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Kapodistrias: Monodrama of a secret life



Kapodistrias: Monodrama of a secret life


1–3 October 2021

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"The unrequited love between the first governor of the modern Greek State, Ioannis Capodistrias, and Roxandra Sturdza, the lady-in-waiting of the Empress of Russia, serves as subject to the new monodrama by composer Calliope Tsoupaki. In one of the most romantic episodes of the Greek struggle for independence, Capodistrias and Sturdza (the former a promising politician and diplomat, the latter an educated noblewoman, offspring of a rich Greek Moldavian family) met at the Russian imperial court in 1809 and shared a longstanding, deeply spiritual bond; nevertheless, their love was unconsummated due to their class difference and Capodistrias’ self-sacrificing commitment to the Greek cause. Their relationship blossomed around music: apart from their common political activism concerning the Philomuse (as well as philhellenic) Society of Vienna, Sturdza is reputed to have played the piano to Capodistrias during their more private moments. Based on their extensive correspondence as well as on Sturdza’s memoirs, the composer renders their moving story in non-narrative terms, entrusts the two roles to a baritone and a female pianist and sensitively “stages” a compassionate immersion in the shared interiority of two people who lived separately – but are brought together retroactively on stage, thanks to the empathetic power of music. "(From Greek National Opera:

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