La Scala in Milan, this historical institution of cultural production not only for Italy, but also for the world lyric data, is synonymous with the concept of Opera in everyone’s consciousness. Its productions, as well as its faculty itself, guarantee a perpetual spectacle and quality. For this reason, the concert of the masters of the Academy of Music of the Scala Theater of Milan in the hall of the Parnassos Philological Association, on Thursday October 19, as well as its continuation on October 21 in Ermoupoli, are an important event for the lyrical events in our country.

The very program of the performance, which includes some of the popular, but at the same time, more demanding arias of lyric melodrama (from major works such as The Barber of Seville, The Elixir of Love, Boehm, The Tales of Hoffmann or Werther), demonstrates the high standard of the young performers and that these are lyric performers almost ready to excel on the international Opera stage. After all, the quality of the students of the famous Italian Opera Theater had the opportunity to be seen by the spectators at Apollon in Syros in 2021 as well, when another group of students from La Scala were also in Greece at that time and had performed their dialect program with particular success .

As the head of the music department of La Scala, Daniele Borniketz, pointed out to APE-MBE, “it is a great happiness that the collaboration with the Italian Institute of Athens is repeated for this tour of the Academy for the Perfection in Lyrical Music of the Teatro La Scala in Milan for the two concerts at Parnassos in Athens and the Apollo Theater in Syros. It is an experience that we are repeating after 2 years and the great success that the performances had 2 years ago with another group of performers. This year we have the pleasure of repeating the performances with students who obtained their degrees, just the previous Sunday after the official concert for the end of their two years of studies. They are the mezzo-soprano Mara Gaudenci, the tenor Hyun-Seo Davide Park and the soprano Greta Doveri, who will be accompanied on the piano by Jong Un Kim, who was also our student and is now principal pianist at the Teatro Reggio in Turin.”

“The collaboration of the Teatro de la Scala in Milan with the Italian Institutes around the world begins 20 years ago. We have presented performances all over the world and organized this collaboration thanks to the special link with the relevant department of the Italian Ministry of Foreign Affairs, which every year also provides scholarships to foreign music students to study at our Academy every year. We are happy to be able to present once again the repertoire of Italian opera to the world,” he added.


But it is no coincidence that the excellent students of Scala and future protagonists of the stage, appear in these two emblematic spaces. Both Parnassos, but especially the Apollo Theater of Syros, from the time of their foundation, contributed to the promotion of lyrical melodrama in our country. And in fact as a priority the Italian melodrama, which already from the liberation of the Greek state began to infuse dialect performers in the still backward Greece. Besides, the Italian melodrama, a large part of its subject matter is made up of symbolic representations of the corresponding Italian struggle for independence (Risorgimento). The librettos of Verdi, Rossini, Donizetti and Bellini, with their appeal to the (yet unborn) Italian homeland and the ideals of the nation, found an almost contemporary resonance in the newly liberated, but still unredeemed, Greece and the patriotic fervor of the Italians was reminiscent of artifacts of the Greek revolution.

The particularity of the Italian repertoire is also emphasized by Mr. Borniketz in his interview with APE-MPE: “It is a repertoire that is a distinct factor of our national tradition and Italian identity. And we should remember that more than 50% of the repertoire presented in the opera theaters of the world is in the Italian language and belongs to our great and emblematic composers. Suffice it to remind you that Giuseppe Verdi is the most “highlighted” composer in the world – even today – and this year we celebrate the 100th anniversary of Giacomo Puccini’s death. For this reason, we really feel great joy that we will be in Athens and Syros”.

Moreover, the entry of Italian Opera into Greece took place gradually, although at first in sketchy scenes, but also thanks to the mediation of the Iptanesians and their familiarity with the genre, as well as with the quality of its music, it was finally accepted. And in fact, before the newly created state created its own tradition of folk song (Athenian cantada, then the folk-rebetiko song), lyrical arias and more Greek versions of the Opera (e.g. in the Athenian operetta) were popular for quite some time in the general population.

Of particular importance is the concert of the Scala Academy and in Syros, a place which – thanks to its commercial boom in the mid-19th century and its contacts with Italy – saw the Opera flourish in its pride, the excellent hall of Apollo and in fact to be an even more dialect destination for lyrical drama even than the Greek capital. After all, samples of the special relationship and popularity of the genre in Syros can well be seen in the unsurpassed short stories of Emmanuel Roidis – mainly in the riveting ethograph of “Psychology of a Syrian Wife”.

In the organization of these very important performances, which highlight the long tradition between the Italian lyric scene and the development of Opera in our country, the Italian Institute of Athens and its director Francesco Neri collaborated in a subtle but particularly productive way, as Mr. Borniketz also reminded APE-MPE.

What is certain is that the spectators who manage to find themselves at Parnassos on Thursday October 19 in Athens and on Saturday October 21 at the “Apollo” Theater in Syros will have the opportunity to enjoy a special experience and perhaps admire some of its future protagonists Opera at a global level.

Concert of Outstanding Students of the Music Department of La Scala in Milan

October 19, 2023, 8:30 p.m., Parnassos Philological Journal Hall, St. Georgiou Karytsi 8, Athens (Free entrance)

October 21, 2023, 8:00 p.m., “Apollo” Lyric Theater, Ermoupoli, Syros (Free entry)