George Petrou conducts the Camerata in a site-specific opera at Athens’ Diplareios School in which the pioneering minimalist composer sets to music a text by the 20th century’s darkest writer.

With In the Penal Colony, Kafka provides a condensed foretaste of the dystopian vision that permeates one of his most important works, the Trial, on which he would start work soon afterwards. With sick generosity, In the Penal Colony sheds light on aspects of human nature -and perhaps the author’s own nature- which we often avoid facing up to.

Philip Glass, a living legend in the sphere of contemporary music and a pioneer of minimalism, set Kafka’s dark tale to sounds just as harsh and unrelenting -his use of the strings is masterly.

In the isolated fringes of an old penal colony, an officer and an explorer enact a pitch dark narrative around the scheduled execution of a condemned man by a demonic machine. The work tackles Kafka’s core motifs: the relationship between the individual and authority, the concepts of justice and injustice, punishment, condemnation and, ultimately and in unorthodox fashion, catharsis.

George Petrou and the Camerata, who have tackled Philip Glass’ musical idiom on numerous occasions, join forces once again with the director and set designer Paris Mexis. Together, they create their ownPenal Colony within the walls of the Diplareio School in a unique site-specific production from the Onassis Cultural Centre.

Strobe lights will be used during the show.
Conducted by: George Petrou
Direction: Paris Mexis
Set Design: Beetroot
Production Design: Paris Mexis – Georgina Germanou
Lighting Design: George Tellos- Lighting Art
Sound Design: Beetroot
Music Preparation: Dimitris Giakas, Nikos Laaris
Assistant Director: Georgina Germanou
Associate Lighting Designer: Panos Tsevrenis – Lighting Art

Officer: Timos Sirlantzis / Sotiris Triantis
Visitor: Giannis Filias
Convict: Sotiris Triantis / Timos Sirlantzis
Guard: Eva Oikonomou-Vamvaka, Zenia Agkistrioti

For more here.