Erifili Giannakopoulou

Born in Athens in 1983.

She started studying music at a young age by taking violin and piano lessons, while being a member of the ERT choir. At the age of 18, she moved to Munich, where she studied lyrical singing under KS Joseph Metternich and Marilyn Schmiege. She continued her studies at the Ecole Normale de Musique de Paris, from where she graduated in 2007. At the same time, she studied musicology at the Sorbonne Paris 4 and Paris 8 University. In 2008, she returned to Greece and founded the Oper(O) group, with which she has remained active until today. In 2011, she was the recipient of the Fulbright Artists Scholarship and studied at the Manhattan School of Music, New York under professor Joan Caplan.

Observing the opera world until the completion of my studies, I realized that there is little substantial time given to the creation of spectacles; the singer is often viewed as a tool and the performance as an income-offering product. Furthermore, I noticed that to a large part of the audience, opera performances are self-evidently shows of high aesthetics; however many don’t examine the show’s essence, some are afraid to criticize it, while the rest don’t care since they consider opera to be an old-fashioned, boring and sometimes perhaps ridiculous genre. I also noticed that the singers, by respectively acting as tools, worked exclusively on perfecting their technique and impressing, while forgetting the essence and the basic principles of art as a means of communication. Doubting the entire operating mechanism of this “industry” and being deeply troubled by opera’s standing in contemporary society, I wanted to create a team where nothing is for granted and everything is reinvented. For Oper(O) substantial artistic dialogue, artistic collaboration and collective creation is an essential need and a goal.

Irini Georgalaki

Born in Athens in 1987.

She graduated from the National Theater of Greece Drama School in 2008, in which year she also made her first directorial attempt with the musical theatre play "Erotika Dekemvriana ‘08, based on her own writings. She was a member of the theatrical group TANDEM and participated in the shows "Freak Show" and "Φ". She has collaborated with acclaimed directors, such as D. Lignadis, V. Theodoropoulos, Th. Moschopoulos, etc.

She voluntarily directs the theatrical team of the family support department of the Therapy Center for Depended Individuals – DIAVASI, as well as children’s theatre groups, undertaking the adaptation of theatrical plays for children.

She has been a permanent member of the Oper(O) group since 2011, when she first participated as an actress for the “Fiammifero” play. Since then, she has directed the play “Voyage” for the TEDx Academy Athens, as well as a version of Carmen for the Athens Concert Hall. She has written and narrated the fairytale “The Gang of the Lost Speech”, a work in project for Oper(O).

Her first book, entitled “GIVE AND TAKE” was published in 2009 by Livanis Publications.

Coming from the strictly theatrical domain, my weapons and tools are completely different from those of the musicians. Opera, as a genre, has charmed me because, among other things, it is a compositional form of art demanding cooperation. With Oper(O), by treating theatre as an art form of similar gravity with that of music and singing, I am given the opportunity through deconstruction and experimentation to reassess the “form” and the role of theatre in opera. My substantial collaboration with people I appreciate and trust in this process of doubting and discovering theatre is, to me, the ideal condition for creation

Giorgos Ziavras

Born in Athens in 1986.

In 2008 he was awarded his diploma in Classical Piano under the guidance of Elisavet Kounalaki (with honours unanimously and First Prize). At this time, he is completing his musical studies in conducting orchestras at the Cologne Musical Academy (Hochschule für Musik und Tanz Köln, Klasse Prof. Luig). He is also an undergraduate of the Department for Architectural Engineering of the National Technical University of Athens. He has written original music for the theatre and cinema. He is a member of the theatrical group Tandem, with whom he has already collaborated in three productions.

He has been collaborating with Oper(O) since 2010, having undertaking the preparation of singers, orchestration/composition as well as the organization of the group’s orchestra. As a maestro, he has so far conducted “Flammifero”, “Voyage” at the TEDx Academy Athens and a version of “Carmen” at the Athens Concert Hall.

To me, Oper(O) are an opportunity to prove that opera is fundamentally a spectacle of wide appeal. It’s theatre accompanied by music and speaks straight to the heart and the emotions. In Oper(O) I find a company of people, who, far from any type of a norm, based strictly on the text and the sheet music, allow me to live in my time and to prove daily and in practice that opera and music in general concerns all of us and makes us better

Nikos Galenianos

Born in 1985 in Athens.

He is a degree holder on classical piano under the guidance of A. Papadopoulou and he has followed academic studies in classical harmony and counterpoint. He is a lawyer, graduate of the Law School of Athens. A sector of special interest to him is musical composition, with an emphasis on its contemporary directions. He collaborated for the first time with Oper(O) for the show “Fiammifero” in the summer of 2011 and since has undertaken the orchestration/composition of the group’s productions. He participates mainly in the theoretical part of the music accompanying Oper(O) performances, in part by deconstructing, reconstructing and orchestrating timeless music under a wider spectrum. In this context, he seeks new auditory and orchestrating balances in musical ensembles of varying scale and composition.

To me, Oper(O) represent a condition which is aggressive towards the conventions of our age, fertile for original creation and guilt-free expression, ensured by the multifaceted fermentation of ideas and interaction with musicians and artists of well-established perception and level.

Elli Vasilatou

Born in Athens in 1986.

She received her clarinet diploma in 2009 (with honours and first prize) under the guidance of Efstathios Kiosoglou, professor of the Greek National Conservatory. She is a graduate of the Music High School of Pallini and the department of Science Methodology, History and Theory of the University of Athens. She has been taught traditional singing by Irini Derempei.

She has been a member of the group Stories for Percussion with Vasilis Vasilatos since 2003 and of the troupe Theatre of the Shoe upon the Tree since 2007. She has participated in music recorded for the cinema, theatre and television. She has collaborated as first clarinet with the Chamber Orchestra of the Music department of the University of Athens and as a soloist with the Finnish Orchestra “Jalas Chamber”.

I am a member of Oper(O) because I reject the stereotypical image of the classical virtuoso musician existing only as a tool to correctly perform a musical piece, obeying other people’s rules and aesthetics. I seek in utero creation and full participation in everything I do. Above all, I trust and admire the personalities of people who collectively try to create something because they have something to say.