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The Opera

The opera "Antigone” premiered at the Athens Concert Hall “Megaron Mousikis” on March 30, 2011 under the auspices of the President of the Hellenic Republic. This new composition by Dr. Theodore Stathis’s, progresses in two acts with a total of fifteen scenes. The opera translates Sophocles’ work into modern Greek and includes the original power of the Greek Tragedy narrative scene combining music and dramatic design. These devices highlight the complex way in which ancient Greek tragedy and opera are linked.

As part of the musical theater genre, opera incorporates musical composition with stage action. These elements connect with the tragedy as a dramatic genre, and are represented on stage with poetic language that is actively recited. The stage action of the opera is based on a text set to music, called the Libretto. The music is continuous in order to further dramatize the events on stage.

Antigone, the “queen of tragedy,” has given humanity the most vital and timely messages for the vindication of human qualities and the promise of freedom for over 2,500 years. The tragedy is in fact a question of conflict in which the heroes take on a supreme struggle against antagonistic forces that ultimately crush them more often than not. The heroes are not saints. They make mistakes and their passion blinds them. Their struggle is fierce and violent, but they have courage and are high-minded. In this struggle we find the incredible power of man to resist the power of Fate, and through misery to highlight human greatness.

The tragic hero is striving for people to become better human beings and to find more courage and serenity in life. The central idea of upholding unwritten laws against the laws of the state has much to teach us about deep brotherly love and sacrifice. Sophocles work wrestles continuously with the implications of universal love, humanism and the strong sense between right and wrong.

Dr. Stathis very rightly uses the values Sophocles advocated in “Antigone” to force us to consider and examine such values even today in modern times. Although the problems facing man are different today, the roots of evil and the solutions are the same. It is the heroic soul who does not tolerate injustice and absurdity, arrogance and hubris of power. It is the responsibility of each of us as well to do the same. Progress has given us many goods, but has made us slaves of consumption. This new opera strives to highlight how values of life such as freedom, democracy and humanism are pushed aside. It also seeks to raise personal, political and social concerns.

In conclusion we can say that mankind has made a strenuous effort to preserve these great values, but it is accomplished through pain and disaster. Fortnunately, it has not resulted in loss and decay, but in the redemption, the elevation and restoration of man’s personality. It is important for us today to take the message of this project and integrate it into social structures and our experiences so we can judge and respond dynamically to the challenges of modern times.

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Comment from the Composer

Sophocles' “Antigone” is a timeless work of great importance and brings many political and social issues to light. As a former politician I chose to adapt the libretto to this music to highlight issues that have concerned individuals and societies alike for centuries.

01 Sophocles illustrates that Creon came to power not as a result of a coup, but as a result of inheritance. This is how he becomes the king of Thebes. This is a common phenomenon that exists everywhere on our planet, despite the abolition of the institution of monarchy in most countries.

02 From the beginning of his work, Sophocles informs us that the first official duty of Creon, as king, is to present his ”State of the Union” to the people of Thebes. He informs them on how he intends to rule and what issues he considers important. He is determined to apply the law to all without exception. Creon notes anarchy as an evil that must be addressed decisively. He refers to money as the worst invention ever made by man, which, he states, has been used to buy consciences and commit crimes.

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Médecins Sans Frontières Greece

Οι Γιατροί Χωρίς Σύνορα (ΓΧΣ) είναι μια διεθνής ανεξάρτητη ιατρική, ανθρωπιστική οργάνωση που παρέχει βοήθεια σε πληθυσμούς που βρίσκονται σε κατάσταση επείγοντος, στα θύματα φυσικών καταστροφών και σε όσους υποφέρουν από πολέμους, συγκρούσεις, βία και αποκλεισμό χωρίς καμία πολιτική, θρησκευτική ή ιδεολογική διάκριση. Φέτος, συμπληρώνουν 40 χρόνια παρουσίας και δράσης στο παγκόσμιο ανθρωπιστικό πεδίο. Είναι παρόντες στα πιο απομακρυσμένα σημεία του πλανήτη, όπου κανείς άλλος δε θέλει ή δεν μπορεί να φτάσει.

Η δράση των ΓΧΣ στηρίζεται στην αρχή της ανεξαρτησίας από πολιτικά, οικονομικά ή άλλα συμφέροντα, της αμεροληψίας στην παροχή βοήθειας, της ουδετερότητας στο πεδίο των αποστολών και της εγγύτητας στους πληθυσμούς που δοκιμάζονται σκληρά. Για να το καταφέρουμε αυτό στηριζόμαστε κυρίως στην υποστήριξη που μας προσφέρουν 3,7 εκατομμύρια δωρητές σε όλο τον κόσμο καθώς και στην υλοποίηση μιας σειράς ενεργειών, οι οποίες συμβάλλουν σημαντικά στην οικονομική ενίσχυση των προγραμμάτων μας.

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Non-Profit Organization for Cultural Development "Imeros"

Imeros was founded in 1995 a group of scholars and artists based in Athens. It is a nonprofit organization that aims to produce dance theater performances after research on a specific topic. Its purpose is for actors, dancers, musicians and artists to collaborate and find new ways of expression.

The company also organizes seminars, research on movement, physical expression and dance. Imeros has presented two successful dance theater performances so far:

01 The Touch of Jupiter, Music Iannis Xenakis. This work premiered first time in the US. The performance was sponsored by the Hellenic Studies at Princeton University. It was also shown at the Arts Theatre in London as well as The Thessaloniki Cultural Capital - 1998 (Mr. Xenakis personally congratulated the choreographer Ersie Pittas for her work in a written letter that can be seen on her website).

02 The Return of Dance Ceremony for 12 People, poetry Constantine Cavafy - performed at The National Theatre Stage (2000).

The Company was previously sponsored by the Ministry of Culture, but since February 2011 it is an independent Non-Profit Organizations and its goal is to promote cultural development globally.

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Theodoros Stathis Theodoros Stathis
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