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Kyrenia Opera Debuts with a Spectacular Performance
From left, Georgios Iliopoulos, Consul General of Greece in NY, Iakovos Giragosian, Cyprus Consul General in Toronto, Koula Sophianou, Consul General of Cyprus in NY, Constantinos Yiannoudes, Director of Kyrenia Opera, Dr. Nicholas Emiliou, Ambassador of Cyprus to the United Nations, Archbishop Demetrios of America and Philip Christopher, President Pancyprian Association of America & International Coordinating Committee Justice for Cyprus, PHOTO: ETA PRESS
Kyrenia Opera, a newly established organization based on an initiative of Cypriot born baritone Constantinos Yiannoudes, held its Inaugural Gala this past December at the prestigious Tony Bennett Concert Hall, in Long Island City, NY, introducing itself to the community with a spectacular performance. The stellar cast was led by Maestro Jun Nakabayashi in excerpts from some of the world’s most beloved operas and the U.S. premiere of Cypriot composer Evagoras Karagiorgis’ “The Dream” with orchestra. The moving performances of all the artists captured the hearts of the audience members, both veteran lovers of opera as well as newcomers.
This remarkable evening marked the establishment of the Kyrenia Award, which recognizes an outstanding individual who demonstrates a commitment to the arts and their impact on humanity and to the ideals represented by Kyrenia Opera. The first Kyrenia Award was presented to Archbishop Demetrios of America by the Mayor of the illegally occupied by Turkish troops city of Kyrenia Glafkos Cariolou. Kyrenia is a coastal city with a picturesque harbor that dates back to antiquity. Commerce with the neighboring coasts of Asia Minor and the closest islands of the Aegean took place from the Kyrenia harbor. Ancient ships carried various products such as wine, olives, and natural resources of the time. East of the old entrance to the harbor stands the medieval castle of the town, an impressive Venetian construction overlooking the harbor as guardian and protector of the city from enemy attacks. In 1974 Turkey invaded Cyprus from the northern coast of the district of Kyrenia. The illegal occupation of nearly forty percent of Cyprus continues to this very day.
Kyrenia Opera has have also provided outreach to more than one thousand youths and adults in the New York metropolitan area and in Cyprus during its inaugural year. This included students from Frank Sinatra School of the Arts, The Cathedral School, I.S. 141, P.S. 122, and The Diller-Quaile School of Music in the US and the Gymnasio in Kato Pyrgos and the Music Lyceum in Nicosia.
It is a nonprofit, 501(c)(3) organization that relies on voluntary contributions in order to fulfill its mission in bringing the wealth of great vocal music from around the world, including Greece and Cyprus, to audiences in both the United States and Cyprus.
According to its founder, Mr. Yiannoudes, “the organization looks forward to welcoming the community to future performances during this exciting upcoming season, which will be announced very soon on its website www.kyreniaopera.org.