THE ATHENS SQUARE PARK INC. UNDER THE AUSPICES OF CLUB FOR UNESCO PIRAEUS & ISLANDS PROUDLY PRESENTS THE OPERA OF PANAGIOTIS KAROUSOS

OLYMPIC FLAME

The modern masterpiece, Olympic Flame opera, made its triumphal debut at Lincoln Center this past April. Now it returns back in the United States for an Open-Air stage production for the Athens Square Park Summer Festival to mark the Olympic Games 2016 in Rio de Janeiro. The Olympic Flame by Panagiotis Karousos is an opera in two acts related to the legend of Heracles and the founding of the Olympic Games, and will be performed with theatrical ancient Greek costumes.

The opera “Olympic Flame” by Panagiotis Karousos at Athens Square Park, New York, USA

Under the auspices of Club for UNESCO of Piraeus and Islands & President Ioannis Maronitis

Tuesday, July 5th, 2016 
George Delis, President of Athens Square Park

Panos Adamopoulos, 2016 Program Director (Athens Square Inc. Greek Nights Summer Program)
Billy Chrissochos, Organizer (Director of Modern Music for UNESCO of Piraeus and Islands NY Chapter)
Demetrios Jussi Tsinopoulos, tenor (Heracles)
Elisabeth Shoup, soprano (Deianira)
Ola Rafalo, mezzo-soprano (Alkmene)
Kofi Hayford, bass (Hyllos & Prometheus)
Stella Papatheodorou, soprano (Macaria & Iole)
Viktoriya Koreneva, mezzo-soprano (High Priestess)
Despina Chrissochos, Oracle (narrator)
Tor Morten Kjøsnes, piano
Eli Markos, Stage Manager


Part of the Athens Square Inc Greek Nights Summer Program
Panos Adamopoulos 2016 Program Director
Sponsored by George Delis 
Under the auspices of Club for UNESCO of Piraeus and Islands & President Ioannis Maronitis
Organized by UNESCO of Piraeus and Islands NY Chapter & Director of Modern Music Billy Chrissochos

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This is a co-production of the Hellenic American Center of the Arts
http://hellenicamericancenterofthearts.blogspot.com/ and
Porphyra Corp- www.Porphyraband.com.

THE OLYMPIC FLAME by Panagiotis Karousos

The Olympic Flame (Montreal 2005) is an opera in two acts related to the legend of Heracles and the founding of the Olympic Games. 
The Olympic Flame is the second operatic work by Panagiotis Karousos. Along with “Prometheus” (first performed in Greek at the Place des Arts, in June of 1994 and subsequently in its French version in June of 1996) and “Alexander the Great” (Canada 2007) is part of a trilogy depicting the greatness of the human spirit and the humanism of the “Hellenes.” This is stated in the philosophical works of Greek antiquity and clearly indicates that we are all descendants of the culture and civilization of that era.
The opera in its entirety is based on the Olympic flame and as it unfolds gives us the fundamental meaning behind the ancient Greek religious ritual, “for that is what it is”. The flame as we know it furring the Olympics is basically a simple commemoration/re-enactment of the flame as was stolen from the Gods by Prometheus and brought to the people. The flame of knowledge, from which civilizations were born. In Greek antiquity it was a religious ritual, with the purpose of bringing of the people closer to the Gods.

The first act includes poems by Homer (Homeric Anthems), Pindar, (Olympian Odes), and Hesiod (Works and Days).
Its second act is based on the tragedy “Trachiniæ” by Sophocles. In the Trachiniæ, the sufferings of Heracles are described and the levity of Dëianira, atoned for by her death; “The Olympic Flame” is a presentation of a major work of Greek mythology and philosophy, and in turn its contribution to world civilization.
The composition and orchestration of the opera is influenced by the post-romantic era in music and by other classical elements in Greek antiquity thus making it an avant-garde opera of the new millennium. Dominant in this work as in others by Panagiotis Karousos is the exaltation of lyricism, which relates well to ancient Greek tragedy due to the fact that they are both lyrical works and Greek tragic poetry is lyrical.
The opera World Premiered in Montreal’s Cathedral at Notre-Dame Basilica with soloists, choir and large Symphony Orchestra conducted by maestro Andre Gauthier. In Greece the opera was presented at the Old Parliament House of Greece with costumes.
The bel-canto style of the arias and melancholic romanticism raise the work as a major operatic masterpiece of the new era in opera, “an exaltation of lyricism never hears before.” Among with Prometheus and Alexander the Great they contribute as the most important operatic works in the Greek history of classical music.

This is a co-production of the Hellenic American Center of the Arts
http://hellenicamericancenterofthearts.blogspot.com/ and
Porphyra Corp- www.Porphyraband.com.

Co-sponsors:

Long Island City Academy of Music 
44-02 23rd Street, Long Island City, NY 11101
www.licmusicacademy.com

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