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Nikolas Karagiaouris: Baritone

Nikolas Karagiaouris: Baritone

He was born in Patras, where he studied the piano and the violin and continued his music studies at Athens Conservatory from where he graduated. Having been awarded in many opera competitions in Greece, Germany and the United Kingdom, he has cooperated with great maestros and singers both in Greece and abroad. He has performed roles in plays from the Pre-Classical and the Romantic period, up to the period of Verism and Modern Times. He has also performed in musicals, as well as in classic and rock operas, and he has left his distinct mark in China, Paris and Vienna, where he participated in Parsifal by Wagner. The city of Patras has granted him the “Personlity of the year 2017” award for art and culture.

Nikolas, do you recall yourself singing as a child?
It might seem strange but my childhood had nothing to do with singing. However, every time I heard classic music my imagination would be triggered, becoming restless, impatient and curious. Singing came into my life during my teenage years, when I decided to study at the Athens Conservatory, and change my life forever.

How do you feel when you are on stage? In my opinion, lyrical artists are more exposed than all other artists… no microphones and no ability to improvise.
It is a common secret, the paradox of art: the more limited you are, the more freedom you have. The structure of an orchestral score is absolute and non-negotiable, and the artist owes to follow suit. The more we delve into this strict context, the feeling of freedom is greater on stage, and this is what underlines my whole existence on stage: Liberating freedom. The fact that we do not have the technological support, is yet another challenge that all lyrical artists must face.

Does the opera becomes even more demanding, as far as the acting part is concerned?
The Opera was established in 1598, in the court of Conte Bardi, in Florence, as the result of a need for a new acting art that would resemble the ancient Greek tragedy. It was therefore expected to have both challenging musical and acting parts.

How important is the role of the director in the success of a play?
The role of the director is complex, demanding and multi-dimensional. He or she has to capture the vision of the composer and transfer it into the current era, to love it and inspire all the team to do the same.

Italian, French, German or Greek opera? Which plays do you love?
One of the most challenging things is to adapt my technical skills, my tone and my pronunciation according to each play. I really can’t choose one or even a few composers, roles or plays. When I am preparing for a role, during rehearsals that role becomes my favorite. For the past two months, I’m “flirting” with Wagner.

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The opera lovers in Greece, seems to be increased. Why, in your opinion?
Greece has nothing to be jealous about when it comes to foreign productions in lyric theatres. Since we do have both the infrastructure and good artists, the level of productions and their marketing strategy have equal power. The quality standards of Greek productions are higher than ever and have turned the opera into a popular way of entertainment. Although the Opera is a 500year old kind of classical music and singing, it is timeless, as it deals with all the contradictions of human existence.

What are your plans for this year?
This year is full of creativity. In October we start with the “Beauty and the Beast”, a theatrical-musical play, directed by Marianna Toli in the new Vasilakou Theater in Athens. At the same time, I am honored to cooperate with the great Greek composer Giorgos Katsaros in the Yialino Music Theater. In January, I will perform a concert titled “la musique rencontre la poésie” at the Theocharakis foundation. Additionally, I am preparing for a great role in one of the most known theaters, emblem in Europe.

What should we wish for you?
My mind moves reflectively in the collective sphere.
Wish me to be positively reactive, healthy, strong and happy in a healthy, strong and happy country.

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