As a symbolic tribute, the Greek National Opera honours its past by presenting Spyridon-Filiskos Samaras’ opera, Rhea, marking its first production at Olympia Theatre in 1944. It comes full circle again in May before relocating permanently to its new stage at the Stavros Niarchos Foundation Cultural Centre.
This tragic opera tells the tale of the illicit love affair of Rhea and the Greek athlete Lysias on the island of Chios in 1400. Shortly before Rhea abandons Chios for Lysias, Guarca who is also in love with Rhea, kills him and Rhea commits suicide.
Rhea was first staged in 1908 at the Teatro Verdi in Florence. The congratulatory telegrams from Puccini and Mascagni to Samaras indicate that it was a major success. The work includes the famous hymn of the Olympic Games, which Samaras had composed in 1896 for the first Olympic Games during the modern age of Athens.
Conductor: Byron Fidetzis, Julia Souglakou as Rhea and Yannis Christopoulos as Lysias. With the Greek National Opera orchestra and chorus.
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