Opera and the Greek World during the 19th Century
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Opera and the Greek World during Nineteenth Century

International Conference

Corfu, Greece, 17-19 November 2017


2017 marks for opera in Greece four anniversaries: the centenary since the passing of Spiros Samaras (1861-1917), the bicentenary since the birth of two important Greek opera composers, Spiridon Xyndas (1817-1896) and Domenikos Padovas (1817-1892), as well as the 150 years since the premiere of the opera O ypopsifios [The Parliamentary Candidate] (1867, music by Xyndas and libretto by Ioannis Rinopoulos), which was both the first full-scale opera in Greek and the pivotal point for the emergence of opera in Greek language.

The Hellenic Music Research Lab of the Music Department of the Ionian University and Corfu Philharmonic Society on the occasion of the aforementioned anniversaries organize the international conference entitled Opera and the Greek World during Nineteenth Century, which is going to take place in Corfu, Greece, on 17, 18 and 19 November 2017.

Corfu, the seat of the Ionian University, was the birthplace of the three aforementioned composers. The San Giacomo theatre of Corfu, the earliest theatrical stage of the region, hosted opera performances already since 1733, contributing decisively to the dissemination of opera within the Greek world during 19th century. Moreover, Xyndas, Padovas and Samaras presented in the same theatre their operas. Xyndas in 1840 was also one of the initial founders and professors of the Corfu Philharmonic Society and he dedicated to it certain of his operas. Padovas also taught harmony and music theory in the Philharmonic, in 1857 he dedicated to it his opera Dirce and since 1884 he was appointed the Society’s artistic director. Samaras, a student of Xyndas during his early music training, had multiple connections with the Philharmonic Society and had been its honorary artistic director since 1889.

Given the above, the conference will not be confined solely to the lives and the works of the aforementioned composers, but it will focus on matters regarding the place, the reception, the importance and the formative factors of the operatic activity within the Greek world during the “long nineteenth century”. With these in mind, some indicative themes of the conference are proposed to be;

  • Spiros Samaras: life and work
  • Spiridon Xindas: life and work
  • Domenikos Padovas: life and work
  • The activities of the Italian opera troupes in the Greek areas (singers, musicians, impresarios, repertory etc)
  • The activities of the French opera troupes in the Greek areas
  • The activities of the Greek opera troupes
  • Opera in the Greek communities of Diaspora (Trieste, Odessa, Alexandria, Smyrna, Constantinople etc)
  • Opera in the Greek urban centres
  • Institutions of operatic activity
  • The reception of opera in the Greek world
  • Subjects related to Greece in the 19th-century opera

The official languages of the opera are GreekItalian and English.

Scholars and researchers interested to participate in the conference are asked to submit their abstracts (250 words) and short biographical notes (100 words) for papers of no more than 20 minutes. Themed sessions of 60 minutes can also be proposed (Abstract of 450 words and Bios of 100 words).

There are no fees for the participation or the attendance of the conference.

The final date for the proposals’ submission is 31 December 2016.

The abstracts and the biographical notes should be sent until the above date in the following email:

The conference’s programme will be finalized by 1 March 2017.

The conference website can be found at


Programme Committee

Prof. Haris Xanthoudakis

Prof. Anastasia Siopsi

A. Prof. Panos Vlagopoulos

A. Professor Avra Xapapadakou

Organizing Committee

Spiridon Padovas

Kostas Kardamis

Kostas Sambanis

Stella Kourbana

Alexandros Charkiolakis

Gerasimos Martinis

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