Opera North’s The Greek Passion

Opera North’s The Greek Passion

Opera North’s The Greek Passion

Bohuslav Martinů

Theatre Royal Newcastle
Sat 9 November 2019


This is Manolios. He’s about to sacrifice everything.

This searing season opener is a tale for our times. When a group of desperate refugees arrives in a small village seeking help and shelter, deep rifts tear the community in two. Manolios, one of the villagers, pleads with his neighbours to show compassion for the exiled. But he is met with a wall of contempt that he must find the strength to break down…

Martinů’s Greek Passion, performed here in the original London version, is a unique and powerfully resonant opera. A spectacular soundscape of vast choral and orchestral forces combines with shocking drama that unfolds in cinematic style. It is not to be missed. 

In a remote Greek settlement, the villagers are casting roles for the upcoming Passion Play. Manolios, a shepherd, is cast as Christ, the widow Katerina is chosen to play Mary Magdalene and her lover Panait is given the role of Judas.

Shortly after, a group of desperate refugees arrive. The village leader, Father Grigoris does not trust the outsiders, and when one of the refugees dies from hunger, he blames the death on cholera and uses this lie to expel them from the village. Manolios and Katerina decide to help the refugees and lead them to a place nearby where they can find shelter.


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