MUSIC
GREEK NATIONAL OPERA / ATHENS

The Hostage / Marc Blitzstein: Political Songs

With the well-known duo of mezzo-soprano Anastasia Kotsali and accordionist Kostas Zigkeridis, accompanied by pianist Giorgos Konstantinou.

Political music theatre in Greece was defined by the oeuvre of Mikis Theodorakis, who put his mark on it at the beginning of the 60s, when, in the heart of the Cold War, decided to set to music the songs from Irish poet Brendan Behan’s play The Hostage, inspired by the liberation struggle of the Irish people against the British, for the Greek troupe of director Leonidas Trivizas. Legendary songs from this play, such as the famous “Laughing Boy”, were connected early on with Greek political struggles, initially in the aftermath of the anti-war activist Grigoris Lambrakis’ murder and, later, during the military dictatorship, being recognized to our day as symbols of social militancy.



During the same period, across the Atlantic, with the breath of the McCarthyistic dystopia still hot on his neck, the most pro-Soviet of American composers of art music (at least in US terms), Marc Blitzstein, put forth his own vision of political music theatre, forming a distinctive language in works such as Reuben Reuben and Sacco and Vanzetti.

The disparate visions of two composers with different paths but with the revolutionary drive as a common reference are highlighted by the well-known duo of mezzo-soprano Anastasia Kotsali and accordionist Kostas Zigkeridis, accompanied in this case by pianist Giorgos Konstantinou.

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