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President's Message
Master Class
Press Release


The efforts of the Company for the Opera Building and the 'Maria Callas' Opera Academy, which was set up on 31 July 2000 on the personal initiative and with the support of well-known figures from the whole of the country's social fabric, have had as their vision the realisation of the major task of creating a suitable building for our Opera House, in parallel with the foundation of an Opera Academy which will bear the name of Maria Callas, a tribute to the greatest of musical artists.

Our Company, in the course of the eight years since its foundation, has held concerts and painting exhibitions, and has compiled studies and an approximate budget for the expenditure and designs required for the creation of the New National Opera House Building and the 'Maria Callas' Opera Academy. It has also held a unique exhibition entitled 'In the Maria Callas Constellation - the origins of a myth', with objects, rare personal documents, and videos of the testimony of prominent figures and an interview with Callas herself.

All these important activities have had as their aim the sensitisation of public opinion and the exertion of pressure on the state, since such an undertaking cannot remain a private one.

It is within this philosophy that a series of contacts with figures in the world of politics and finance - among them the 'Stavros Niarchos' Foundation - should be seen.

Thus this Foundation's recent announcement that it is undertaking in full the building of the Opera in the Phaleron Delta and to deliver it to the Ministry of Culture, which is the official agency to which the National Opera belongs, brought the greatest satisfaction to the members of the Company, given that this outcome constitutes the successful culmination of inexhaustible efforts over a whole decade.

As President of the Company, I am joined by the members of the Board, with the support of Partners and Friends, in continuing our task of making the Opera Academy which will bear the name of Maria Callas a reality. It is important that such an Academy of Music should be set up in this country, so that the quality of musical education should be re-defined and that study there should of equal status with that at the Academies and Schools of music of Europe, and should be recognised by them as such.

The Opera Academy cannot, unfortunately, for purely technical reasons, be established next to the Opera as we originally envisioned; for that reason, we have orientated ourselves towards a building of great historical value, directly bound up with the life of Maria Callas.

The Opera Academy is intended to become a place for the acquisition of Experience and Knowledge, especially for the talented who are destined to achieve distinction at an international level, after being equipped for this in a way worthy of the Academies of Europe.

Let me conclude by adding that in this Academy an Archive will be created, with the collaboration of collectors of rare recordings and unpublished archival material concerned with Opera, and more especially with Maria Callas, to which students at the Academy will have access.

Vasso Papantoniou