Cherubini’s MEDEA is the Greek National Opera’s First Co-Production With the Metropolitan Opera

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Cherubini’s Medea will open the Met’s 2022/23 season this coming September.

As part of an ever-expanding outreach strategy, the Greek National Opera would like to announce its first major co-production with three leading North American opera houses: the Metropolitan Opera in New York City, the Canadian Opera Company, and the Lyric Opera of Chicago.

The production is Cherubini’s Medea, which will open the Met’s 2022/23 season this coming September before being presented at the Greek National Opera in early 2023 and going on to be performed in Toronto and Chicago. This co-production is made possible by a grant from the Stavros Niarchos Foundation (SNF) [www.SNF.org] to enhance the GNO’s artistic outreach.

Overlooked for many decades, Luigi Cherubini’s Medea -first presented in Paris in 1797- was brought back into the limelight when Maria Callas first performed the title role in 1953 at the Maggio Musicale Fiorentino Festival. The revival met with great success and, thanks to Callas’ extraordinary musical and acting abilities, the music world rediscovered this thrilling work. The Greek diva went on to perform the role of Medea on numerous other stages, culminating in her historic appearance with the Greek National Opera at the Ancient Theatre of Epidaurus, directed by Alexis Minotis and with sets and costumes by Yannis Tsarouchis.

Medea is to be presented inside the GNO’s Stavros Niarchos Hall at the SNFCC in the first half of 2023, as part of the Greek National Opera’s tribute to the centennial of Maria Callas‘ birth.

This rarely performed masterpiece by Cherubini, with a libretto based on Euripides’ Medea, is to be presented in a monumental new production -classic and atmospheric, contemporary but for the ages- directed and with sets by Sir David McVicar, one of the great British stage directors.

The costumes are by Doey Lüthi and the lighting is by Paule Constable, with projection design by S. Katy Tucker and movement direction by Jo Meredith.
The partnership agreement between the Met and the GNO was sealed in New York in the autumn of 2019, following a meeting between GNO Artistic Director Giorgos Koumendakis and Met Opera General Manager Peter Gelb; representing the Canadian Opera Company during this initial planning stage was it’s then General Manager, Alexander Neef (now General Director at Opéra national de Paris).

Giorgos Koumendakis notes: “Today, we are happy to be announcing a co-production of huge importance for the international ambitions of our organisation, one we have been preparing for more than three years now with the unreserved support of the Stavros Niarchos Foundation (SNF) and its Co-President, Mr Andreas Dracopoulos.

Medea marks the Greek National Opera’s North American debut, and we cannot wait to bring this production before Greek and international audiences. Thanks to this co-production, the Greek National Opera is spreading its wings to fly beyond Europe and partner with three of the most important opera houses in North America.

Medea is a carefully considered choice – an opera supremely connected to Greece not only because it is based on the ancient Euripidean tragedy, but also because the performance given by Maria Callas as part of the GNO production at Epidaurus in 1961 is regarded as a momentous landmark in contemporary Greek culture. And it is no accident that we have chosen to present this work in 2023, the year in which we will be celebrating the Maria Callas centennial – 100 years since the greatest opera singer of all time was born.”

Further details -including performance dates, creative team, and Athens cast- are to be announced in the near future.

https://www.nationalopera.gr/en/news-features/item/4259-cherubini-s-medea-the-greek-national-opera-s-first-co-production-with-the-metropolitan-opera-new-york

Lead Donor of the GNO & Production donor: Stavros Niarchos Foundation (SNF)