary French-Italian pianist Aldo Ciccolini received exceptional international acclaim. His recording of works by the Italian composer Ildebrando Pizzetti for Naxos, including several world premieres, earned Michailidis stellar reviews with five Diapasons by the French magazine in 2009, and several awards. Two years prior, his first Naxos CD featuring Theodore Kerkezos and works by 20th century Greek composers such as Mikis Theodorakis, Nikos Skalkottas, Theodore Antoniou, Manos Hadjidakis, Minas Alexiadis and Vassilis Tenidis won the Pizzicato Classics “Supersonic Award” and two Grammy Award nominations. Following his piano studies with Dimitris Toufexis in Athens, Michailidis studied conducting with Hans-Martin Rabenstein at the Universität der Künste Berlin and participated in Master Classes by Miltiadis Karydis and Simon Rattle. He also holds a law degree from the University of Athens.
Stefanos Koroneos | director
Stefanos Koroneos is General and Artistic Director of Teatro Grattacielo. He has built a reputation as a world-class performer. Recent performances have included Captain Michael (baritone solo) with the Berlin Philharmonic, The Godson with Greek National Opera, La Cenerentola (Dandini and Don Magnifico) with New York City Opera, Il Barbiere di Siviglia ( Don Bartolo ) with New York City Opera in the Park Series , Fledermaus and Il Barbiere di Siviglia with Boheme Opera, Il Barbiere di Siviglia ( Don Bartolo) with Opera New Hampshire and Opera in the Williamsburg , Tosca ( Il Sagristano) with Palm Beach Opera, Loft Opera , Opera New Hampshire and Connecticut Opera ,El Gato con Botas (the King) with Gotham Chamber Opera Sacco e Vanzetti with Opera Tampa and Cassandra with Teatro Grattacielo, Gluck’s Orfee (title role) with National Municipal Theater Patras in Greece and Leporello with Opera Williamsburg. Stefanos has performed throughout Italy in Il Viaggio a Reims (Don Alvaro), Madama Butterfly (Sharpless), Isabeau (the King), Rigoletto (Monterone), La Traviata (Barone), Le Nozze di Figaro (The Count), and Un Ballo in Maschera (Sam) in Theaters like Teatro Alla Scala, Rossini Opera Festival and Teatro Reggio di Parma . Additionally, he has performed internationally in La Traviata (Barone) with the Bolshoi Opera and at the Athens Concert Hall, Le Nozze di Figaro (the Count) with Seoul Opera, La Bohème (Alcindoro and Benoit) at Oslo’s Den Nye Opera, La Bohème (Schaunard) at Staatstheater Freiburg, and La Forza del Destino (Fra Melitone) at Theater Osnabrück and Verdi Festival in Bussetto.
Tasos Protopsaltou | Scenography, costume design
He was born in Veria. He studied Scenography, Costume Design, Performing Arts, Cinema and Fine Arts. He was a scholarship holder and excellent graduate of Florence Academy of Fine Arts, of Rome National Cinema School and of Sannio Film Festival. His work includes scenography, costume design and mise en scene for Opera, Theatre and Ballet. He has participated in international lyrical and theatrical productions. His research interests are focused on the relation between performing and visual arts, on artistic transcription of the dramaturgy in the context of the representational phenomenon and on history of opera, mostly on scenography and costume vocabulary of it through history. In 2009 he founded the Laboratory of Scenography/Costume design School in the University of Western Macedonia, where he teaches. He has taught, published and presented lectures in international level.
He was candidate for the European Opera Prize on Scenography, Costume design and Mise en scene for 2017. In 2016, as invited to Venice Academy of Fine Arts (Accademia di Belle Arti di Venezia), he supervised the research project Monteverdi in Scena, which included lectures, workshops and performances dedicated to the stage work of Claudio Monteverdi. He is a member of the International Theatre Institute of UNESCO and of the Chamber of Fine Arts of Greece.
Dimitris Koutas | Lighting
He was born in Athens on 23 of March 1981. Since 2007 he is light programmer/designer in the National Opera. He has worked with famous light programmers all over the world, like Lefteris Pavlopoulos, Fabiana Pizzoli, Vinicio Keli. He has been in charge for light design and light programming in operas directed by N. Petropoulos and M. Giparaki, in theatres, like the ones directed by V. Bisbikis, in concerts for M. Chantzidakis, orchestrated by L. Karitinos, with the voice of Al. Ioannidis, dance performances, like those of At. Kanelopoulou, Sylvia Maki and Maria Kousouni. The last five years he oversees light programming and design in the senior vocational dance school of the National Opera. He was a member of the Eleftheria Deco group, where he oversaw the light design at the archaeological places of the Ifestos temple and the monument of Filopapou. Recently he did the light design for El Sistema Gr in Herodion.
Konstantina Strani | Stage manager
She has graduated from the Theatre Department of the Fine Arts School of Aristotle University of Thessaloniki and of the melodramatic school of the National Conservatory of Thessaloniki. She has a classic singing diploma as a mezzo soprano, from the municipality conservatory of Veria. She has participated as soloist and as member of the chorus in productions and concerts all over Greece (Thessaloniki Megaron Concert Hall, Opera of Thessaloniki, Athens Megaron Concert Hall, National Opera, etc.) and abroad (Frankfurt Opera). She has cooperated as artistic collaborator with the educational project department of the National Opera. She participated as stage manager in opera productions of the National Opera, the Alternative Scene, the Opera of Thessaloniki, Athens Megaron Concert Hall, Theatre of Piraeus, Theatre of Versailles, Wiesbaden Theatre and Bayreuth Baroque Opera Festival.
Elda Kladaki | Translator / Subtitles
She was born in Athens, Attica. She attended primary education in Bavaria of Germany and secondary education in the Experimental high school of Heraklion and 5th Lyceum of Heraklion. She knows three foreign languages (Italian, German, English) and she has many years of music studies (piano, music theory, music harmony). Then she studied at the Architecture School of the University La Sapienza in Rome, specialised on Restoration and Preservation of Cultural Heritage, while she attended courses on scenography. She worked later in Rome, in an architecture office and in an academic construction site of cultural heritage preservation in Pompei. In 2006 she returned to Heraklion, Crete. She has cooperated under contracts with the Archaeological Service of Heraklion and the research department of the Technical Service of Heraklion Municipality. Since September 2009 she works in ex Municipal Enterprise of Culture, Tourism and Development of Heraklion SA local government organizations, called now Multi-share Municipal Anonyme Society of Culture and Tourism Development SA, as architect engineer, head of the Technical Works department and of the Restoration department, working on Public Studies and Public Works.
The Heraklion Choir was set up specifically for the needs of the Mozart’s opera Idomeneo, which is performed in November 2021 in the Cultural Conference Centre of Crete. All the members are professional musicians, vocal teachers, recently graduated vocal students or vocal students of higher class, choir directors and members with many years of choir experience. All of them live and work in Crete.
Yannis Kiagiadakis | choir director
Yannis Kiagiadakis was born in Heraklion, Crete in 1965. He studied piano with Aliki Vardiabasi, advanced theoretics with V. Makridis, s. Raftopoulos, P. Adam, composition with I. Papadatos and chorus conducting with Antonis Kontogeorgiou, Miltos Logiadis and Faidra Gianelou. He has attended orchestra conducting lessons with Pavlos Sergiou, Miltos Logiadis and Faidra Gianelou. He has also taken guitar, clarinet, vocal and theatre lessons.
Since 1990 he is the conductor of the Mixed Chorus of Heraklion Municipality. He has also been conductor of the Municipality Chorus of Rethymno, the University of Crete chorus and the bands of the Municipalities of Moires and Ierapetra. As a conductor, he has cooperated with several instrumental and vocal ensembles, presenting his own compositions and those of other composers. He has also cooperated with the Athenian Symphonic Youth Orchestra, the University Autonoma orchestra and chorus of Madrid, the Padova Classica orchestra, the Aristotle University of Thessaloniki orchestra and chorus and with orchestras that have been occasionally formed for the needs of certain concerts. He has conducted works like the Requiem from the Missa Brevis K220 of W. A. Mozart, the Messiah of G. F. Haendel, Gloria and Credo of A. Vivaldi, Axion Esti of M. Theodorakis and parts from Symphonies, operas and oratorios. Apart from concerts that he has given as a conductor, he has performed in many music-theatre performances with the music-theatrical ensembles ODEporos, Aλma libre, Grecanto, Melochromata and others.
He has composed music for small instrumental ensembles, for orchestra, for chorus, music for theatre, one opera and several songs, some of which have been released in the Greek discography. In 1996 he gained the first music prize in the theatrical competitions, for the music he wrote for Nefeles, the theatrical piece of Aristophanes. He cooperated on the orchestration, music ideas and song composition with the music group ARMOS for the releasing of three CDs, while he was performing in concerts of the group, playing bass. He works as teacher and artistic director in conservatories of Crete since 1989.
Thomas Massey | tenor
Thomas Massey is an American Tenor who began his studies in Tampa, Florida under the guidance of his grandparents Soprano Rosalia Maresca and tenor Mario Laurenti. He moved to New York City and completed his Bachelors in Vocal Performance in 2016 at Mannes College of Music where he studied with Arthur Levy and performed with the Mannes Opera under the direction of Maestro Joseph Colaneri. Thomas has been a young artist at Opera Company Of Middleburry, Sarasota Opera (Studio Artist), St. Petersburg Opera, Greek Opera Studio of Syros, and New York City Opera. His Professional Debut was in 2016 in Florida Lyric Opera’s production of Viva La Mamma in the role of Guglielmo. Other career highlights include his New York City Opera Debut as ‘‘Il Giovanetto’’ in the 2018 production of L’ Amore Dei Tre Re, singing the lead role of the Prince in the world premiere of Anton Coppola’s Lady Swanwhite at Opera Tampa in 2019, and The Prince in Respighi's '' La Bella Dormente New Bosco'' in Teatro Grattacielo's Verismo Trilogy at John J College. He also made his Carnegie Hall Debut in 2019 singing the tenor soloist in Mozart’s Spazzenmesse and sang in the 2019 and 2020 world premieres of Harry Bialor's opera ''Warsaw Uprising'' in the role of Mordecai Agnelevich, the leader of the Warsaw rebellion. He has sung most of the lyric tenor repertoire including Alfredo from Verdi’s La Traviata, Rodolfo from Puccini’s La Boheme, Tamino from Mozarts Magic Flute, and Rinuccio from Puccini’s Gianni Schicchi. Upcoming performances for the 2020/2021 season include Faust in Teatro Grattacielo’s production of Boito's ''Mefistofele'' and The Steuermann in Opera Maine's production of ''The Flying Dutchman''.
Donghyuk Chung |tenor
Donghyuk Chung is a Korean tenor who born and grew up in the Suwon-City, Republic of Korea. He earned a Bachelor of Music degree in vocal performance from the Seoul National University in 2012. He served at the Military Band as a vocalist in Republic of Korea Air Force Band from 2014 to 2016. Since he was discharged from the military service, he moved to United State for persisting his study. He earned a Master of Music degree from the Mannes School of Music in 2019 where he was a pupil of Arthur Levy and Dr. Cristina Stanescu. He is persisting his study at Mannes in Professional Study Degree.
Kinneret Ely | soprano
“…it was a pleasure to hear [a soprano] with a unique tone. ... a rich mezzo-soprano quality in her lower register. …exciting coloratura… We are sure to be hearing more from this promising young artist."
-Meche Kroop, Voce di Meche
Soprano Kinneret Ely is a freelance opera singer based in New York City and Tel Aviv. She has been a young artist with Teatro Grattacielo’s Camerata Bardi Vocal Academy, since March 2021. As part of it, she will make her role debut as Ilia in IDOMENEO in November 2021, under the baton of Maestro Myron Michailidis, the General Music Director of Erfurt Opera & the Philharmonic Orchestra of Erfurt in Germany. With the Academy, she also sang Ilia at the Rhodes International Festival in September 2021. She covered the roles of Anna in Catalani’s LORELEY and the Fata Azzurra in Respighi’s LA BELLA DORMENTE NEL BOSCO in Teatro Grattacielo’s 25th Anniversary Concert in September 2019. She sang Violetta in LA TRAVIATA in July 2018 at the Jerusalem International Opera Masterclass (JIOM).
She rejoined Teatro Grattacielo for their film production of Giordano’s FEDORA as Un Piccolo Savoiardo and covering the role of Dimitri. Her performed roles also include Gilda in RIGOLETTO, Madame Cortese in IL VIAGGIO A REIMS, and Rosina in IL BARBIERE DI SIVIGLIA. She was a semifinalist in the Camerata Bardi International Vocal Competition in 2021, and in the Premiere Opera Foundation + NYIOP International Vocal Competition and the Rochester International Vocal Competition in 2020. Her YouTube channel has more than 36,000 views. She holds a Bachelor of Arts degree in Special Honors from Hunter College, from which she graduated cum laude, designing her own degree there in languages, history, and literature through their Thomas Hunter Honors Program. She studied Italian at the Società Dante Alighieri in Siena, French at the Alliance Française in Paris, German at the Goethe Institut in Berlin, and Russian at the Derzhavin Institute in St. Petersburg.
Clara Iranzo | soprano
Acclaimed for her distinctive vocal qualities and stage presence, twenty-two-year-old Puerto Rican soprano, Clara Iranzo, has portrayed various operatic roles including Dido in Dido and Aeneas with Mannes Opera and has done concert work as a soloist such as Rossini´s Stabat Mater under the baton of Maestro Mark Shapiro. Recently, she has joined Teatro Grattacielo and Camerata Bardi Vocal Academy as a Young Artist where she will be making her European debut as Ilia in Idomeneo. In 2020, she worked with Premiere Opera Vocal Arts Institute (POVAI) and has been a Studio Artist at International Vocal Arts Institute in New York (2019), Savannah Voice Festival (2016) and Campamento de Canto Lírico (2016) where she worked on Mimì and Musetta in La bohème, Susanna and Condessa Almaviva in Le Nozze di Figaro Magda in La Rondine, Luisa Fernanda in Luisa Fernanda, Zerlina in Don Giovanni and Leïla in Les pêcheurs de perles. Ms. Iranzo has collaborated with the Symphony Orchestra of Puerto Rico, the Foundation of Opereta and Zarzuela of Puerto Rico and the Lyric Choral of Puerto Rico. A current student at Mannes School of Music under the tutelage of Beth Roberts and assistant conductor of the Metropolitan Opera, Bryan Wagorn, Ms. Iranzo has received several awards including: A nomination to receive the Stephen De Maio Memorial Award given by the Gerda Lissner Foundation, Schmidt Vocal Arts Scholar (2018-present) a scholarship given by the Conservatory of Music of Puerto Rico (2017), Harvey Foundation Scholarship (2017) and Mannes School of Music´s Merit Scholarship. Ms. Iranzo has also participated in masterclasses with renowned singers such as Christine Goerke, Sherill Milnes, Diana Soviero, Lisette Oropesa, Laquita Mitchell, Justino Díaz and Margo Garrett.
Kristel Vinter | soprano
Danish soprano Kristel Vinter is currently studying at the David Seligman Opera School at the Royal Welsh College of Music and Drama in Cardiff, Wales under the tutelage of mezzo-soprano Anne Mason. Kristel is also a young artist for the 2021/22 season with New York-based Teatro Grattacielo and its Camerata Bardi Vocal Academy with whom she will make her debut as Elettra in Mozart’s IDOMENEO in November 2021 under the baton of conductor Myron Michailidis in a co-production with the Crete Cultural Conference Center, Heraklion. In September 2021, Kristel sang her first Mimi in Puccini’s LA BOHEME with North Wales Opera Studio. A scholarship holder of the David Seligman Opera School, Kristel has performed the roles of Miss Jessel in THE TURN OF THE SCREW, Donna Elvira in DON GIOVANNI, Contessa Almaviva (cover) in LE NOZZE DI FIGARO, Agathe (scenes) in DER FREISCHÜTZ, Rosalinde (scenes) in DIE FLEDERMAUS, Pamina (scenes) in DIE ZAUBERFLÖTE and Ellen Orford (scenes) in PETER GRIMES. She has also sung A Woman in Vaughan Williams’ RIDERS TO THE SEA, Rooster/Jay and Fox (cover) in THE CUNNING LITTLE VIXEN both with Byre Opera. Also, at home on the concert and oratorio stage, Kristel has featured as a soloist in works such as Haydn’s MISSA SANCTI NICOLAI, Bach’s MAGNIFICAT, Handel’s DIXIT DOMINUS and Haydn’s THE CREATION. Before moving to Wales, Kristel graduated with an MA (Hons) German and Russian from the University of St Andrews, and she is passionate about incorporating her linguistic knowledge into her performance. As part of this degree, she was able to take elective modules in music performance and received a 1st class mark for her final exam recital of art songs by Rachmaninoff and Handel. Kristel was actively involved in the musical life of the university – as a choir member and soloist alike – and at her graduation, she was awarded the Cedric Thorpe Davies Memorial Price for an outstanding contribution to music in St Andrews. Kristel is thankful for the bursaries and scholarships supporting her studies from The Leverhulme Trust, RWCMD, Augustinus Fonden, William Demant Fonden, Karen og Arthur Feldhusens Fond and other generous Danish funds without which she would not have been able to pursue postgraduate studies.
Wing Kwan Chung | soprano
The Hong Kong soprano, Chung Wing Kwan (Zara), is described as “a remarkable coloratura soprano” by Mr. Damon Nestor Ploumis, the founder and director of Lyric Opera Studio Weimar. She is a soloist in the opera/operetta section of ZAV Künstlervermittlung in Germany, a resident young artist of Teatro Grattacielo in the United States, a vocal coach of Opera Hong Kong and a singer in the database of NYIOP in the United States. Chung has performed as a soloist in operas in Germany, Belgium and the Netherlands, including Zaïre in Rameau's LES INDES GALANTES, Alice in Verdi's FALSTAFF, Erste Dame and Erste Knabe in Mozart's DIE ZAUBERFLÖTE, Wellgunde in Wagner's DAS RHEINGOLD which has also brought about her first appearance in the Classical Singer Magazine in the United States, Clorinda in Rossini's LA CENERENTOLA, Donna Anna in Mozart's DON GIOVANNI and La Contessa in Mozart's LE NOZZE DI FIGARO. In July 2021, she will be performing Elettra in Mozart's IDOMENEO, a co-production between Teatro Grattacielo and the Cultural Conference Center of Heraklion Crete. Chung holds a bachelor’s degree in music with honors from the Chinese University of Hong Kong, a master’s degree and a postgraduate degree in singing with distinction from Koninklijk Conservatorium Brussel, and licentiate diplomas in singing and piano with distinction from Trinity College London. She is currently a vocal coach and the demo singer of Opera Hong Kong’s Virtual Opera Project.
Kirsten Scott | mezzo soprano
She is thrilled to be making two roles’ debuts in the 2021-2022 season. She made her European role debut in Crete as Idamante in Idomeneo as a young artist with the Camerata Bardi Vocal Academy and the Cultural Conference Center of Crete. She made her debut as Giannetta in L’elisir d’Amore with Opera in Williamsburg as well. She will return to Crete in November to reprise the role of Idamante under the baton of Myron Michailidis. Kirsten joined the Metropolitan Opera for their 2019-2020 season educational program, as one of four soloists performing in the ongoing collaboration with Saint David’s School and the Met Opera in New York City. In October 2020, she premiered the role of “Natalie” in The Late Walk, an episode commissioned by Bare Opera for the Decameron Opera Coalition’s award-winning opera mini-series Tales from a Safe Distance. The piece has been recognized as a significant contribution to the art created during the COVID-19 pandemic and will be archived in the Library of Congress in Washington D.C. Kirsten joined Opera in Williamsburg for the 2018-2019 season in their fall production of Verdi’s La Traviata in the role of Flora and in their spring production of Mozart’s The Magic Flute in the role of Zweite Dame. This season she returns to Williamsburg for their fall and spring productions - Bizet’s The Pearl Fishers and Puccini’s La Boheme. In March of 2018 she made her Carnegie Hall (NYC) debut in Stern Auditorium, performing a selection of solo arias and musical theatre selections for the Choirs of America concert, "Harmonic Convergence". In New York City during October 2017, she performed the role of Idamante the world-premiere workshop adaptation - the brainchild of acclaimed opera director David Paul - of Mozart's Idomeneo, entitled "AfterWARds". Parterre Box praised her 2015 performance in New York City as Pepa in the rarely performed opera Goyescas by Enrique Granados, noting she, “had every requirement for this show-off role and a large, meaty, exciting mezzo that has obviously trained with Carmen in her headlights.” Opera News applauded her “vibrant” and “vivacious” Rosina in The Barber of Seville and her “superb” performance as Nicklausse in The Tales of Hoffmann was hailed by both The New York Times and Opera News.
Ms. Scott made her Florida Grand Opera debut as Vera Boronel in Menotti’s The Consul in May 2015 and has only continued to expand her repertoire and experience throughout the United States. Ms. Scott’s other role credits in opera and theatre include Cherubino in The Marriage of Figaro, Zerlina in Don Giovanni, Second Lady in Mozart's The Magic Flute Stephano in Gounod’s Romeo et Juliette, Cathy in The Last Five Years and Cinderella in Rodgers and Hammerstein’s Cinderella. In the United States she has performed at Lincoln Centre’s Rose Theatre (NYC), Jordan Hall (Boston), The Kennedy Library (Boston), The New York Supreme Court (New York City) for Ruth Bader Ginsberg, Merkin Hall (NYC), The National Opera Centre (NYC), the Adrienne Arsht Centre (Miami, FL) the Metropolitan Opera Guild (NYC), Harris Hall (Aspen) and Wheeler Opera House (Aspen). She made her Lincoln Centre debut at the Rose Theatre singing Rossini’s famous aria “Una voce poco fa” with orchestra in May 2016. In 2011 she performed as lead soloist in the world premiere of the oratorio Illuminessence: Prayers for Peace, a piece commissioned by the Vatican for the decennial commemoration of 9/11. Held in Boston’s iconic Jordan Hall, the performance was broadcast live by WGBH Public Radio. Ms. Scott was named an eastern district winner and encouragement award winner of the Metropolitan Opera National Council Auditions in November 2014 and 2016 respectively and received a Portland Opera Lieber Award in 2015. In 2015 she was selected by renowned soprano Martina Arroyo to perform for Ruth Bader Ginsberg and other prominent New York court officials in “The Trial of Don Giovanni” to celebrate of the 225th Anniversary of the New York Supreme Court. Ms. Scott’s artistic versatility and interests extend beyond the world of opera. Her musical theatre credits include the lead roles of Cathy in The Last 5 Years, Cinderella in Into the Woods, Fantine in Les Miserables, Cinderella in Cinderella and Elinor Dashwood in the premier workshop of Sense and Sensibility, The Musical. While performing is her passion, she is also an avid runner – three marathons and counting – and a German food enthusiast. She holds a Bachelor of Arts degree from Wellesley College in Massachusetts and a Master of Music degree from Mannes College in New York City. She is also an alum of the Florida Grand Opera Young Artist program in Miami, Martina Arroyo Prelude to Performance program in New York City, Aspen Opera Theatre Centre, Mannes Opera Young Artist Program in NYC, American Institute for Musical Studies in Graz program, Boston University Tanglewood Institute and several more.
Eva Marco | mezzo soprano
Eva Marco, born in Madrid, Spain in 1985 studied “Canto Lírico” at the Music Conservatory of her native city where she graduated in 1999. At this moment she is being coached by the international acclaimed soprano, Nino Machaidze in Milano, since September 2019. Since August 2018 until February 2020, she was part of the cast of the production “El Medico” the musical written by noah gordon, in co-production with versus creative, after multiple interventions thorough the years in the Musical Theatre environment “West side Story, Romeo and Juliet, Miserables…”. She has had multiple operatic interventions throughout her musical career in "Carmen" of g. Bizet in the paper of Carmen at Palau de la Música de Cataluña (Opera Studio), Mercedes, "Flora bervoix" of "La Traviata de g. verdi, 2nd lady of "the magic flute" of W.A.Mozart, Berta in the barber of Seville. g.rossini etc ... from her repertoire of oratory the following are remarkable interventions: Petite solemn Mass by G. Rossini, ninth S. Beethoven, requiem by G. Faure, major mib Mass by F. Schubert, Requiem by W.a Mozart, etc. More recent she appeared in new roles as Suzuki in Madame Butterfly an opera produced within the Agency Concert Agency Artist Media Management, under the direction of Mtra. Voronkova and Francesco Mancuso. She debuted the role of Contessa of Le Nozze di Figaro in 2018. She is debuted Alisa from “Lucia di Lamermoor” on february 1st 2020 in Genova, under the Batton of Mº G.B Bergamo in Italia. She is pursuing her carreer as a soloist specially in Italy.
Marios Maniatopoulos | tenor
Marios Maniatopoulos is a Greek lyric tenor based both in Athens and Lisbon. He currently continues his studies with the sopranos Elisabete Matos and Dora Rodrigues at the Escola Superior de Artes Aplicadas (Portugal). Some of his future projects include: Arbace in IDOMENEO as a young artist of Teatro Grattacielo´s Camerata Bardi Vocal Academy under the baton of Myron Michailidis, Bastien in BASTIEN UND BASTIENNE, meant for a younger audience, and another international project to be released soon. Marios in 2020, debuted the role of Basilio with the baroque ensemble Divino Sospiro, in Telemann´s DON QUICHOTTE AUF DER HOCHZEIT DES COMACHO. He has performed, as a soloist, with the Orchestra of Guimarães, Sinfonietta of Ponta Delgada (Azores) and the Symphonic Orchestra of the Hellenic Open University. Has also performed, First Sailor in DIDO AND AENEAS, with the Municipal and Regional Theatre of Patras and with Nova Opera de Lisboa. Again in Patras he performed the title role in Gluck´s ORPHÉE, and Pedrillo in DIE ENTFÜHRUNG AUS DEM SERAIL. Some of his recent works also include Mozart´s REQUIEM (solo), Beethoven´s FANTASIA CORAL (solo), and a solo recital with the pianist João Lima. During the academic year 2014/2015, he was part of the Drama School of the Municipal and Regional Theater of Patras and in 2015 he became a member of the Opera Studio of the same theater, where he worked under the direction of Michael Seibel and Eleni Liona. He has worked with: Harrison Birtwistle, Wiebke Göetjes, Frank Van Aken, Georgios Galanis, Faidra Giannelou, Mário João Alves, José Eduardo Gomes, among others.
Rick Agster | bass
Rick Agster is an operatic bass based in New York City. Audiences thrill to Rick's 6'5" height, dramatic flair, "excellent comic relief" and "warm basso voice and persona." Rick is scheduled to appear as Voce in IDOMENEO with Camerata Bardi in Crete in July 2021. Most recently, Rick performed as Bass Soloist in MESSIAH with Camerata Bardi; appeared as Doctor Boroff in Fedora with Teatro Grattacielo; as Simone in Gianni Schicchi with Regina Opera; as Benoit and Alcindoro in La Boheme with MidAtlantic Opera; appeared as Police Chief Bimson in the world premiere of The Silk City by Francesco Santelli with Garden State Opera; covered the roles of Kings Marcellus and Hjalmar in the world premiere of Princess Maleine by Whitney George with Dell'Arte Opera Ensemble; appeared as Old Gypsy in Il Trovatore with Regina Opera; and appeared as Benoit and Alcindoro in La Boheme and reprised his appearance as Trader in Scrooge, all with Amore Opera. Other notable roles include Commendatore in Don Giovanni; Doctor Grenvil in La Traviata; Zuniga in Carmen; Antonio and Bartolo in Le Nozze di Figaro; and Bogdonowitsch in The Merry Widow.
Manos Christofakakis | bass
Manos Christofakakis was born in Heraklion, Crete in 1989. He graduated from Acropolis Conservatory in Athens in 2011, with Distinction and 1st Prize under the guidance of the tenor Zachos Terzakis. He has attended masterclasses with the Hungarian soprano Mária Temesi, the Russian baritone Vladimir Chernov, the Greek bass Dimitri Kavrakos, the Ukrainian soprano Victoria Loukianetz, the Mexican bass-baritone Noe Colin, the Mexican tenor Jesus Leon and the Greek soprano Katerina Tsagaraki. In August 2020 he participated at Vienna Opera Academy with scholarship. He sings bass and bass-baritone repertory. Among his recent performances are the title role at Mozart's Don Giovanni at Vienna Opera Festival (2020), the title role at Xanthoulis' children opera The Selfish Giant at the Cultural Conference Centre of Heraklion (2020), Uberto at Pergolesi's La Serva Padrona (2019) by the Lyric Theatre of Crete at Heraklion open-air festival, El Payador at Piazzolla's tango-operetta Maria de Buenos Aires (2018) by Marionetas. In January 2020 he participated in the International Solo Singing Competition Lazar Jovanović in Belgrade, Serbia and in October 2020 in Lav Mirski International Singing Competition in Osijek, Croatia and was awarded First Prize and Second Prize respectively as well as two and one special prizes respectively. He is collaborating with the French pianist Mélisande Sinsoulier in art song and opera recital programs and they have performed in various occasions, such as the international chamber music festival Casa dei Mezzo at Makrygialos in Crete. He is the president and artistic director of the non-profit organization Lyric Theatre of Crete, which is going to produce two brand-new operas in 2021-2022. He is also board member of the historic music organization Apollon est. in 1908 in Heraklion. He has a broad interest for performing arts and has been performing as a dancer in Argentinean tango performances since 2011. Moreover, he has taken acting classes and has participated in theatrical plays. He is a lawyer and mediator. He graduated from Athens Law School of the National & Kapodistrian University. He continued with postgraduate studies in Athens Law School, at Frankfurt’s Institute for Law and Finance and at Columbia University in New York with scholarship.
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