The Greek Passion

Bohuslav Martinů

14 Sep - 16 Nov 2019

Dates & venues

This is Manolios. He’s about to sacrifice everything.

This searing season opener is a tale for our times. When a group of desperate refugees arrives in a small village seeking help and shelter, deep rifts tear the community in two. Manolios, one of the villagers, pleads with his neighbours to show compassion for the exiled. But he is met with a wall of contempt that he must find the strength to break down…

Martinů’s Greek Passion, performed here in the original London version, is a unique and powerfully resonant opera. A spectacular soundscape of vast choral and orchestral forces combines with shocking drama that unfolds in cinematic style. It is not to be missed. 

#ONGreekPassion

Price
£15 to £75*
Venues
  • Leeds Grand Theatre
  • Theatre Royal Newcastle
  • Theatre Royal, Nottingham
  • The Lowry, Salford Quays

Running time
Approximately 2 hours 30 minutes

Language
Sung in English

Save with Season Ticket Packages
Get £10 tickets with our Under 30s scheme

*Prices vary by venue. Booking fees may apply.

Supported by the Friends of Opera North
A co-production with Den Norske Opera

Story

In a remote Greek settlement, the villagers are casting roles for the upcoming Passion Play. Manolios, a shepherd, is cast as Christ, the widow Katerina is chosen to play Mary Magdalene and her lover Panait is given the role of Judas.

Shortly after, a group of desperate refugees arrive. The village leader, Father Grigoris does not trust the outsiders, and when one of the refugees dies from hunger, he blames the death on cholera and uses this lie to expel them from the village. Manolios and Katerina decide to help the refugees and lead them to a place nearby where they can find shelter.

As the refugees begin to build their camp on a nearby mountainside, Katerina realises that she has fallen in love with Manolios. One of the villagers, Yannakos is convinced that he can profit from the refugees and sets off to con them out of their possessions. However, upon witnessing the abject poverty in which they live, he feels shamed and vows to help them. Manolios and Katerina come to accept their mutual attraction toward each other, but Manolios decides he cannot act upon it. Katerina is distraught.

Manolios dreams of Katerina as the holy virgin but is awoken by Lenio, his fiancée, with whom he has grown increasingly distant. She asks about their wedding and unsatisfied with Manolios’ answer finds herself drawn to the shepherd Nikolios instead.

Manolios becomes ever more consumed by his role as Christ and appeals to the villagers to help the refugees. Seeing that his authority is growing, the village elders decide that Manolios must be expelled from the village.

Lenio and Nikolios are to be married. During the celebrations, Father Grigoris condemns Manolios and excommunicates him. Manolios delivers a passionate sermon, calling for the villagers to be compassionate but Father Grigoris rallies the villagers behind him, inciting them against Manolios, until Panait finally closes in on him and kills him.

Cast

Nicky Spence

Manolios

Magdalena Molendowska

Katerina

Paul Nilon

Yannakos

Jeffrey Lloyd-Roberts

Panait

Stephen Gadd

Priest Grigoris

John Savournin

Priest Fotis

Richard Mosley-Evans

Kostandis

Lorna James

Lenio

Steven Page

Captain

Jonathan Best

Archon

Rhodri Prys Jones

Michelis

Creative team

Garry Walker

Conductor

Christopher Alden

Director

Tim Claydon

Choreographer

Charles Edwards

Set and Lighting Designer

Doey Lüthi

Costume Designer

The Greek Passion
The Greek Passion
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