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KATHIMERINI, 31/10/2006

Thessaloniki Opera demands its autonomy

"Are we separate or subordinate? Are we part of the State Theater of Northern Greece or an independent opera house? Indeed, are we a necessary cultural institution?

"Existential Questions"

The Artistic Director of Thessaloniki Opera, conductor Lisa Xanthopoulou, caused a stir when, during a press conference, she addressed these questions to the General Secretary of the Ministry of Culture Mr. Christos Zachopoulos, asking for a clearer view - i.e. an indication of political will - of the "path toward institutionalization of the organization" which now receives just "4.5% of the funding that the Greek National Opera in Athens receives".

To these "existential questions", as Mr. Zachopoulos jokingly characterized them, he offered that the road towards autonomy was still long. "This is an institution that requires considerable funding, and the disparity in funding is justified.The Opera House in Athens is an institution of many decades, while Thessaloniki Opera is still taking its first steps."

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