SUNDAY, JUNE 28th 2009

The long anticipated epic of Greek-Canadian neo-classical composer Panayoti Karousos opens with the famous enthronement scene of Alexander the Great and introduces his famous parents, King Phillip II of Macedonia and Queen Olympias of Epirus. Under the baton of conductor Grant Gilman, all the famous events of this Greek era alive with the larger than life personalities of Aristotle, Isokrates and Demosthenes.

During the production, events and battles of Alexander’s extraordinary battle against the Persians will unfold. There are the grand scenes of the crowning of Alexander as Pharaoh in Egypt, the battles of Gaugamela, the Indian campaigns, the royal weddings at Susa and finally the death of the Great Macedonian general.

This presentation of visionary composer Panayoti Karousos is destined to be a new opera classic. Parts and highlights of the opera presented at the Stathakion Center in Astoria, Queens as a preview, for the full opera is anticipated to debut next year in Carnegie Hall. ( )

The extraordinary opera performed by the Astoria Symphony Orchestra and soloists conducted majestically by conductor Grant Gilman.

Tytus Abrahamson, tenor as Alexander the Great gave all his power vocally with tremendous expression in the lyrical moments and heroically in the dramatic scenes.

Elspeth Davis, mezzo-soprano in the tragic role of Olympias was into music correctly.

Mary Mackenzie, soprano as Cleopatra (the sister of Alexander the Great was emotionally overwhelming, and as Roxana at the last part of the opera gave clear strong high notes over the orchestra.

Eric Keller, bass-baritone as King Philip sung most of the demanding aria one octave lower, but as Ptolemy in the rest of the opera was better vocally.

(Posting date 17 August 2009)

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