|Eumenides in the Greek Press|
30 September, 1 October 2005
Opera of the Earth: Dimitris Mitropoulos International Competition
Vasil Tole Eumenides
Opera of the Earth was an initiative launched by the Greek Ministry of Culture in cooperation with the Orchestra of Colours and the Cultural Olympiad. Its aim was the commission and production of an original work of musical theatre within the context of the Cultural Olympiad 2001-2004.
The Dimitris Mitropoulos International Competition took on the task of carrying out the project through a series of competitions in composition, conducting and singing. Vasil Tole’s opera Eumenides won the first prize for composition in 2001 in the international competition Opera of the Earth, which attracted participants from around the world.
Opera of the Earth: International D.Mitropoulos Competition for singers
A few months have been left before the premiere of the "Opera of the Earth," ("World Opera Project") the international grand production which seeks to spread Cultural Olympiad's messages. All necessary preparations for the creation of a brand new work of musical theatre are onto the finishing stretch: the opera has been selected ("Eumenides") as well as the composer-librettist (Vasil Tole), the conductor has been chosen (Alpaslan Ertungealp). What's left, is to learn the names of the singers who will interprete the main roles. That's the point in "Dimitris Mitropoulos" International Competition on December 3.
The "Opera of the Earth" is an initiative of both the Greek Ministry of Culture and the Cultural Olympiad 2001-2004, in cooperation with the Orchestra of Colours, aiming at commissioning and creating a new operatic work.
The task of the 2001 Competition for Composing was to find the composer of this new work. Vasil Tole from Albania carried the first prize with his opera "Eumenides".
The 2002 Competition for Conducting was focused on Opera Conducting. The first prize winner, Alpaslan Ertungealp from Turkey, will prepare and conduct this new opera "Eumenides" by Vasil Tole.
The 2003 Competition is being held for Singing to cast the main roles. Already, the first phase of the auditions has been completed in four cities (Tokyo, Suntory Hall, 9/ 8 & 9 - Munich, Academy of Music and Theatre, 9/ 18 & 19 - Boston, University of Fine Arts, 9/ 20 & 21 - Athens, Athens Concert Hall 10/ 4 & 5). Twenty eight candidates out of 80 were chosen by the jury to compete in the second and third phase of the auditions which are going to be held at the Rehearsal Room in the Athens Concert Hall on November 28 and December 1.
Finally, on Wednesday, December 3 the international jury is going to announce the names of the winners in singing competition during the celebrating event at the Friends of Music Hall (Megaron).
The opera "Eumenides" will be staged in few months under the direction of the internationally renowned opera director and stage designer Yannis Kokkos.
The whole project's aim is to be presented in two performances at the open theatre Olympia (outside Ancient Olympia) in June 2004. The "Opera of the Earth" is under the supervision of an international committee chaired by Cesare Mazzonis, artistic director of the Maggio Musicale Fiorentino.
|"Dimitris Mitropoulos" International Competition - A few words
The "Dimitris Mitropoulos" Competition is held every year in Athens, alternately for Conducting and Composing. It is organised by the Orchestra of Colours in cooperation with the Athens Concert Hall.
For the purposes of the grand project "Opera of the Earth", the category "Singing" was added in the Competition in 2003.
The Dimitris Mitropoulos International Competition was created in 1996 to mark the centenary of the birth of the great Greek conductor and composer Dimitris Mitropoulos.
Although this is only the seventh time the competition is taking place, it is already regarded as one of the most prestigious international musical competitions. Its basic purpose, which is to urge new musicians to be inspired by Dimitris Mitropoulos's selfless dedication to music, is served by personalities like Luciano Berio, George Crumb and Sir Neville Marriner.
In 1896 he was born in Athens to a non-musical family. Dimitris Mitropoulos takes his first piano lessons at the Athens Conservatory in 1910 and three years later he appeared in a concert with his teacher, showing his qualities both as composer and as pianist
In 1915 he appears on the podium for the first time and in 1919 he takes his diploma and Gold Medal in Piano from the Athens Conservatory. Two years later he settled in Berlin, spending most of his day improvising on a church organ. He met Ferruccio Busoni, well-known composer and music teacher.
In 1924 he came back to Athens and accepted the post of assistant conductor of the Orchestra of the Hellenic Conservatory. As a guest conductor with the Boston Symphony Orchestra in 1936, he defied all odds and gave a performance of Prokofiev's 3rd Piano Concerto playing the solo part as well as conducting the orchestra. This was his great opportunity, and he soon signed the contract as principal conductor of the Minneapolis Symphony Orchestra (1938-49).
In 1944 Mitropoulos was an artistic director and principal conductor of the Philadelphia Orchestra. Five years later hes was asked to take up the post of associate conductor of the New York Philharmonic with Leopold Stokowski. The following year Stokowski withdrew and Mitropoulos became the sole and permanent conductor of the orchestra.
In 1951 he took the position of artistic director up until 1957 when Leonard Bernstein took up the post. He conducted other great European orchestras such as: the Berlin Philharmonic, the Bavarian Radio Symphony, the Royal Concertgebouw of Amsterdam etc. and conducted at the Salzburg Festival, the Maggio Musicale Fiorentino etc.
In 1960 (November 2) he suffered the last and fatal heart attack on La Scala's podium in Milan. According to his wishes his body was cremated in Switzerland and his ashes returned to Athens where they lay in state at the Theatre of Herod Atticus for two days.
|EUMENIDES - Opera of the Earth|
|"Dimitris Mitropoulos" International Competition|
|Athens Concert Hall|