Greek National Opera
The Greek National Opera (GNO) is Greece’s sole opera house. Founded in 1939, the company had been preceded by a 150-year history of a flourishing opera tradition on the Ionian Islands and half a century of activity by the Hellenic Melodrama, an opera company which ran in various forms from 1888 to 1938. From the outset, the GNO repertory comprised operas, operettas and ballets. The opera company operated initially as part of the National Theatre and gave performances in its historic neoclassical building on central Aghiou Constantinou Street, designed by the famous German architect Ernst Ziller, while in 1958 the newly-built Olympia Theatre, which hosted the GNO’s productions for the following 59 years.
In March 2017, the Greek National Opera relocated to the Stavros Niarchos Foundation Cultural Center (SNFCC), designed by the renowned Italian architect Renzo Piano. Covering an area of 28,000 m2, the new GNO premises can only be compared with the most modern opera houses in the world. The high aesthetics, state-of-the-art acoustics and technological capacity, combined with a high-calibre artistic programme, offer to the audience a unique operatic experience.
The productions are hosted at two stages, the Stavros Niarchos Hall (1400 seats) and the Alternative Stage (400 seats), as well as at the open-air Odeon of Herodes Atticus Theatre during the summer, while various programmes are presented in other locations inside and outside its premises.
The Greek National Opera’s mission is to offer Greek and foreign audiences performances of opera, ballet, operetta, opera for children, musical, concerts, among others, and to commission new works to today’s leading opera composers. Moreover, GNO has already collaborated with numerous renowned Greek and foreign artists and counts many co-productions with the most prestigious European opera houses.
In the field of education, GNO has developed two lines of action: artist training (Professional School of Dance, Children’s Choir, Youth Opera, among others), and educational / social programmes (GNO Learning / Participation), open to everyone, regardless of age, cultural and social background, knowledge or skills.