Despite a time of economic uncertainty in Greece, lovers of classical music flocked to the beautiful Aegean Island of Syros for the Eleventh Annual International Festival of the Aegean. As in past years, the Festival, which ran from July 12 through July 24, was an unqualified success.
This year’s Festival of the Aegean showcased operas, oratorios, and symphonies, as well as contemporary and traditional music, and featured performers from Europe, the U.S. and Greece. A number of the performances were conducted by Peter Tiboris, Founder, General and Artistic Director of the Festival of the Aegean.
Festival of the Aegean Presents: Medea
The Festival opened on July 12 with Peter Tiboris conducting the first of four performances of Cherubini’s rarely-heard opera, Medea. Maestro Tiboris led the Pan-European Philharmonia of Warsaw, Poland, this year’s official Festival orchestra, at the Festival’s primary venue, the Apollo Theater (“La piccola scala”). Eilana Lappalainen sang the title role.
Choirs from Nebraska and New Jersey participated in the performances of Medea, Fauré’s Requiem conducted by William Wyman, an a cappella Sunset Concert of sacred music at St. Nicholas Greek Orthodox Church, as well as Mozart’s “Coronation” Mass and Beethoven’s Choral Fantasy for piano choir and orchestra, both conducted by Maestro Tiboris. This year’s U.S. choruses included Lincoln Choral Artists, Nebraska Wesleyan University Choir, and St. Paul United Methodist Church Chancel Choir, Lincoln, NE; Central Community College Spectrum, Columbus, NE; Western Nebraska Community College Collegiate Chorale, Scottsbluff, NE; and Children’s Chorus of Sussex County, NJ.
Trio 92 from Vienna, Austria, the 2014 Gina Bachauer Award Laureate, performed Beethoven’s Triple Concerto under Peter Tiboris; ACTE II: Opera Duo, finalists in 2014’s “America’s Got Talent” TV show, performed Boccherini’s “Stabat Mater” under Zoe Zeniodi and a recital of American songs and spirituals; and ZZ Trio/Athens performed “Mediterra,” a program of Mediterranean Breezes for Voice, Flute, and Piano.
Greek Art and Performance:
Greek Art Songs and Operetta in the early 20th Century were explored by sopranos Lydia Zervanos and Marilena Striftobola with pianist Pantelis Polychronidis, and “Prelude for a Saxophone and Piano” was performed by saxophonist Theodoros Kerkezos and pianist Christos Papageorgiou.
Additional programs of opera and vocal music were presented by the Greek Opera Studio, which was founded by soprano Eilana Lappalainen. On July 20, Greek Opera Studio presented children’s operas, Celius Dougherty’s Many Moons and Prokofiev’s Peter and the Wolf. Liederabend, a program of international lieder featuring the artists of the Greek Opera Studio, took place on July 21, and Puccini’s Suor Angelica was performed on July 22. The Festival of the Aegean concluded on July 24 with Greek Opera Studio’s Gala performance of arias and opera scenes.
For more information about performing in 2016 in Carnegie Hall in New York; Macau, Hangzhou, and Beijing, China; Vienna, Austria; Florence, Italy; or Syros, Greece, call MidAmerica Productions at 212-239-0205; email firstname.lastname@example.org; or visit our website at www.midamerica-music.com/home.