Contact: Christina Bianco

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For Immediate Release



Available to stream beginning June 29, 2023 at 

Led by conductor Pier Giorgio Morandi, the cast features baritone Dimitri Platanias, baritone Tassis Christoyannis, soprano Cellia Costea, soprano Marilena Striftobola, tenor Vassilis Kavayas, mezzo-soprano Anna Agathonos, and mezzo-soprano Chrysanthi Spitadi

ATHENS, GREECE (JUNE 29, 2023)The Greek National Opera (GNO) presents the premiere of a new production of Verdi’s Falstaff, staged by acclaimed opera director and Artistic Director of the Glyndebourne Festival Stephen Langridge and conducted by Pier Giorgio Morandi on its high-quality streaming platform, GNO TV, beginning today June 29, 2023 at Falstaff was filmed in Stavros Niarchos Hall at the Stavros Niarchos Foundation Cultural Center in Athens during its premiere run from January 26, 2023-February 12, 2023.

This production is made possible by a grant from the Stavros Niarchos Foundation (SNF) [] to enhance the GNO’s artistic outreach. 

This production marked director Stephen Langridge’s first production of Falstaff.

Verdi’s final opera takes inspiration from Shakespeare’s comedy The Merry Wives of Windsor, centering the action around aging, washed-up knight Sir John Falstaff, whose tragicomic adventures drive the operatic plot. Originally set in the 15th century during the reign of King Henry IV, Langridge updates the setting to the 20th century, heightening its thematic and comedic relevance to our present day. He explains:

“Our production is set in England in the 1930s. A time between the wars (Falstaff was an old soldier), with a scandalous Prince of Wales (like Hal in Henry IV) who will briefly become King Edward VIII, and a time when the hierarchies are rigid, with social class more respected than money. Falstaff is based on Shakespeare’s only fully English comedy, but the end is pure Verdi / Boito. “Tutto nel mondo è burla” [all the world’s a jest] is their conclusion – and when we look around us at today’s chaotic world we can only agree, and then perhaps head off to the pub for a pint of warm ale and a laugh with Sir John!” 

This production of Falstaff is conducted by Pier Giorgio Morandi, the current honorary principal conductor at Croatian National Theatre in Zagreb. He has conducted at prominent opera houses such as Teatro alla Scala, The Metropolitan Opera, and Opéra Bastille, among others. A specialist in Italian repertoire, he studied under Leonard Bernstein and Seiji Ozawa. 

Greek baritone Dimitri Platanias makes his role debut as the titular Falstaff, headlining a cast including baritone Tassis Christoyannis as Ford; tenor Vassilis Kavayas as Fenton; soprano Cellia Costea as Alice Ford; soprano Marilena Striftobola as Nannetta; mezzo-soprano Anna Agathonos as Mistress Quickly; and mezzo-soprano Chrysanthi Spitadi as Meg Page. 

GNO TV was launched by the GNO in November 2020 with support from the Stavros Niarchos Foundation (SNF) as part of an outreach grant, increasing the company’s artistic reach even further afield. Although launched in the midst of the pandemic when GNO’s live performances had been suspended, GNO TV continues as a high-quality digital platform aimed at attracting audiences worldwide with programming ranging from opera and ballet performances from the Stavros Niarchos Hall, to operetta, music theater performances, and festivals from the Alternative Stage, as well as earlier GNO productions, new online festivals, educational programs and children’s productions. GNO TV offers both free-to-view and paid content and currently offers 30 productions.



Giuseppe Verdi

On GNO TV from June 29, 2023 to January 31, 2024

Conductor: Pier Giorgio Morandi

Director: Stephen Langridge

Sets, costumes: George Souglides

Choreography: Dan O’Neill

Lighting: Peter Mumford

Chorus master: Agathangelos Georgakatos

Children’s chorus master: Konstantina Pitsiakou

Sir John Falstaff: Dimitri Platanias

Ford:Tassis Christoyannis

Fenton: Vassilis Kavayas

Dr Caius: Nicholas Stefanou

Bardolfo: Yannis Kalyvas

Pistola: Yanni Yannissis

Alice Ford: Cellia Costea

Nannetta: Marilena Striftobola

Mistress Quickly: Anna Agathonos

Meg Page: Chrysanthi Spitadi

With the Orchestra, Chorus and the Children’s Chorus of the Greek National Opera (as part of its educational mission)

This production is made possible by a grant from the Stavros Niarchos Foundation (SNF) [] to enhance the GNO’s artistic outreach.

Lead Donor of the GNO

Stavros Niarchos Foundation (SNF)


Robert Wilson’s production of Verdi’s Otello, presented in 2022 in a co-production with Baden-Baden Easter Festival, starring ​​international soloists such as Aleksandrs Antoņenko, Cellia Costea, and Tassis Christoyannis. (Through December 31, 2023). 

The 2022 production of Dimitra Trypani’s new work Andrei: Requiem in eight scenes, a contemporary funeral liturgy for the great filmmaker Andrei Tarkovsky. (Through December 31, 2023).

Hugo de Ana’s 2020 season opening production of Puccini’s tragedy Madama Butterfly, starring Ermonela Jaho and conducted by Lukas Karytinos. (Through December 31, 2023).

GNO TV also currently streams 30 performances spanning concert performances, dance, children’s theater, music theater, as well as a selection of online festivals, behind-the-scenes footage, and artist interviews. 


Individual tickets for Falstaff on GNO TV, priced at €10 (approx. $10), are available here.

With a ticket viewers can:

  • enjoy this production from the comfort of their home on their computer, tablet, TV or mobile phones. 
  • watch the performance for an unlimited number of times over the course of a 30-day period starting from the first streaming. 
  • Access the performances program online.

GNO TV has two types of subscription passes available for purchase here.

  • Golden Pass: Watch as many GNO TV performances as you wish and as many times as you want, for one year. The 365-day period starts from the day you register your ticket code. €45; approx. $44. 

  • Opera Pass: Watch three preselected* opera performances. After registering your ticket, each performance will be available for you to watch for a period of 30 days starting from the first time you click on the PLAY button. €15; approx. $15.

* It is not necessary to select all three performances at the same time.

GNO TV is part of a new strand of programming of the Greek National Opera made possible by a grant from the Stavros Niarchos Foundation (SNF) to enhance the Greek National Opera’s artistic outreach.


Founded in 1939, the Greek National Opera is a public body and the sole opera house in Greece. It produces and stages operas, musical theater, operettas, and ballets, and multi-disciplinary productions for its two stages at the Stavros Niarchos Foundation Cultural Center (SNFCC), the Stavros Niarchos Hall and the Alternative Stage, as well as at the Odeon of Herodes Atticus, an open-air theater in the center of Athens. The company’s repertory covers four centuries of lyrical theater, from the works of Claudio Monteverdi to those of contemporary composers. The Orchestra and Chorus of the Greek National Opera were both founded in 1939 alongside the opera company, then a part of the Royal Theatre, and a Children’s Chorus was founded in 2012. In addition to its opera programming, the GNO also encompasses the GNO Professional School of Dance, as well as education and community programs aimed at all age groups.

The GNO is one of Europe’s most innovative opera houses with a unique artistic identity that engages global talent and inspires large and diverse audiences. Led by artistic director Giorgos Koumendakis and supported by the Stavros Niarchos Foundation (SNF) [], its mission is to offer audiences high caliber productions by presenting operas, ballets, operettas, operas for children, and music recitals, among other events. The GNO’s main source of funding is the Greek State and the Ministry of Culture and Sports. Over 60% of its annual budget is covered by state funding, with the rest coming from ticket proceeds, private sponsorship, and grants. The Stavros Niarchos Foundation (SNF) is the Greek National Opera's biggest donor and to date, its grants to the GNO amount to €27.5 million.

A turning point in its history came in 2017 when the GNO relocated to a new state-of-the-art building at the architecturally striking Stavros Niarchos Foundation Cultural Center (SNFCC), which was conceived, designed, constructed, and equipped with a substantial grant from the Stavros Niarchos Foundation (SNF). Following completion, the SNFCC was delivered to the Greek state and the public in February 2017 through the SNF’s largest grant initiative to date, totaling €618 million. Assisted by a €5 million grant from the Stavros Niarchos Foundation (SNF), the GNO relocated from Athens’ Olympia Theatre to the SFNCC and the two, purpose-built theaters designed by Renzo Piano, doubling its audience capacity to 1,400 seats in the opera hall and also doubling its ticket revenues.  

The hall’s inaugural production in October 2017 was Strauss’ Elektra, starring the celebrated Greek mezzo Agnes Baltsa as Klytaemnestra. In 2019 a major grant of €20 million was announced by the Stavros Niarchos Foundation (SNF) to support the implementation of a four-year programming and development plan that will enhance the artistic outreach of the GNO and increase the promotion of its work overseas. In 2020 the GNO celebrated its 80th anniversary, commissioning and presenting works to reintroduce itself to the Greek and global audience through its new artistic identity and mission. This programming has included, among others: Verdi’s Don Carlo, a co-production of the Royal Opera House, London, the Metropolitan Opera, New York, and the Norwegian National Opera ,Oslo, directed by Sir Nicholas Hytner; Berg’s Wozzeck directed by Olivier Py; Shostakovich’s Lady Macbeth of Mtsensk directed by Fanny Ardant; Marina Abramović’s 7 Deaths of Maria Callas, a co-production with Opéra national de Paris, Bayerische Staatsoper, Deutsche Oper Berlin, and Teatro di San Carlo; Verdi’s Otello, a co-production with Festspiel Baden-Baden directed by Robert Wilson; Mozart’s Don Giovanni, a co-production with the Göteborg Opera and the Royal Danish Opera directed by John Fulljames; Offenbach’s Les Contes d’Hoffman, a co-production with La Monnaie de Munt, directed by Krzysztof Warlikowski; Verdi’s Fallstaff, directed by the artistic director of the Glyndebourne Festival Stephen Langridge; Verdi’s Rigoletto, directed by the artistic director of the Athens Festival Katerina Evangellatos; and Puccini’s Madama Butterfly directed by director of the Théâtre du Châtelet Olivier Py.


Shuman Public Relations:

Constance Shuman | [email protected] | (917) 716-5403

Lisa Jaehnig | [email protected] | (646) 489-2700

Christina Bianco | [email protected] | (312) 451-2267 

Greek National Opera Press Office:

Vasilis Louras | [email protected] | +30 2130885740