Los Angeles, CA 90095 United States + Google Map
Polymnia, a chamber opera in one act composed by innovative young artist Theodosia Roussos, is the culminating event of a year of activities related to a conflict that resulted in large-scale forced migration across national, regional, and even continental borders. Using preserved family documents and oral interviews, the opera reveals the story of Polymnia Athanasiades through the evocative voices of her daughter, granddaughter, and great-granddaughter, the composer and librettist of the work. Personal documents are supplemented by works ascribed to the ancient Greek poet Sappho and by the haunting Greek memorial chant “Eonia i Mnimi” (Eternal Memory) written by the female Byzantine hymnographer Kassiani. The interweaving of female voices across ancient, medieval, and modern Greek history underscores the themes of intergenerational trauma, sisterhood, and communication across centuries and family. Elements of the staging and costumes are drawn from preserved photographs and memory and many of the fabrics used will be woven by Greek women. The opera uses the multi-generational voices of Greek sopranos to authentically capture a story that is shared by many in diaspora. This is a story that is universal, moving from ancient days to our own time.