December 2013

4 - 8 December 2013

Onassis Cultural Center

"Aesop's fables" by Dimitris Papadimitriou
A musical fairytale for singers, orchestra and shadow puppets

The Camerata conducted by George Petrou and Tasos Simenonidis

Myrsini Margariti (soprano)
Irini Karaianni (mezzo soprano)
Nikos Spanatis (countertenor)
Dimitris Nalbantis (tenor)
Haris Andrianos (baritone) 

Dimitris Papadimitriou "Aesop's fables"

The Onassis Cultural Centre commissioned Dimitris Papadimitriou to compose a multi-part musical work taking Aesop’s fables as his starting point. The project’s aim is to encourage Greek composers to create a repertoire of such works tackling traditional Greek themes. The work is primarily orchestral, with singers and a narrator bringing the fables’ animal heroes to life using shadow puppets rooted in the Karaghiozis tradition but not limited to it.


The composer Dimitris Papadimitriou interprets Aesop’s fables as providing archetypal lessons in citizenship. They mould our social and political thought, and differ from the classical fairytales of the European tradition in not seeking recourse to fear or the supernatural.

The Aesop-meets-Karaghiozis idea was thrown into the mix by Giorgos Kordellas during the creation process, and the Fables are enacted in the singular world of the shadow puppet theatre, which also provides the setting in which Aesop/Karaghiozis relates scenes from his life between tales.

Aesop travelled widely, which is why so many countries and cities claim him as their own. Although some say he never lived, we accept him as a real person, since his presence is still so palpable and his bequest to Mankind so important.
His heroes are mainly animals that live, speak and act like men. His dialogues are brief, his stories short, and they all end with a lesson to be learned.
Aesop’s fables have travelled the length and breadth of the world. Very different cultures are familiar with his fables, or have tales, stories and humorous narratives based on them. His fables are numerous, and while some are very well-known, others are less so.

Composition: Dimitris Papadimitriou
Lyrics & texts: Giorgos Kordellas
Shadow puppet theatre: Ilias Karellas

Directorial oversight: Dimitris Papadimitriou, Giorgos Kordellas, Ilias Karellas

Lighting: Philippos Koutsaftis
Concept: Rallou Voyiatzi
Production: The Greek Plan

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4 CDs

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