Monday 30 November 2020
Watch the concert:
On Monday, November 30 at 20.30, the Stavros Niarchos Foundation Cultural Center (SNFCC) presents, at the Stavros Niarchos Hall, the musicians of the Camerata – The Friends of Music Orchestra on period instruments, performing the melodrama in one act Medea by Czech composer Georg Benda. The Camerata is conducted by the acclaimed harpsichordist and maestro Markellos Chryssicos, with actress Kora Karvouni in the role of Medea.
In keeping with the measures for preventing the spread of COVID-19, the concert, which is realized thanks to a grant by the Stavros Niarchos Foundation (SNF), will be held without the physical presence of an audience and transmitted through live streaming on the SNFCC website, its Facebook page and its YouTube channel.
The scion of a family with a grand tradition in music, Georg Benda (1722-1795), albeit lesser known than many other composers of the late 18th century, has gone down in history for Medea, a work that was influential upon several of his contemporary musicians, with Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart among them. Even though the combination of recitation and music had been attempted before, with Medea, which was first performed in 1775, Benda elevated melodrama to a distinct genre of musical drama, with new expressive potential. Up until Ariadne on Naxos, his first melodrama, the role of the orchestra in similar productions that combined music and prose was either limited to a series of independent episodes performed between the speaking parts, or took on a purely ostensible or even improvisational form. Conversely, in Medea, the orchestra and the actress move and develop equally upon a common narrative axis, since the music does not merely remark upon what has been said, but denotes the development of the drama and, most significantly, “illustrates” the flow of the dramatic discourse. As a result, this particular work signaled the birth of a new musical form, which flourished in the 19th and 20th century.
Markellos Chryssicos began his music studies at the harpsichord with M. Dalmati in Athens. He continued his studies in Paris with S. Romeo and O. Baumont, in Salzburg with K. Gilbert and S. Rampe and in Geneva with Ch. Jaccottet. As a musical assistant and vocal coach he participated in various award-winning recordings for MDG, Sony, Decca. He has conducted the Venice Baroque Orchestra in a double cd recording (L’ Olimpiade) that was awarded the Classica distinction. As a conductor he regularly collaborates with Armonia Atenea, conducting the orchestra in prestigious venues like the Markgräfliches Opernhaus in Bayreuth, Händel-Festspiele Halle, Theater an der Wien, Wigmore Hall with such distinguished artists like Max-Emanuel Cencic, Julia Lezhneva, Daniel Behle, Juan Sancho, Myrto Papatanasiu. He has appeared as a conductor in Greece with the State Symphony Orchestra of Athens, the State Symphony Orchestra of Thessaloniki as well as with ensembles and orchestras like the Irish Baroque Orchestra, the Bach Consort Wien, MusikAkademie Potsdam etc. He is currently a member of the Board of Directors at the Greek National Opera.
Kora Karvouni graduated from the Greek National Theater Drama School with First Class Honors in 2002. She has performed leading roles in international repertoire productions at the National Theater of Greece, the Neos Kosmos Theater, the Kefallinias Theater, and the Municipal Regional Theatre of Patra, and collaborated with numerous Greek and international directors. She has starred in Greek film and television productions, and received four awards for her performances in theater and film.
Adapted in greek by: Markellos Chryssicos
Monday 30/11, 20.30
STAVROS NIARCHOS HALL
You can watch the concert live on this page, on the Facebook page @SNFCC and the SNFCC's YouTube channel.