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Mystery 107 Persephone


Mystery 107 Persephone

Mystery 107 Persephone, with music composition by Dimitris Maragopoulos and conception, libretto and direction by Elli Papakonstantinou, following its sold-out world premiere at the Athens Concert Hall, is coming to the cultural venue Cine Eleusis for two unique performances on February 24 and 25.

Credits:

Music Composition: Dimitris Maragopoulos
Concept Ι Libretto Ι Direction: Elli Papakonstantinou
Stage Design: Loukia Martha
Costume Design: Fotini Georgiou
Lightning Design: Zois Loumakis
1st Assistant Director: Spyros Sourvinos
2nd Assistant Director: Rea Samaropoulou
3rd Assistant Director: Irini Petropoulou
Choir Master: Christina Varsami-Koukni
Choir Movement Director: Aimilia Tsami
Video Art: Katerina Savvoglou – Elli Papakonstantinou
Stage Design Assistants: Nina Panou, Daphne Papathymiopoulou, Nada Abtrambo, Iro Livaditi, Dimitris Kontogiorgos
Editing, Dubbing and Mixing of Electroacoustic Musical Media: Zorzes Katris
Sound Editor: Brian Coon
Recording and Editing of Music Text: Chryssa Foti
Technical Consultant: Andreas Mniestris, Ionian University, Electroacoustic Musical Research and Applications Lab
Musical Preparation, Keyboards: Spiros Souladakis
Cello: Stella Tembreli
Conductor: Dimitris Ktistakis
Photographer: Alex Kat 
Trailer: Dimitris Palaiologos 
Cast: Savina Giannatou (Demeter), Alkiviadis Konstandopoulos 
(Hermes), Anna-Anastasia Smerou (Persephone), Ilya Algaer (Pluto)


Young Persephone: Μaira ManiaraChoir GraduΑrti (Arsakeion – Tositseion School Graduates)
Music Group (youth choir of Arsakeion – Tositseion School)

Information:

Dates of performances: Saturday 24 and Sunday 25 of February
Time: 21:00
Location: Cine Eleusis (Eleftheriou Venizelou 45, Elefsina, 19200)
Duration: 90 minutes without intermission
Ticket price: General admission 20€, Reduced 10€ (students, 65+, unemployed, people with disabilities & companions)

Ticket presale here.

Mystery 107 Persephone, following its sold-out premiere at the Athens Concert Hall, is coming to the cultural venue of Cine Eleusis for two unique performances on February 24 and 25. Music composition by Dimitris Maragopoulos and concept, libretto and direction by Elli Papakonstantinou. 

The work explores the boundaries between contemporary opera and theatre, offering the audience a poetic narrative in an artistic environment where live video and opera interact and enrich each other captivatingly in what the director calls cinematic opera. The roles are performed by Savina Giannatou, Alkiviadis Konstantopoulos, Anna-Anastasia Smerou and Ilya Algaer, with Dimitris Ktistakis as conductor.

The performance explores the eternal, secret relationship between life and death. Drawing inspiration from the world of ancient Greek philosophy and mythology, it remains firmly rooted in the present. Persephone, Demeter, Pluto and Hermes lead us through the intersections of ancient myths, psychoanalysis, ecology and feminism. Voices from diverse cultures such as India, Mongolia, Tibet, Bali and the Mediterranean intertwine with those of lyrical singers and choirs, as well as otherworldly, emotionally charged electronic and instrumental sounds. It presents an “alternative” narrative of life, starting with the abduction of the Daughter and portraying death not as a realm of exclusion but as a space for interaction with earthly existence.

A few words about the performance by Dimitris Maragopoulos

“The myth of Demeter and Persephone is closely intertwined with the Eleusinian Mysteries, which represent the secret relationships of decay and rebirth. This archaic procession, which is the ultimate initiation with all its condensed messages, takes place in an environment that mobilises the imagination and the fantasies of musical creation.” 

“For the journey of the four protagonists – Persephone, Demeter, Pluto, and Hermes – and the plot of the performance, I created a kind of musical ritual, an archaic event that penetrates into the Underworld, into the deep world of the unconscious, but also into the light.” 

Authentic vocal material from different cultures, electronic and natural sounds and timbres of musical instrument tones flow in a mysterious environment, where meditation mantras, rhythmic rituals, operatic dialogues, and memories of pure and innocent melodic material coexist. An environment that harmonises and interacts with the staging, the moving images, the evocative lighting, the costumes and stage props.”

Director Elli Papakonstantinou talks about “Persephone”

“The play was written in the libraries of Stanford University where I spent six months as a 2019 Fulbright Award honouree, retrieving unknown occult texts that were incorporated into the project in their entirety. The libretto follows the Homeric narrative of the Demeter and Persephone myth, but there are also references to Orphic hymns. Having access to ancient fragments, I drew from my empirical relationship with the esoteric school of Sufism to transform them into a bilingual libretto intended to be sung and be the starting point for a poetic composition where the human voice and the image meet.

In ‘Persephone,’ the Daughter is the seed that will blossom in the Earth. Demeter is the version of the earlier goddess Gaia. She is harmed and wronged by violence against all femininities, the exploitation of the weak and animals, the draining of her juices. Pluto is the great Serpent mirrored in the pupil of the Eye of the Daughter; and Hermes, the psychopomp that penetrates all dimensions. At the heart of my ‘Persephone’ is the feminine, the seed that will blossom as a soft force from the depths of becoming… to burst into this world with an ‘ah’ sung by the mythical soul.”

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