Bohuslav Martinů's The Greek Passion

Simon Stone (stage director), Maxime Pascal (conductor) — With Sebastian Kohlhepp (Manolios), Sara Jakubiak (Katerina), Julian Hubbard (Panait)...

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Simon Stone — Stage director

Lizzie Clachan — Set designer

Mel Page — Costumes

Nick Schlieper — Lighting

Christian Arseni — Dramaturgy

Gábor Bretz — Priest Grigoris

Sebastian Kohlhepp — Manolios

Sara Jakubiak — Katerina

Charles Workman — Yannakos

Christina Gansch — Lenio

Matteo Ivan Rašić — Andonis

Matthäus Schmidlechner — Michelis

Alejandro Baliñas Vieites — Kostandis

Julian Hubbard — Panais

Aljoscha Lennert — Nikolio

Helena Rasker — An Old Woman

Luke Stoker — Patriarcheas

Program notes

After his celebrated work on Reimann's Lear and Cherubini's Médée, Simon Stone's new staging at the 2023 Salzburg Festival dramatizes nothing less than the story of Christ. Guided by Stone's artistic vision and buoyed by the gold-standard Vienna Philharmonic, The Greek Passion by Czech composer Bohuslav Martinů serves as an evocative meeting place between past and present and an unforgettable theatrical experience.

Based on the drama Christ Recrucified by Nikos Kazantzakis, Martinů's four-act opera opens on an intriguing scene: in a picturesque Greek village, a play is being rehearsed. Manolios (Sebastian Kohlhepp), Katerina (Sara Jakubiak), and Panait (Julian Hubbard) are chosen to perform the roles of Christ, Mary Magdalene, and Judas—but the tranquil community is soon thrown into turmoil by the arrival of a group of Greek refugees, who meet with suspicion at the hands of the villagers. Boundaries between fiction and reality begin to blur, and Manolios—like a new messianic figure—attempts to remind his fellow citizens of the importance of evangelical love, but tensions continue to rise…

Under the expert baton of Maxime Pascal, the Vienna Philharmonic guides us on a fascinating journey, inviting us to reflect on the still-relevant contradictions raised by the libretto and highlighting the timeless qualities of Martinů's opera.

With the kind support of the Martinů Foundation Basel
Photo © Meng Phu

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