Vincenzo Bellini ''NORMA'' Odeon of Herodes Atticus
28 & 30 August 2023
A monumental international production celebrating the 100th anniversary of the birth of Maria Callas, premiers in Athens (August 28th and 30th 2023), with an impressing ensemble of more than 110 artists on stage at the Acropolis in the ancient theatre of Herodes Atticus.
The cultural organization "Lykofos" honors the 100th anniversary of the birth of Maria Callas by presenting the classical opera "Norma" by Vincenzo Bellini - Maria Callas' favorite composer - on August 28 and 30 at Herodes Atticus, directed by Tom Volf and conducted by Eugene Kohn.
An international production with an all-star cast of performers and contributors from around the world, which will travel to European cities as part of the international celebrations for the 100 years since the birth of the famous Greek soprano, having its world premiere in Athens, with the collaboration of the National Symphony Orchestra and the Choir "Fons Musicalis" under the direction of Kostis Konstandaras.
Director Tom Volf, after his award winning documentary film "Maria by Callas", has staged the sold out performances of "Maria Callas Letters & Memoirs” interpreted by Monica Bellucci who captivated the Athens audience in 2021. Tom Volf now returns to Herodes Atticus and collaborates again with the cultural organization “Lykofos” and producer Yorgos Lykiardopoulos, this time with a brand new production of Bellini's NORMA dedicated to Maria Callas.
Norma, Callas' favorite role, which she sang a total of 92 times on stage - more than any other role - will be presented at the Acropolis in the ancient theatre of Herodes Atticus, where Callas herself sang in 1944 and in 1957. In Greece, the country where she gave one of her most legendary performances of Norma in 1960 in Epidaurus.
For this great undertaking, Tom Volf assembled an excellent international cast. The famous Lebanese-Canadian soprano Joyce El-Khoury in the title role, who in 2022 was named by the Dallas Opera "Maria Callas Debut Artist of the Year" and with appearances at the operas of Chicago, Dallas, Tokyo and Montreal, while in the role of Pollione is the internationally renowned Greek tenor Mario Frangoulis, holder of the "Maria Callas" scholarship and with appearances in the most important stages of the world (La Scala in Milan, Carnegie Hall in New York, and Royal Albert Hall in London). He studied with Alfredo Kraus, and collaborated with Montserrat Caballé, and Angela Gheorgiu.
In the role debut of Adalgisa is the American mezzo-soprano Theresa Carlomagno, while Oroveso, Norma's father, is performed by the acclaimed young bass Sava Vemić, and tenor Alexander Marev making his role debut as Flavio.
Conducted by the renowned American conductor Eugene Kohn, who was chosen by Maria Callas to be her accompanist on the piano during her Masterclasses at the Juilliard School of New York in 1971 and was a student of the legendary conductor Fausto Cleva. In his unique career he has conducted some of the most historic opera stars such as Renata Tebaldi, Luciano Pavarotti and Placido Domingo.
The artistic team is completed by the great choreographer Ersie Pittas, the leading Greek set and costume designer Yiannis Metzikof and set designer David Negrin.
The Mixed Choir "Fons Musicalis" under the direction of Kostis Konstandaras participates in this international production.
The production is under the auspices of the Paris-based “Maria Callas Foundation”, which was co-founded in 2017 by her close friends as well as Tom Volf. It is today the largest international organization aiming to protect and promote the legacy of the great soprano.