“Eros” has been redesigned from scratch in the weeks following the Russian invasion. We speak from a place of loss, fear, pain, and war.
The piece gives space on personal documented testimonies from the Ukrainian team that follows the first moments of the invasion while on a fictional level a man visits the dead philosophers and poets of the “Symposium” in hope that he will regain his lost hope in humanity. Could art and personal testimonies reconstruct faith in humanity in the worse of times?
At the beginning of November 2021, ODC Ensemble and Elli Papakonstantinou began collaborating with NOVA OPERA – a group of young Ukrainian artists exploring new ways of developing music theatre. A wide team of Greek artists worked together with the Ukrainian performers towards the creation of “EROS”, a new opera production based on Plato’s Symposium. This large-scale project is supported by the Greek Ministry of Culture, the House of Europe, and the Performing Arts Fund NL. “EROS” uses algorithmic composition methods, the unique improvisational abilities of NOVA OPERA musicians, as well as the latest methods of writing music with artificial intelligence. After 4 months of rigorous research and development across Ukraine and Greece, the Greek artists would relocate to Kyiv in March – exactly one week after the invasion – to begin the physical rehearsal process, aiming for the international premiere at O. Festival (NL) at the end of May. Further performances are scheduled from 14th to 20th of June at the Municipal Theatre of Peiraeus, in Athens (GR).
The award-winning vocalist and multi-instrumentalist Katerina Fotinaki will perform live in “EROS”.
The perfοrmance incorporates Serhii Vilka’s (Nova Opera) compositional work that uses algorithmic compositional methods and is executed by the unique NOVA OPERA musicians who will work on the soundscapes of the performance, featuring lyrics in English, French, and Greek.
EROS & THE INVASION IN UKRAINE
Since Russia launched a full-scale military invasion of Ukraine on February 24, 2022, fighting has caused hundreds of civilian casualties and pushed tens of thousands of Ukrainians to flee to neighboring countries.
The invasion in Ukraine found the artists of NOVA OPERA- Serhii Vilka, soprano Anna Kirsh, baritone Andrey Koshman, baritone Ruslan Kirsh, Zhanna Marchinska – cello, Andrey Nadolskyi – percussion, Serhii Vilka – keyboard/flute, Elias Spricht – piano, escaping from Kyiv by electric car, trying to reach the Polish border. Some have succeeded, but Zhanna Marchinska has not yet been heard from, as she is in a city that is heavily bombed. Elli Papakonstantinou speaks daily with the Ukrainian artists via Zoom in shelters and all the show’s actors are in contact with each other and try to find ways to cross the Ukrainian border.
Direction and libretto: Elli Papakonstantinou (based on Plato)
Libretto: Louisa Arkoumanea
Music Composition: Katerina Fotinaki, Serhii Vilka
Set Designer Constantinos Chaldaios Live visuals: Giannis Papoutsis, Fanis Sakellariou
Assistant to the Director: Katerina Kataki
Video artist: Stephanie Sherriff
Assistant to the Director/Live Visuals: Fanis Sakellariou
Cast and Musicians:
Katerina Fotinaki ( voice, prepared guitar),Anna Kirsh [soprano],Andrey Koshman [baritone],Ruslan Kirsh [baritone],Zhanna Marchinska [cello],Andrey Nadolskyi [percussion],Serhii Vilka [keyboard, flute]
PREMIERE: O. Festival, Rotterdam, 26 May 2022, 12:00 & 18:00
Municipal Theatre of Peiraeus,Athens (GR), 14 June 2022- 20 June 2022.
International Tour, July 2022 onwards
With the collaboration of
Nova Opera, Ukraine