Greece Theater and Music


Only at the turn of the twentieth century the theater in Greece begins its real rise, breaking the barriers of provincialism. From the literary point of view, authors such as B. Anninos, N. Laskaris and Á. Vlachos introduce themes inspired by everyday reality and translate many works of foreign dramaturgy, while, thanks to the Nuova Scena foundation (1901-1905) and the establishment of the Royal Theater (1901-1908), an external renewal of the staging is carried out. scenic. A prominent place in this revival of the theater belongs to G. Xenópulos (1867-1951) who, with a skilful architecture of the plot, a lively characterization of the characters, a deep psychological penetration and the adequate representation of moods and social problems, creates dramas of considerable depth such as The secret of the countess Valèrena. Ibsen’s theater very closely influences the works of authors such as P. Nirvanas (1866-1937), G. Kambísis (1872-1901) and in a certain sense also the works of D. Tangopulos (1860-1926), who however he soon became fascinated by socialist ideas and came to create works that would make him define the greatest representative of the “theater of ideas”. Another important figure is that of S. Melàs (1883-1966), very interesting author for the psychology and humanity of his characters (The son of the shadow, Red shirt, Black and white). Furthermore, it is his merit for having introduced Pirandello’s theater on the Greek stage. To the same generation belongs P. Chorn (1881-1941), who brought realism to the theater, distinguished by the happy representation of types of the popular classes. Among his works we remember Bocciolo, Ponentino, Flandrò. Along the same lines as Chorn we can place the works of K. Bastias (1901-72), The stone of scandal, Nocturnal bird, while a satirical vein pervades the works of T. Moraitínis (1875-1952) and T. Sinadinos. Authors such as D. Bogris, famous for the drama Engagement, Á. Terzakís for the Byzantine tragedies (Emperor Michael, Cross and Sword, etc.) and B. Rotas, especially for Rigas Veestinlis. Famous authors in other fields of literature have also successfully ventured into the theater. This is the case of K. Palamâs, with his tragedy in verse Trisevjeni; by N. Kazantzákis with numerous plays including Nicephorus Phocas, Prometheus, Odysseus; by Á. Sikelianós with the Dithyramb of roses, Daedalus in Crete and The death of Dighenis. After the Second World War, the social transformation and the birth of the petty bourgeoisie gave a definitive turning point to the neo-Greek theater. A turning point that begins with The courtyard of miracles (1957) by I. Kambanellis, (b. 1922), which opens a very rich trend and decrees the definitive Europeanization of neo-Greek dramaturgy. Fundamental is the contribution of the so-called “generation of the Sixties”, which includes authors such as B. Ziogas, D. Kechaidis, S. Karràs, P. Matesis, K. Murselas, M. Pontikas, G. Skurtis. Their themes and their aesthetic choices were then variously developed by another school of authors who appeared on the scenes in the seventies; among them we remember: M. Efthimiadis, A. Sevastakis, G. Maniotis, P. Markazis, K. Mitropùlu, G. Dialegmenos, M. Korrès.


In the modern age there is a rich popular tradition in Greece and, from the century. XIX, a production of cultured music, called Neo-Hellenic. According to aparentingblog, popular music reveals very ancient roots, dating back to the Byzantine era: however, it had its period of greatest development in the centuries of Turkish domination. The rich heritage of songs and dances, partly preserved, includes songs for weddings, funeral, convivial, work, pastoral songs, etc.; particularly noteworthy are the songs of the clefti and the songs of liberation, intended for the male voice only and characterized, like most of the Greek vocal repertoire, which is essentially monodic, by great melismatic richness and rhythmic freedom. The dances are also of great importance, including the Cretan pyrríchios, the syrtós and the tráta (dance of fishermen). Among the most used instruments are the lyra (a sort of rebeca, which has nothing in common with the ancient lyre), the sanduri (lute), the pipiza (oboe) and the tsambuna (bagpipe), as well as different types of tambourines, drums etc. The resumption of a cultured musical life took place only after the conquest of independence. The Athens Conservatory was founded in 1871. The first notable composer was N. Mantzaros (1795-1872), a pupil of Zingarelli in Naples and linked to the ways of Italian opera, like his pupils S. Xyndas (1814-96), P. Carrer (1829-96) and S. Samaras (1863-1917), whose works were successfully represented in Italy. With the next generation, the foundations of a national school inspired by local folklore were laid: after D. Lavrangas (1864-1941) and G. Lambelet (1875-1945), it had its most significant exponent in M. Kalomiris (1883) -1962), which also welcomed influences from Wagner and Strauss. In addition to the national tradition, M. Varvoghlis (1885-1967), D. Levidis (1886-1951) and E. Riadhis (1890-1935) looked to French impressionism. Another group of musicians was formed in Germany and among them D. Mitropulos emerged (1896-1960), best known as a brilliant conductor. Twentieth-century European music also influenced authors such as K. Perpessas (1907-95) and N. Skalkottas (1904-49), a pupil of Schönberg and internationally known. Of similar stature is I. Xenakis (1922-2001), one of the protagonists of the most recent and advanced musical research. Also worthy of mention is M. Theodorakis (b. 1925), popular above all as a songwriter and film music.

Greece Theater and Music

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