Japan and Europe – my first impression

When asked about the differences between Japan and Europe, I really don’t know where to start from. There are so many particularities in every aspect, which create a feeling of being in another planet!

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My first impressions from this time’s visit were as soon as I landed. Tokyo Haneda airport: thousands of people, huge spaces, all quiet and clean! Same conditions at the streets: traffic, many pedestrians, but still, almost no sound of it at all! Feels like watching a movie on mute mode!

All is calm, stress-free, at peace, slow. Which brings me to another peculiarity that I noticed: slow traffic, but, very fast cars. The fastest on the market, actually! It was confusing, to see the streets’ impeccable conditions – no holes, no bumps, good visibility, signs everywhere – and to see all these fast cars driving so slowly! I can understand that the speed limit in the city is low, but I was dazzled to discover that the speed limit on highways is just 80 Klm/h!!

What runs superfast is the Internet! Most people are using their smartphones or tablets, when they were commuting, eating, and even when they are walking. Internet reception works fine in the Metro, which can be 40 meters underground.

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 Tokyo is so far the cleanest place I have ever been. All public spaces are regularly cleaned, even if they are already spotless! Trash bins don’t exist at the streets and smoking is allowed only in designated areas, indoors or outdoors. It is not allowed to smoke out on the street, but there are smoking areas in several places, also permitted in some restaurants.

Design and care for detail is everywhere! In how people dress, how food is ornamented, how shops take care of their windows.

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What touched me the most in Japan, is the character of humbleness and the sense of respect. When a person is talking, even if you don’t agree in the full, you stay quiet and listen carefully – there is always a possibility to learn something new, and the urge to prove that you know everything is just useless!

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Respect between colleagues, in the family, towards a guest or a customer, but most of all, respect for Sensei – the Teacher. The literal translation of Sensei is “person born before another”, making absolute sense in this way, to esteem someone who is older than yourself, obviously being more experienced, probably possessing more knowledge and information! How is this so indisputable in Japan and so hard to find in most of Europe in our times? A Professor, a Conductor, a Lecturer or a Soloist is a Sensei and the authority that this person has is simply undeniable.

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All of my Japanese experience was for me a Sensei, teaching me new things and reminding me of old important values, for which I am truly grateful!

Dariusz

EL GRECO – last rehearsals…

The preparation for the Premiere of “El Greco” – a new Greek Opera by George Hatzinasios at 19 and 20 of May – is gradually reaching the final phase. We are now connecting all the elements: music, singing, dance, drama, lights, scenery etc..

Last rehearsals with the Orchestra – we are working on the harmonies, dynamics, tempi – creating the base for the singers and the dancers..

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Theofilos Ioannidis slowly starts to believe that we are in the right character and using proper articulation🙂 Thank you😉

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In the meantime at the Theatre, the Stage and Drama will be ready. Vasilis Anastasiou – Stage Director is leaving the building just for a few hours during the day and night! How can a creative work proceed without sleep and proper rest?.. – it is only his secret..

He is responsible for (almost) everything – personally checking every details of the scenery, lights, requisite etc..

Direttore_2On the stage the last scenes – trying out the most fitting expressions… (Dario Di Vietri “El Greco”, Silvia Dalla Benetta “Sofia” and Sotiris Triantis “Peter”)

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… end appropriate gestures …

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Paul Zachariades “Icarus”

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Today’s Birthday-child – Dario Di Vietri with Maria Thomopoulou – reggie assistant and choreographer

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Partners are watching very carefully what is happening on the stage – always ready for more or less “helpful” comments ..😉

Here Omar Kamata “Tiziano”, Carlo Torriani “Molino”, Theofilos Ioannidis “Kalogeros”, Benjamin Chatzikoumparoglou (our pianist) and Silvia Dalla Benetta “Sofia” (checking the latest social-media-comments..😉 )

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Eugene Gunko “Inquisitore” found the right spot to seat..

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… just next to ballet ensemble during warm-up …

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The orchestra pit is ready as well…

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George Hatzinasios is watching all of this with great calmness and good spirit – he knows that he composed a great Opera – we know it too!!

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By the way – there are some articles in the official Greek media about the “El Greco”

NEWS 247 click here

and Video by Antenna click here

Click for more official information in English language

Click for more official information in German language

Click for Tickets

To be continued.. 🙂

Dariusz

“EL GRECO” with Orchestra and Chorus

Opera is the perfect unity of all kind of artistic languages. Along with drama theatre we have orchestra music, singers, choir, dancers, light installation, video projection and much more..

Orchestra…

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… Choir

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… and all together

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Assembling an opera project is quite a process..

The preparation begins with separate teams: Soloists work with the Stage Director, musicians and all singers with the Music Director, dancers with the Choreographer etc..

It is crucial to find a way of good cooperation between us all🙂 – here George Hatzinasios (composer), Chrisοula Tsimοuri (Choir Director) and me, during Orchestra/Choir rehearsal in ERT (Radio-Television Greece/Athens)

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To find the right balance between the Orchestra, Choir and Soloists, we are all working very hard. The title role “El Greco” – Dario Di Vietri is, of course, always involved in the process🙂

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… always inspiring us with his wonderful voice …

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Theofilos Ioannidis, who is performing in “EL GRECO” 3 characters (!!!) – Kalogeros, Paravithinio and III Inquisitor – here during the rehearsal – always concentrated😉

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Cheerful as usual – the Horn section!🙂

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… and Trombones …

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… it can be possible, that sometimes the musicians will need a conductor …!

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… just someone who will show the “ONE” …

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… so far, the preparation of the musical part is finished  – we can move to the Theatre … on the Stage …

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… and on the right side of the Building …  “EL GRECO”, our Opera …

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🙂

With the Choir on the Stage..

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An excellent Conductor, my friend, maestro Michalis Economou, visited the stage rehearsal. He helped with the preparation of the NTUA Choir. Thank you Michalis, you are always WELCOME!!🙂

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Click for more official informations in English language

Click for more official informations in German language

Click for Tickets

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To be continued.. 🙂

Dariusz

“EL GRECO” – meeting the Theatre

“El Greco” moved to the Theatre – wonderful renovated renaissance style building in Piraeus

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For Dario Di Vietri (El Greco – tenor) already a second Home🙂

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We are so excited.. and maybe (just at the beginning) a bit lost.. but it is, I think, natural.. – such an impressive place will leave everybody dazzled …

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… what to do? where to go? when? why? – he has the answers for all questions – Vasilis Anastasiou – the Stage Director🙂

Direttore_TheatreAngelos Karaindros (Production Director) and George Hatzinasios (Composer) are examining all the details – stage, light, rhythm, musical phrase etc..

Stage_Director_HatzinasiosThe spirit of Art and creativity is everywhere – optimism and humor as well🙂 – here with Carlo Torriani (Governor Molino)

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Harris Andrianos (Manolis) –

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Dario Di Vietri, Eugene Gunko (Grand Inquisitor), Carlo Torriani

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and of course our passionate choreographer – Maria Thomopoulou🙂

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… during creating a scene with Dario and Silvia Della Benetta (Sofia)

– in the second plan Christos Priftis (Painter) and Sotiris Triantis (Peter)

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Sometimes (not very often…) the stage Director is giving us a 3 minutes break – a fantastic opportunity for our great pianist, Benjamin Chatzikoumparoglou to play with his favorite toy…

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My small work-place and.. important tools..

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All of this is essential for the creation of an Opera, Theatre and drama..

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Click for more official informations in English language

Click for more official informations in German language

Click for Tickets

To be continued..🙂

Dariusz

“El Greco” – Dario Di Vietri and first meeting with the Orchestra

Could you imagine an Opera without Stars?

I cannot imagine “El Greco” without our Star-Tenor – Dario Di Vietri !!

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With his beautiful voice, natural charm and stage charisma, he is incarnating the title role of “El Greco” as a renaissance lover of beauty and Art…

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… sometimes we are singing together – of course with the composer – Maestro Hatzinasios on the piano🙂

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In the meantime we started the Orchestra rehearsals. It is such an inspiring sensation, to play music which was never performed before.. First contact with the piece, feeling the melody and the rhythm, exploring the emotions..

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Wonderful musicians of the Orchestra with the happiest section – Horn players🙂

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Maestro Hatzinasios is constantly with us – a deliverer of inspiration and infinite optimism, always checking every musical harmony :) 
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Can’t wait to start the Stage rehearsals… – just a few days more of waiting.. and working…🙂

To be continued..

Dariusz

“El Greco” – Opera in process

Making Opera is a long and complicated process. It takes a brilliant composer and a devoted, hard-working team of artists, to compile music, libretto and drama, for the beauty of Opera to be captured. We have the pleasure and great honor to be a part of this creation. We, the “El Greco” team!!

The composer – George Hatzinasios: without him,”El Greco” would not come to life…

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…playing piano, showing the right way of interpretation, always accompanied by his good mood and immense optimism.

Stage Director “DIRETTORE” – Vasilis Anastasiou: the man of creativity, inspiration and “magic” on the stage.

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He knows and shows exactly where is the “ONE” in the drama and in the music🙂

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Silvia Dalla Benetta – a beautiful person with an angelic voice :)

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… always professional…

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You know Silvia as “Violetta” in Verdi’s “La Traviata” or “Norma” in Bellini’s master Opera. Not only a great music interpreter,  she also knows how to “die with a smile”!🙂

.. with Christos Delizonas as a very sad “El Greco”😀

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Omar Kamata – baritone lirico. His professionalism and bass melodies are the foundation of our work!

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When someone or something is moving or dancing on the stage, only one person knows exactly when, where and how to do it properly. Our skillful and competent choreographer, Maria Thomopoulou!

ElGreco_Maria_solo.. with her natural lightness and elegance, she can “move” without any effort our team (-of 250 kg total)!😀

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Benjamin Chatzikoumparoglou (Pianist) – who in his breaks is presenting us a mix of Rachmaninov-Tchaikovsky-Grieg-Schumann-piano-concerti!! Here with Theofilos Ioannidis (baritone)🙂

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Marios Kazas (Pianist) – coaching our tenor, Christos Delizonas (“El Greco”).

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…to be continued!

Dariusz

P.S. feel free to leave your (kind) comments!😀

“EL GRECO” – first (piano) rehearsal

We started!! TUTTI (…almost) !!!  :)

Tutti_speachOpening with a great speech by the Stage Director – Vasilis Anastasiou – a man of vision, ideas and most of all knowledge and fantasy – so important for the Opera, which is a world of beauty, music, dance and also of great history.. Thank you Vasilis – you know how to bring magic to the audience.. !!🙂

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The atmosphere was quite relaxed – Maria Hatzinasios made everyone feel warmly welcome!

Silvia Dalla Benetta (Sofia) and Omar Kamara (Manolio) – both from Italy, know how to match work with a bit of sweet.. :) 

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Great singers and of course: Maestro George Hatzinasios on the Piano! ..how else could it be??

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In the era of digital kingdom, where life happens in high speed velocity, we seem to have forgotten about the most essential element in the Art of Music: the Melody!

George Hatzinasios’ EL GRECO is here to remind everyone of how music can uplift our spirits, where the Melody is the key factor for the creation of a deep and meaningful communication between our hearts…

Silvia Dalla Benetta (Sofia) preparing for a beautiful duo with

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Marita Paparizou (Sylvana)

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Sotiris Triantis – wonderful baritone making small corrections in his partition – Maestro Hatzinasios has never enough of artistic character.

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It is such a great feeling, to work on a piece of music which has never been performed… It is like sculpting… or painting… At first you can’t have a clear image of how it will be.. But then..

EL GRECO!!!

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