Georgia's international opera star Anita Rachvelishvili will lead the launch of the Greek National Opera's three-month-long festival this month, with the event set to bring dozens of performances to archaeological sites across the country.
The mezzo-soprano will step onto a stage at Athens' Roman Agora site on July 18 to bring her vocal talent to bear in renditions of arias from operas by composers including Camille Saint-Saëns, Giuseppe Verdi and Giacomo Meyerbeer.
With the show, Rachvelishvili will return to the capital two years following her appearance in the Greek company's production of Carmen, an iconic role for the singer who "has been carving out a hugely successful trajectory at the world’s leading opera houses" (festival organisers).
[T]he much sought-after Rachvelishvili – whom Riccardo Mutti described as 'the best mezzo-soprano today on the planet'[...] returns to Greece for her first solo recital," a preview from organisers said.
The event, promised by organisers to be a "unique operatic experience" and led by conductor Lukas Karytinos, will open the Athens company's series of over 100 events held at 70 archaeological sites across three months. Performers will feature in selections involving arias, classical music and dance productions presented by the GNO Ballet troupe.
The move takes the opportunity offered by the Ministry of Culture and Sports of Greece through its initiative to use archaeological sites as open-air performance venues, in the realm of COVID-19 complications for theatres and troupes in closed spaces.
Between July 18-September 15, it will comprise 20 different programmes in music, opera, operetta and dance for 111 performances, to mark a "return to the relationship between the artists and the audience" in the post-lockdown reality.
The full programme of the festival can be viewed on the official GNO website.