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Against Whatever War: Mikis Theodorakis’ Operatic Lysistrata

Against Whatever War: Mikis Theodorakis’ Operatic Lysistrata Abstract: Greek composer Mikis Theodorakis’ opera Lysistrata , based on Aristophanes’ comedy, premiered in Athens in April 2002. Theodorakis, who has shrewdly combined politics and art throughout his career, created both the libretto and the score for this politically charged, anti-war opera. The composer claims that Lysistrata is his last opera, and as such, I argue that it may be read as a summa of Theodorakis’ joint artistic and political career. This paper analyzes referential and political content in the score, in the libretto, and in Giorgos Michailidis’ premiere production, and also considers how external political circumstances in early 2002 lent further timeliness and relevance to the opera’s plea for peace. http://www.deepdyve.com/assets/images/DeepDyve-Logo-lg.png Syllecta Classica Department of Classics @ the University of Iowa

Against Whatever War: Mikis Theodorakis’ Operatic Lysistrata

Syllecta Classica , Volume 19 – Apr 1, 2008

Against Whatever War: Mikis Theodorakis’ Operatic Lysistrata


: 203-219 AGAINST WHATEVER WAR: MIKIS THEODORAKIS' OPERATIC LYSISTRATA ANDREW EARLE SIMPSON Abstract: Greek composer Mikis Theodorakis' opera Lysistrata, based on Aristophanes' comedy, premiered in Athens in April 2002. Theodorakis, who has shrewdly combined politics and art throughout his career, created both the libretto and the score for this politically charged, anti-war opera. The composer claims that Lysistrata is his last opera, and as such, I argue that it may be read as a summa of Theodorakis' joint artistic and political career. This paper analyzes referential and political content in the score, in the libretto, and in Giorgos Michailidis' premiere production, and also considers how external political circumstances in early 2002 lent further timeliness and relevance to the opera's plea for peace.* INTRODUCTION: MIKIS THEODORAKIS AS LEFT-WING POLITICIAN AND MUSICIAN Few, if any, contemporary classical composers enjoy the level of fame and veneration that Greek composer Mikis Theodorakis has attained in his own country. Throughout his decades-long career, the composer has shrewdly combined politics and art; by way of recordings, concert tours, and live performances, he has employed his music to convey left-wing political messages and to serve political ends. * I am very grateful to Gonda van Steen, the respondent for this panel, for suggestions that have improved this paper both in substance and in detail; to Gesine Manuwald and Hallie Marshall for their editorial supervision of this project; and to Peter Green for overseeing its publication in Syllecta Classica. I would also like to express my deep gratitude to Mikis Theodorakis, his daughter Margarita, and his personal assistant Rena Parmenidou for their generous sharing of both time and materials during my ongoing work on this subject. Any shortcomings which remain, of course, are my own. A BRIEF SUMMARY OF THEODORAKIS' CAREER Born in 1925, Theodorakis has been...
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Department of Classics @ the University of Iowa
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Abstract

Abstract: Greek composer Mikis Theodorakis’ opera Lysistrata , based on Aristophanes’ comedy, premiered in Athens in April 2002. Theodorakis, who has shrewdly combined politics and art throughout his career, created both the libretto and the score for this politically charged, anti-war opera. The composer claims that Lysistrata is his last opera, and as such, I argue that it may be read as a summa of Theodorakis’ joint artistic and political career. This paper analyzes referential and political content in the score, in the libretto, and in Giorgos Michailidis’ premiere production, and also considers how external political circumstances in early 2002 lent further timeliness and relevance to the opera’s plea for peace.

Journal

Syllecta ClassicaDepartment of Classics @ the University of Iowa

Published: Apr 1, 2008

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